One Week; Eternal Impact

Grace Church has a long-standing relationship with Camp Conquest, a great escape right up the road in Denver, PA. Each year, thousands of dollars and thousands of hours are donated by people at Grace Church, and many children and families participate in ministries camp offers year-round. They are in prime summer-camp season right now, and as you can see in the pictures below we have lots of Grace Church people there as staff, volunteers, and campers! We asked two ladies who served as counselors last week to give us a picture of what it’s like:

What a great time to serve at Camp Conquest last week! As a cabin counselor of Quest week I enjoyed getting to know 13 students in my cabin at a deeper level and interact with many more! Yes, I was stretched in leading morning and evening devotions, initiating many spiritual conversations, prayed with students as they rededicated their lives, participated in skit night, played gaga, soccer, black light dodge ball and even went down the hill on the giant water slide (once).

It is so rewarding to serve at camp where students are stretched to meet new friends, challenged during Chapel time every morning and camp fire time every evening, devote 30 minutes each day memorizing scripture and have an awesome time of all kinds of fun games and activities like riding horses, crafts, pool time, rifle, trap shooting, cooking, archery, paint ball, and many other fun large group games!

The camp experience is such a great time for students to get away from their usual schedule and friends and be stretched to meet new people and be immersed in a week long focus on truths from scripture that challenge them! Between the three camps that ran simultaneously there were a total of 85 campers, by weeks end we had many who memorized scripture, two that accepted Christ as there savior and many more who rededicated their lives to Christ. It was so awesome to hear many campers say their favorite part of camp was hearing the chapel and camp fire speaker! I am so glad I was able to serve at camp for the week, I hope others will give it a try; you won’t regret building into the lives of students! -Joan McCracken

Tim Kachel faithfully serves at Camp Conquest each summer.
Tim faithfully serves at Camp Conquest each summer.
Eric Summy, a Club 56 volunteer, serves as a counselor!
Eric, a Club 56 volunteer at Grace Church, serves as a counselor!

A week at camp can be extremely exhausting but so rewarding in the end! I started volunteering at Camp Conquest many summers ago after a counselor impacted my life by encouraging me to follow God and serve Him as much as I could. I was a shy camper that got her world rocked that week. Camp is holy ground that will always remind me of the commitment I made to God at a campfire. The Holy Spirit is at work here at camp and I am privileged to be a part of it!

Last week I was a counselor for our Quest Week. The campers in my cabin were 13-16 years old and full of questions about God and how to deal with certain situations. The typical day started with a good morning song sung by me that sometimes ended with pillows being thrown to make me stop. From there we would start with cabin devotions then go to breakfast followed by chapel. This week we talked about attributes of God. After that we would go to activities that the campers chose: horses, archery, rifles, craft cabin, cooking, board games, etc. Then it was lunch and then cabin time where we would rest and work on bible verses. The campers have verse cards that if they memorize and recite to counselors they receive a medal. After that we would go to our sports activity (field games, water games, court games) with all of the quest campers. Then it was pool and store time and then we would have another activity that the campers chose. After that was dinner and then free time followed by an evening game lead by the counselors. We would then have snack and campfire. Then it was time to retire to our beds after a fun day full of activities!

Before bed we like to talk to our cabin about campfire and get them thinking about what it truly meant before we pray with them and turn out the lights. This was also the times where the big questions would come out and sometimes make me thankful I am a Bible college student. The campers are smart enough to have questions that they want answered. These are questions about how far God’s love truly goes and why God could choose some to be his followers and others to not and why didn’t God just make everyone a Christian? This last week I had a young girl in my cabin that was Messianic and had lots of questions about who God was and especially Jesus and his teachings. I also had a girl that was a “baby” Christian in awe of how God would love us as wretched as we are. Then I had a girl who grew up in church and on the mission field with her parents, she rededicated her life and wanted to follow God with everything she knew how to.

As a counselor, we have a week with these kids before you may never see them again. We must love them as much as we can while trying to step into their world to see where their hearts are at. We must encourage them and counsel them through trials that they are going through. We must be their friend and their role model for good attitudes and dealing with difficult situations. We must teach them and challenge them. It’s only a week, but they will remember you a lot longer than you remember them and they will surely remember their time here at Camp Conquest! -Hannah Graham

Tim works very hard to maintain the beautiful landscape that many campers call "home" for a week!
Tim works very hard to maintain the beautiful landscape that many campers call “home” for a week!
Ken relaxes for a moment after many hours of preparing for camp!
Ken relaxes for a moment after many hours of preparing for camp!

Here is a ‘thank you’ from a camper who was able to attend camp due to a sponsor:

Thanks for sending me to camp.  I loved it.  I’ve had a lot of fun playing games and learning about God.  This has brought me closer to Him and, I now know him as a Savior.  I love campfire which is when we get together around a campfire for singing and a message.  This has totally changed my life and my outlook on God.  Thank you for all your help.  -D

Steve (right) serves as a counselor each summer!
Steve (right) serves as a counselor each summer!
Victoria (brown shirt) sharing a meal with friends.
Victoria (brown shirt) sharing a meal with friends.
Jenna at the archery range!
Jenna at the archery range!
Abby (middle) smiles with her camp friends!
Abby (middle) smiles with her camp friends!