Saturday, August 25, 2012

Morning Fog - by Tyler Wells

This summer was my first year working on staff at Camp Gilead.  Words cannot describe how much of a blessing the last eight weeks have been.   I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with such a great team, and the chance to see the Lord work in so many ways. 

Before I started working at Camp Gilead, I had a fairly negative perception of fog.  It keeps you from seeing what you want to see, and usually when it’s foggy it’s cold and damp outside.  Being at Camp Gilead has changed that for me.  Despite the negative effects of fog, over the years, the staff has noticed a pattern.  In Carnation, fog in the morning is a good thing.  It means the sun is going to come out and burn the fog away and leave us with a beautiful and sunny afternoon.  For some reason, that’s just what always happens…every time!  Looking back on the summer, it was interesting how excited we all would get when we saw fog in the morning.   

There were times when my circumstances seemed a little foggy throughout the different weeks of camp.  God brought challenges my way and there were times that I couldn’t see what was going on.  Through those challenges, God taught me that I really need to rely on His strength and the encouragement of my amazing coworkers to stand firm, even when things started to get foggy.  It was through some of the foggiest moments that the Lord was shining His radiant light through to reach the hearts of my campers.  Getting through those difficult or foggy times, and being able to look back and see all the ways God was working all along is so encouraging to me. 

I am learning that just as we rejoice in the morning fog that leads to a sunny afternoon, we should also rejoice in our trials, which lead to being able to see God work through them and cause noticeable growth in our lives and the lives of others.   


Tyler Wells

Counselor – Cabin 14

Monday, August 13, 2012

Encouraging - by Kayla Emme

Sometimes at night before bed I will ask my girls to sum up the entire day in one word.  Well, the word I'd use to sum up all of last week would be "encouraging." 

So many things have been said and done this past week that just uplifted my soul.  Laughter and smiles are two of my most favorite things in the world and the Lord blessed me last week with the most smiley, giggly cabin.  I don't think I went one day without at least one of my girls hugging me with a huge smile on their face!

Singing in chapel is probably one of the most encouraging parts of the day.  Just hearing all the voices sing praise to our great God is so inspiring.  Every once in a while there will be a chorus where only the campers sing and when that happens a surge of pure joy and adoration just overwhelms me.  "Shout to the Lord all the earth let us sing, power and majesty praise to the King.  Mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of Your Name!"  Knowing that God is there and hears our prayers and praises is an incomparable feeling.

But Friday night in the Victory Circle ... that is the pinnacle of inspiration and encouragement at Camp Gilead.  Week after week I see new faces fill those concrete slabs and gaze with tear-filled eyes into the fire and week after week I'm comforted and blessed by listening to such young voices make promises to God that will forever change their life.  Many times kids come to camp with these big burdens or heartbreaking stories and it seems as if there is not joy or happiness in the world for the upcoming generations.  But when a child of God stands in that circle and calls on God for victory in their life, a new hope is born!

So, although usually a week sum up is supposed to be only a word, I have to add a bonus word!


Through all the encouraging and inspiring things that have happened this week, I'm able to look at God's works and have hope for the next generation of heroes of the faith!

Kayla Emme
Camp Gilead Counselor

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mountains, Valleys & Glue by Sara Gardner

"Ask and it will be given to you, and you will find, knock and the door will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8

Camp is a place of dependence.  It is here that we must rely most heavily on each other.  It is also here that I feel God is most benevolent in giving us those "mountain top" moments.  Or to phrase it better , it is here that we are most willing to let our hearts experience these moments.  Even though there are days when we are not willing to ask, not willing to seek, and not willing to knock, God is still waiting to give, still waiting to reveal and still waiting to open the door. 

The funny thing is, the more that is asked of you, the more you have to ask of the next person.  This is why camp is a place of dependance.  The more a camper tires you and tests your patience, the more you need that encouragement from the next staffer, and the more you need that time with God. 

We, as a staff, are the binding glue that holds the tools together that God uses to carve away at each camper's heart. 

I have seen some tough campers in my short days here, and it is often difficult to hold together.  Because the demands of us are great, our demands are even greater.  Yet no matter what our demand, God will still give, He will still reveal and He will still open the door.

You see, camp is not a place of mountain top moments just because God decided to let them happen more frequently here.  These moments happen because people only come here if they are willing to risk the moments in the valley.  A moment in the valley is the beginning of a mountain climb.  Each step you takes you closer to God and anything in His will, he will surely give you.  One day, you may realize and look back to realize that you are standing on a mountain top of blessings that God has given you.  Everyone that you asked for, however demandingly, was given to you without hesitation. 

If you ask, it will be given you, if you seek, you will find and if you knowck the door will be opened.  So I challenge you, ask for a mountain top, but be ready for the climb! 

Sara Gardner
Camp Gilead Counselor In Training (CIT)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

God is MOVING! - by Jessica Cooper

God is moving!  He is here at camp and changing lives!  Campers are turning to Him and giving up their lives for His sake.  Struggling individuals are trusting HIM and letting go of entrapments.  Those who have walked away or gotten distracted ar falling at His feet and worshipping their Creator once again!  Kids are surrendering areas of weakness for HIS glory!

A lot of campers come from really tough lives at home, but they are putting their faith in Christ.  They are not asking God to change the situation, but to change their attitude towards it.  Lifetime commitments are being formed.  Lasting friendships are created.

God's followers are creating bonds that may last a lifetime.  We worship HIM throughout the day:  in chapel, while waiting in line, on hikes, while eating lunch and when we go to sleep!  Encouragement is on the lips of every staff member.  I'm sure there is always someone praying.  I can look around and witness God's glory, love and power.

Troubles do arise though.  When 12 girls spend all the time together (eating, sleeping, playing, etc) drama will surely begin!  But God uses the strengths one has to build up the weaknesses of others.  Forgiveness is asked.  Lessons are learned.  Friendships are strengthened and life goes on. 

Life at camp is incredible.  Nothing can compare to all that happens here.  It's a time where you are encouraged, challenged, strengthened, enlightened and get to have FUN!!!  I promise you after just a week at camp your life will never be the same. 

Jessica Cooper
Camp Gilead Counselor

Friday, July 27, 2012

TRUST - by Joey Parkinson

You are Going to Be a Great Counselor … JUST TRUST THE LORD!

At the beginning of last week and at the beginning of this week I felt like I was failing as a camp counselor. I felt that I was not doing enough for the campers and that my best was not good enough. Satan has a way of getting you down on yourself telling you that you are not good enough and that you are failing. At the beginning of this summer one of my fellow counselors encouraged me to trust the Lord. It seemed so simple to just trust the Lord… Duh. But as my plans fall apart, as I fail, as I try my best I will fail. But the beauty of this week was that God has been telling me that in my weakness he is strong and that I should just TRUST him. It seems like such a simple idea trusting Someone who we have never ever seen!  The biggest thing that I am learning to remember is that God has everything in control.   

There is no other place that I would rather be then right where God wants me.  That place  is definitely right here at Camp Gilead. It just takes a little TRUST in Him. Well, actually, it take a lot of TRUST and a lot of prayer and faith in the promises that God has given us.  I am so happy to see God change the lives of not only the campers that come to camp this summer, but also the staff as God works.

To God be the Glory Forever

Joey Parkinson - Counselor Cabin 16

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Child Like Faith - Katie Powell

I was sitting in chapel this last Wednesday night in between songs when I overheard this conversation between two junior campers. We had just finished singing the song “Nails.”

#1:  What does it mean when it says, ‘the nails in your hands’? It can’t possibly mean they ACTUALLY put NAILS through Jesus’ hands, can it?

#2: No, that can’t be right. He hung on the cross by ropes tied around his wrists and feet.
#1: Oh, that’s right.

It was at this point that I leaned forward and witnessed the shock of comprehension on their faces as I was explaining that they really DID put nails through his hands and feet. They were silent for the next few minutes as they realized that their sins were what had forced Christ to have real nails put all the way through His hands and feet, to hang until He died. I was surprised how easily 3rd to 5th graders were able to understand the things they were being taught, and they continued to surprise me all week long.

When we were discussing the fall of Achan from Joshua 7 in cabin Bible time, they were less astounded than the 6th to 8th graders at the fact that Achan was stoned to death for his sin. After all, the Bible does say that “the wages of sin is death”. The weeks with the youngest grades are often the weeks of camp that teach me the most, even as a staff member. I learn more from the campers themselves about taking the Bible at its word, with a simple child-like faith, than I could ever learn from chapel. This is why the younger grades of camp are my favorites. I have the opportunity to be the counselor of Cabin 1, which will be full of eleven 4th to 6th grade girls. I am so incredibly excited to see what adventures and lessons God has in store not only for the campers, but also for me.

This last Friday, sitting around the campfire in the victory circle listening to kids share their spiritual decisions to read their Bibles more, or to respect their parents, or shyly sharing with the camp that they had joined the family of God- those were the moments that keep drawing me back to camp. This is my 3rd summer on staff here at Camp Gilead, and each year I am amazed at the ways He is able to use the staff to witness to children with varied situations, ages, and home lives.

I look forward to seeing how God is planning on working through the rest of the staff this summer, as we have 4 weeks of campers left to take under our wings and minister to. Please continue to keep us in your prayers for wisdom, energy, patience, and kindness towards these children.

Katie Powell
High School Staff- Counselor in Training

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  -Joshua 1:9

Sunday, July 22, 2012

God's Messages to Us - Courtney Edwards

Hello! My name is Courtney Edwards, and I am the counselor of Cabin 10 this summer at Camp Gilead.

I love seeing how God sends us messages sometimes. He does it in such apparent and ironic ways that it almost makes me laugh at how blunt God is. This weekend at my church my pastor gave a sermon on Jonah and the commission that God gave him. 

Jonah 1:1-2 “The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’”

The whole sermon was on how God speaks to everyone, and why God wants us to be missionaries. It’s just funny how the one thing that I’m learning at Camp is to serve God in everything I do, and then I listen to a sermon on God’s commission to Jonah and how God also gave us the Great Commission. We are to obey God and follow His command by being godly people and being a light in the world.

At camp I have learned how important it is to share the gospel with the kids who are at camp, even if some of them have heard it a million times before. You never know how God could use you in the life of just one person. We are to obey God by reaching the people of this world with the Bible and the Word of God.

A lot of times at camp I get discouraged because maybe I didn’t have any kids in my cabin that stayed after chapel to talk to me about becoming a Christian, or because I didn’t drastically change the life of a strayed camper. I have to remember that God uses me even in the little changes, and as long as I speak God’s word, He will use me. And that is such a comfort for me to hear at camp when I feel like I can’t get through to all my campers.

Courtney Edwards
Counselor - Cabin 10


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Curve Balls - Anna Heins

As a 2nd year counselor, I have a bit more experience with cabins, but that doesn't mean I have everything down.  There will always be "curve balls" that the Lord throws at us to stretch us.  This week has certainly been one of those "curve balls!" 

I love working with younger kids and was definitely excited for the youngest group of the summer.  Each cabin is of course different but there are always things that come with junior campers - them adoring you, always wanting to hold your hand, copying everything you do ...

Monday morning came and I was so excited to meet my group of campers.  After they arrived, it didn't take long to see that my cabin dynamics were very different.  I had a couple of older girls, a few younger ones, and a couple that would have been more than happy to take my place as counselor for the week!

Though it's been a little tough, it has been cool to see them bond together as a cabin.  At cabin Bible time, the older girls mostly read but that's ok because the younger ones were learning from their example!

Unlike what the world is teaching the younger girls are unconsciously teaching the older girls to enjoy being young and to not grow up too fast.  They are all enjoying the activities and each learning about God in their different way.

Though it's not what I was expecting, I am praying that God will use me to teach these girls more about Christ.  God will work through any group and He has been working in my cabin.  They have been learning to apply the story of Joshua to their lives.  It's been such an encouragement to see these girls learn how to rely on God to be strong & courageous in their everyday lives!

Anna Heins
Camp Gilead Counselor - Cabin 7

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Life"guarding - Nathan Fitzmaurice

I have learned so much this summer...even though some of it hasn't been easy!

My name is Nathan and I'm the lifeguard at the Camp Gilead pool.  This summer I have learned that I need to enforce the rules carefully or someone will risk injury.  It can be hard being the only lifeguard in charge because most times I am used to lifeguarding with others at a pool.  But now, I am the authority and the campers need to follow my directions.  I love to see all of their creativity and sillyness but when they misbehave it makes me sad and reminds that I need to do something so that their fun does not get out of hand.

Like most people, I don't enjoy disciplining and this past week was one of my first encounters with this.  I learned quickly how my parents must have felt whenever I disobeyed.  I also thought about how God must have felt when Adam and Eve sinned for the first time.  This perspective is so new to me.  It is not fun to have someone have to sit out of swimming because they weren't following directions. 

God wants the best for us and sometimes all we feel like doing is taking our life into our own hands and it ends up falling into dangerous waters.  It's then we have to realize again that we need Jesus.  And yet again, Christ jumps in and pulls us out.  He always comes back for us, no matter what we do.

Nathan Fitzmaurice
Camp Gilead Lifeguard

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pure Joy - by Jessica Cooper

I have never experienced a greater joy than to be overtaken by the power and love of the Lord. There is truly nothing like it. Here at Camp Gilead, these moments of splendor happen on a regular basis, at least for me. The Lord blessed me with an incredible cabin filled with 12 lovely ladies. I had no idea that I was capable of loving newfound friends so quickly. We built relationships, friendships and bonds that I pray will last a lifetime. It was my first week of being a counselor here at C+G, and I totally enjoyed all of it.

On Friday after morning chapel all of the camp spread out and had some silent solo time to reflect on the week, pray, read the Word, and just meditate on what we learned this week. Directly following, one of my campers came up to me and said, “Well, I was bored for part of it but the other half I made some decisions. I am going to try hard to live to glorify the Lord in all I do and work harder to please Him. Also I realized that this is the first time I have ever had true joy.  I just love camp! I am surrounded by strong Christians teaching me in the way I should go, wonderful friends, good food and all the activities are so much fun!! I don’t want to leave tomorrow!”

I was blown away! This came from the silent girl in my cabin, and it was like she read my mind perfectly! I felt the same way about Camp Gilead! The experience here literally is the best. I have been majorly encouraged by the testimonies and friendship of my fellow staff and the leaders. I have only spent three weeks here but it feels like months have gone by. We are a family. I feel so blessed to have 5 weeks left here at camp, and dread the day when I have to pack it all up. But God is good and is moving and changing lives at this camp. One of my favorite things here at chapel is to just stand in the middle of chapel and listen to the kids sing around me, praising the name of Jesus. It is one of the most beautiful sounds.
Jessica Cooper
Counselor - Cabin 0
Isaiah 55:12 says: "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

First Week Perfections - by Joey Parkinson

Howdy!  My name is Joey Parkinson and I am the counselor of cabin 16. To start I just want to say that this week has been amazing in every way. At the beginning of this year I had no idea that I would be sitting here in the lodge at Camp Gilead writing to all of you about how God has been working this last week in my life and in the life of my campers.  Last Saturday, after all of the family campers had left, we as counselors were finally able to move into our own cabins for the summer.  It seemed like I had waited forever, when reality it had only been two weeks (staff training and family camp) before we could move into our cabins. As I opened that cabin door it finally hit me.  This was MY cabin in which God had given me and over the next six weeks of camp I would be the counselor of THIS cabin.

It may seem like a small deal but I began to realize that I would be the counselor instead of the camper. Instead of me looking to the counselor for strength and help, these campers would be looking to me for guidance and to be their moral compass for the week.  At this point I realized how unprepared I was for camp to start. After all of  staff training I still felt inadequate in what God had called me to be this summer. 

At the beginning of this week I had so many preconceived notions about how God was going to use me. Boy was I wrong!  This first week as a counselor has been amazing and God has blessed me with a great group of junior high kids.  But the story of this week seems to be that in my weakness, God is the almighty God of the universe who controls all things, knows all things, and who has a plan for everything. So instead of First Week Perfections, the main theme of this Blog should be "God is in Control".

As I look toward the rest of this summer, I wish that I could have a pause button so that I would be able to savor each moment in which God has worked through me throughout this first part of the week. I am really looking forward to seeing God’s perfection in my weakness and how he works in not only me but the rest of the staff this summer :)

To Him Who Controls All Things – Jeremiah 29:11

Joey Parkinson
Counselor - Cabin 16

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reflections on Family Camp - by Tom Ruhlman

It was great to be back at Family Camp last week at Gilead!  I missed last year because of a missions trip to South Africa. Family Camp has been a major part of my life and the life of my whole family.  Tim Baker brought a wonderful series on the book of Leviticus and the sacrifices, the priesthood, and the Day of Atonement.  Sounds boring?  You obviously weren't there, because he made the text vivid!  Were were right in the Tabernacle with him standing before the altar, and could almost smell the barbeque. 

What I enjoyed the most was to see all of the pastors with their people.  Jim Saunders from Connell, Jim Mailloux from Richland, Doug Johnston from Redmond, Tim Baker from Salem, and me from Shoreline.  I would encourage all of the pastors to bring a group of their people out to camp next year and live with them for 6 days.  You will learn a lot about them, and they will learn a lot about you!

The preaching, worship, good food (with no cooking or cleanup), and all the fun might be "just what the doctor ordered" for a church family.  What a joy to meet people from so many different churches!  Becky and I attended the first Family Camp at Gilead in 1974.  We had no children!  We continued to attend, year after year with all eight of our children, only missing a couple times over the last 38 years.  The impact on me, my wife, my children, and my church has been gargantuan!  Church members, why don't you have your church pay your pastor's way to Family Camp next year!  And don't count it as part of his vacation!  You will all reap the benefits of a week at Family Camp with your pastor.  His wife and children will appreciate it too! 

 If you are considering having a family reunion, why don't you plan for the week of the Fourth of July at Camp Gilead and reserve a row of rooms for your families?  I have seen that happen many times over the years.  Inexpensive compared to hotels and resorts, and great fellowship, food, fishing, swimming, preaching, and worship.  There are children's programs both morning and evening.

In Christ,

Tom Ruhlman
Pastor, Tabernacle Baptist Church - Shoreline WA

P.S. Oh, and by the way, it was also nice to see my daughter Kimberly, and son-in-law, Josh, and my grandkids Josiah, Luke, Noah, Reuben, Judah, Laura, and ? on the way.

Monday, July 9, 2012

waiting for it - by Kimberly Mallory

Have you ever had to wait for something?  Of course you have.  We wait in line, we wait for lunch, we wait for Christmas to come.  But remember the feeling of waiting to go somewhere so exciting ... like camp? 

I can remember as a little girl waiting for my week of camp.  I had already spent the last few months mentally packing because I knew I wouldn't be allowed to REALLY start packing until it was closer.  I had also mentally rehearsed all the possible variations of the first day of camp.  The arrival, meeting the counselor, meeting the new cabin mates, what activities we might do, what bunk I might sleep on and the list goes on. 

The night before camp was almost unbearable.  To actually KNOW you'd be leaving for camp in the morning didn't allow for much uninterrupted sleep.  I would wake up several times in the night hoping I hadn't missed my alarm, wondering if I had forgotten something in my already packed suitcase and rethinking yet again about just what outfit I would wear that first day of camp. 

Finally, the alarm went off and it was time to get up.  Then it seemed that time seemed to drag on in super slow motion.  I had already gotten dressed, gotten ready and eaten breakfast in record time ... and it still wasn't time to leave yet!  How was it possible that on school mornings there was NEVER enough time to get ready???

As the moments sluggishly passed, it was finally time to get things into the car and begin the 45 minute drive to Camp Gilead.  My heart and stomach almost couldn't handle the excitement.  Whether it was Family Camp or Kids Camp, it didn't matter.  The excitement was still the same.  As we left our neighborhood, we would pass familiar landmarks that indicated we were THAT MUCH CLOSER!

Then came those last few miles.  I can still remember almost feeling sick to the point of ... well ... you know.  As we grew nearer and nearer we would call out those landmarks ... the bend in the road, that one sign, the dairy farm, and then a few last turns before we would finally "see the Camp Gilead sign."  There were always more turns than I would remember, and the Camp Sign FINALLY appeared after making one last turn! 

If it was family camp ... my siblings and I would compete to see who could "see it and say it first."  If it was kids camp, I would inform my friends coming to camp with me about the "long standing tradition of seeing & saying it first." 

There was the Camp Gilead sign, and we were ENTERING THE CAMP!  My nerves were on end, I was so excited!  There were the staff!  Some familiar faces ... and some NEW ones!  Who were they?  Who would MY counselor be? had finally arrived! 

As we got out of the car ... it was all I could do to just RUN to Pops Inn to register and find out all of the answers to my questions.  But ... I definitely couldn't do that.  Definitely not cool.  So ... I calmly and casually got out of the car and began one of the most fun and looked forward to weeks of my life.

And THAT my friends is what is happening to many many campers this morning.

Welcome Day Campers and Junior High Resident campers!

Kimberly Mallory
Camp Gilead Program Director

Thursday, July 5, 2012

HELLO ... DAY CAMPERS! - Chantel Jones

HELLO DAY CAMPERS!!! This will be my 2nd year of having the privilege of working with Day Campers at Camp Gilead. I absolutely love working with young kids and working in Camping Ministry. I love the way young kids have a thirst for learning and the capability to understand and know our Personal Savior.

This summer we will be having 5 Day Camps and over 70 Day Campers who will be coming out to camp this summer. Seventy plus campers will be hearing the Good News about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am honored and blessed to be a part of this wonderful ministry and can’t wait to see what the Lord will do in the lives of these young people.

Each week we will have a youth group from the area that will come to serve as our Day Camp counselors, please be praying for them as they prepare to come and serve the Lord for a week at Camp Gilead. It is always fun to see how each group works differently, but how we all have the same desire and goal, to make the Lord known to these kids.

Please be praying for the campers and that staff as this summer continues on, that the workers would speak clearly and that the kids would have open hearts to hear it and be able to understand how much the Lord truly loves them and His desire to be in a relationship with them all.

God is good! And I pray He does a mighty thing this summer. Thank you for all your prayers. God bless!
Chantel Jones
Camp Gilead Day Camp Director

Sunday, July 1, 2012

differences ... are good! - by Josh Pagel

What an opportunity I have been given this summer! This is my second summer here at Camp Gilead and I am so blessed to be serving as program staff, and taking on a more significant leadership role for this summer. Although I am still so excited to see campers grow in Christ and see what God has in store for all of them this year, much of my focus will be with guiding and leading the guys staff, while at the same time growing and learning with them.
To me it so incredible the staff and specifically the men on staff that God has provided. We are all so unique and our circumstances as to how we got here differ, we have different personalities, likes and dislikes. This could sound like a recipe for disaster to some, and it might be if it is not for one BIG thing that bonds us all, and that bond is the most powerful thing in the universe. That bond is the God of the universe, the creator of all things holy and good. We have the bond of serving, worshipping, and being called by the same God. A God that can break down barriers, and soften the hearts of the staff so that we can glorify him in all that we do.
I see so many parallels between the guys that are here on staff this summer and the disciples Jesus called. He called fisherman, tax collectors, and men from all different segments of society, each bringing their own strength and weaknesses to the ministry of Jesus. That is exactly what is going on here at Gilead this summer, different men, being called by God to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ. When as a staff we put our differences aside, love one another, and let God take control, we can witness eternity changing for so many campers.
For His glory,
Josh Pagel
Program Staff 

Friday, June 29, 2012

the Gilead Aimee Parkinson

Another summer filled with campers coming to Christ, an amazing staff, lack of sleep and immense spiritual growth. I’m so excited that the Lord opened up yet another summer that I get to spend at Camp Gilead. I had no plans to originally work at camp, because I was graduating from college in May. However the Lord had different plans and opened the door for me to be here again this summer. I am so excited to be the girls head counselor and be able to pour into their lives this summer.
Last week and into this week we have had staff training. It has been so cool to see how the Lord has brought an amazing group of people together as a team. Even just last night we had a chance as just a girl’s college staff to hangout and spend time together. There is just something about not having the guys around, but just the girls sharing and being open and honest with one another. It was cool to just have a time of bonding and building relationships with each other for the summer. We shared about fears, excitements, perceptions and how we could be a support team to each other throughout the summer. We shared prayer requests about burdens on our hearts and prayed for each other. Even after we were done meeting and praying none of the girls wanted to leave, but we just all hung out laughing and telling stories to each other late into the night.  It was such a blessing to my heart to hear people share and uplift each other as we chatted about the summer ahead.

One of the biggest things for a summer of ministry is to have a strong community of people who are there for one another. Each and every one has different strengths and weaknesses that we are all able to lean on and utilize as a community. Especially as exhaustion sets in and spiritual warfare is more prominent it is key to have people encouraging one another and lifting each other up. It is a beautiful picture of how each person has a uniquely different personality, but how the Lord puts together an amazing team to compensate for each other with different strengths and weaknesses.

I am anticipating an amazing summer and praying for the Lord to bring many campers to Christ this summer. I am also excited to pour into the girl staff as the Lord stretches and grows each one of them this summer. The unity of us as a body to keep each other accountable and love each other is so important for all us staff as we pour into many students who will be coming to camp each and every week.

Continue to pray for us as a staff that the Lord will be working in each of our lives that we will be able to continue to build a strong community and that the Lord would use each and every one for his glory this summer as we pour into the lives of the campers as we share Christ’s love. Pray that the Lord would be working on the campers hearts who will be coming to Camp this summer and that the Lord will do amazing things in their lives through their week spent here at summer.

God has some amazing things planned for the summer and I’m so blessed to be a part of it. I’m stoked to see all that the Lord will do as he uses all the staff this summer!

Serving an Awesome Savior,
Aimee Parkinson
Girls Head Counselor

1 Cor 12:25-27         . . . .… there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 

1 Th 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Many times and in many places, change comes slowly. It seeps through the cracks of programs and steadily rises in relationships like the tide. Warning, I’m about to go super geek here for a second. High School science textbooks teach something called the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle. For the historians out there, this has nothing to do with the certain fiery disaster of the Heisenberg blimp in the 1930’s. Let me explain the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. You cannot accurately predict the location and speed of an electron in atomic orbit WITHOUT affecting its path. Once you get close enough to observe the electron, you have already disturbed its flight, altering its route with your energy. You have physically changed its future.

Many ministries change over the course of time, and in my short 27 years of life, I have seen many ministries lose their effectiveness in culture, wash out their identity in mediocrity and meander in marginal endeavors. Camp Gilead is a sequestered hillside retreat tucked between the Snoqualmie River and a coniferous forest. Since 1948, Campers feel appreciated, valued, accepted and most importantly, loved. There is a great need for children to have a special place where they can be understood and taught. I have received and felt this love many, many times. I can’t help but think that God has used Camp Gilead in his sovereign tool belt in order to shape and fashion my story. I am one of the many people who would say it is a second home to me.

I have been challenged, encouraged, confronted and praised here at camp. The staff, much like an atomic scientist observing an atom, have gotten close enough to me to change my future. Camp has been a big part of my development. Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically, Psychologically, etc. My childhood pals included the Moyer boys and we spent many days running riot in the woods like the lost boys of Never Land; without all the tights and pixie dust. I have been first a family camper, a junior camper, a Jr. high camper and Sr. High camper. Yet, my appetite was only wetted by those experiences. I cut my teeth on ministry here, and God formed me as an adolescent staff member during the summers of 2003, 2004, and 2005. There have been long periods of interruption in my camp experience recently and in the past. I did not visit camp from the summer of 1996 to 2001, with the exception of one abbreviated week in 1999. Another withdrawal from camp came from 2005 to 2012. This most recent return or “homecoming” has been punctuated by a single thought—gratitude.

I am profoundly grateful for Camp Gilead’s impact in my life, as well as its faithfulness to the work God has given it to do. Yet, I can’t help but wonder about you, my friend. Have you ever been in a place where you have been close enough to someone that you changed their future in such a positive way? Have you been vulnerable and open, sharing with your fears with God? Have you taken time from the daily grind to magnify your heart and examine your spiritual condition lately? Is your heart a home you would welcome Jesus into? Let me encourage you to take a retreat, if possible, to Camp Gilead, and allow God to do what He wants to do with you at this remote location. He desires to love you from the inside-out, and to rewrite your future.

“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Hidden behind the cross,

John Lafferty
Program Staff 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

...and I'm back again!

It’s funny how God can make things work that you thought never could, and how He orchestrates things to work out exactly as they should. This is my third year on program staff at Gilead, and each time, the group has been comprised of very different individuals.
Each year I come to camp wondering how we’ll ever get through the summer with such opposite personalities working so closely together. And yet, every year, I’ve been amazed at how each person’s personalities and gifts mesh to be exactly what is needed for the summer. This summer is no different. In the weeks leading up to our arrival, I wondered how it would work, with seven program staff members ranging from twenty-one to twenty-seven years old, including introverts and extroverts, task-oriented and relationship-oriented personalities, detail-oriented and big-picture mindsets. And yet, just three days into staff training, I can already see how our differences show the amazing variety of God’s gifts.
Between us all, we have the skills and personality traits that will allow us to serve God in our positions this summer. We’ve got the detail people for making sure everything is organized and scheduled, and the social people for creating a great group atmosphere. It’s amazing how different we are, but how well we fit together. And one thing we all have in common is our sense of humor; we played a game at the Mallorys’ house last night which culminated in a several-minute-long bout of pure laughter that left us all with sore abs.

And this meshing, this wonderful God-given mix of traits that somehow enables us to do what is required of us this summer, occurs within the rest of the staff as well. In the college and high school staffs, the same variety of skills and preferences, worldviews and personalities come into play, and it’s awesome. God brings exactly who He wants to camp; He ensures that the people He chooses and the group He creates are equipped to serve His purposes.

God’s wisdom and providence are in evidence here already. He’s going to do (and is already doing) amazing work, and I’m so excited to see how He’ll use the myriad gifts He’s brought here. This summer is going to be amazing (:

Ali Williams
Girls’ High School Staff Leader

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

fire supplies ... getting ready!

We are just minutes away from some very excited program staffers to arrive!  Today marks the "official" start of summer camp ... training for program staff this week, training for college staff & CITs next week, then family camp and the following week is our first week of youth camp! 

You might think ... what is there to learn about being a camp counselor?  It's just hanging out with kids and building relationships right?  Talk about Jesus, play with them, a little canoeing and swimming and ... that's what they'll do all summer right?

These college and high school students that have devoted their summer to the Lord in service at Camp Gilead will be learning so much in the next few weeks.  If you think about all of the different "hats" they might wear during their week as a camp staff member ... ask a mom what she does all day!  Teacher, doctor, lawyer, judge, chef, friend, trash collector, accountant, housekeeper ... and the list could go on! 

These students will learn about all the activities at Camp Gilead as well as age characteristics of children, how to listen, how to teach a Bible lesson, how to manage a cabin of campers, how to lead a camper to Christ, how to deal with homesickness, ADD, bedwetting and a host of other camper related issues.  One thing they they may not anticipate learning about ... is themselves.  These next few weeks will be days of growth together, building relationships with other staff as well as being taught important truths from the Word of God. 

Our staff pastor, Jim Mailloux, will help these staffers look at their lives and begin to prepare for their ministry and leadership this summer and how their relationship with the Lord has to come first before they can give to kids. 

Well...the first car has arrived so I must be going.  Please pray for Camp Gilead, the staff and those teaching these next few weeks!  To God be the glory ... great things HE has done!!!

Kimberly Mallory
Program Director

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

...just stirring the coals of the fire!

Hello from the Camp Gilead Victory Circle!  It's been QUITE some time since we've met here ... and brrr... it IS a little cold right now.  We're going to attempt to get THIS going (blog) again this year ... because I do realize that there are some that like to come to the fire every now and then! 

Currently here at Gilead we just finished up our 2nd annual 5K benefitting camper scholarships!  It was a great success and we are excited to see who the Lord brings to camp this summer as a result of so many participating in this exciting event.  Maybe some of THOSE campers will stand around a campfire someday and give thanks to the Creator of the Universe for saving them from eternal separation from Him.  All because someone ran a 5K ... you just never know how the little things in life matter! 

What little things are you doing for Him today?  They might go unnoticed by the masses, but in eternity - it matters!  Holding your tongue when your child asks you that same question ... again.   Diligently doing what your parents told you to ... even when it's not really what YOU want to be doing.  Obeying, listening, trusting, seeking, praying, giving, reading, loving, caring ... all of these things DO matter.  Even if no one notices.  God does! 

It amazes me how many people over the years have given to the ministry of Camp Gilead ... and may not have even had the privilege of knowing how God used THEIR gifts, THEIR money, THEIR time to bring so many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  It is my prayer that through this blog and other means ... that a window into the ministry of Camp Gilead will be opened.  For some of you ... this is a beloved place of your past.  You made a decision here, you had the privilege of witnessing others make those decisions, you invested your summer here.  For others ... you might just be wondering, "What exactly happens at Camp Gilead?" 

Join us here at the Victory Circle this summer ... you'll see.  It's God's work.  It's incredible. 

Kimberly Mallory
Camp Gilead Program Director