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  • Gera Schultz

Summer Camp was an [un]Equal Experience

Updated: Feb 26

When adults drive into Sullivan Hills Camp, they marvel at God’s beauty, soak in the atmosphere of peace, and look forward to fellowship.

What do our campers see? Do they see a world of opportunities? Are they thinking about the fun they’ll have with their friends, old and new?

They probably don’t think much about faith, but at Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, we do.

This summer almost 1,300 campers, young, old, and everyone in between, participated in programs designed to engage them physically, mentally, and faithfully.

Every activity, from the opening big group games to S’morgasbord (a campfire celebration with music, skits, and...s’mores), offers the opportunity to move their bodies, make new friends, learn and practice social skills, and live out their faith.

Jessica, mom of an elementary camper says “Our daughter connects to God through the songs and worships at camp. Her favorite songs are ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Radical God’.”

And of course, every song is taught with movement so campers can worship with their whole bodies!

This year, our campers learned about how we are loved from beginning to end by the Holy Trinity. Revelation 22:13 says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

When a camper enters any of our sacred spaces, they feel welcome and loved. They know they belong and each moment at camp is crafted to bring their faith alive.

When campers first arrive at camp, they might be a little reserved and closed off. The Summer Ministry Team is trained to lead discussions and activities that put campers at ease, encouraging conversation and involvement.

You may look a photo and see campers with dirty faces and sticky hands, our team sees God’s children with hearts full of love and belonging.

Naomi says, “My camper really opened up about sharing his feelings about God and Jesus as camp went on! By the end he was volunteering to pray and answering questions in Bible study!” What a great reminder of the power of studying and worshiping together.

Now that the bunks have been cleaned and the equipment has been stored, we look ahead and prepare to welcome campers back, reflecting on the laughter and stories from this year as we lean into God’s plan for 2024.

It’s all thanks to you. Your continuous generosity brings faith alive at camp.

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