I had the privilege of being one of the Camp Week leaders this year, and it was an awesome experience! Getting to know nine strangers in the matter of barely one week was so incredible. Some things we did other than work at the stores included driving up Red Canyon Park and climbing around a big rock! Tuesday everyone got to attend the Ascend program’s Bible study class. For the last part of that we drove up in the mountains, went on a little hike and sang. One of the guys opened up about some things he was going through at home and some of the guys prayed for him right there. It was an incredible moment! The next day we went to Bishop Castle and explore it as well. From there, we went down to Westcliffe and walked around town. We visited a few small stores and a coffee shop twice in less than two hours! We drove to Lake DeWeese and found some crawdads and just had a good time getting to know each other. Camp Week 2023, in my opinion, was a huge success!
This year I had the privilege of leading nine youths through a short-term mission project where we faced the highs and lows of working in a thrift store while experiencing tremendous spiritual input through the Ascend program, throughout the week, we got to explore a wide variety of the most enchanting sights Colorado offers. One at we got to drive across Shelf Road, and on another, we climbed to the top of an old, rickety castle in Rye CO. One of my favorite memories from the week was catching crawdads in Lake DeWeese and pitting them in fights against each other. One element that surprised me most about the group of individuals was how honest and genuine they were when interacting with each other. Only a few days after meeting one another, some of the campers were openly sharing about church and family struggles, giving the local youth an opportunity to pray over them. I entered Camp Week with the mindset that, as one of the leaders I should be blessing and pouring into the campers. However, by the time the week was through, I realized that the campers had found a way to spend most of their week pouring into me. This outstanding group [ of young people taught me how I can show the value that God places on them by being a genuine friend. The impression that was left in my heart that week is one that I will cherish for years to come!