Thursday, August 15, 2013

Camp Kids - Katie Carlson

Year after year, people come to Camp Gilead to serve the Lord.  Maybe they come for a summer or two, building relationships with campers who remember them from the summer before.  Those that are with the ministry year round are those kids that live here...the staff kids.

Each summer, campers come to camp and watch these camp kids grow up.  They grow up, year after year, and the campers watch them serve God and continue in their walk with the Lord. 

Some skeptics might say these little camp kids are too young or too immature to be a light to others.  Jesus himself says, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  Matthew 19:14  He planned this because this is their ministry!

Do these camp kids have an impact on the campers that come to camp?  Well, they have made an impact on me!  Seeing those Mallory boys run around camp, respect authority and totally be in love with God is so cool to see.  What a powerful way to see God's love ... through the eyes of a child!

Katie Carlson
LIT - Leader In Training 

Lessons from a Broken Laundry Basket - Sara Gardner

At camp, people often expect God to be working in our lives in those "spiritual moments" like chapel, cabin Bible times, devotions, or testimonies.  Those are the moments we worry about and feel so ill-prepared for and yet I've noticed that God likes to use seemingly pointless things to teach us just as often as those designated times. 

On High School Staff, sometimes those "spiritual moments" seem few and far between, but God uses and teaches us all the same.

One day while I was in the kitchen trying to load dirty laundry into a broken laundry basket (which I had already tried to duct tape into something useable four years ago) I had a thought.  Why don't I just ask for new laundry baskets?  And as simply as that, there was a set of brand new laundry baskets waiting in the kitchen that Sunday. 

Laundry baskets may seem insignificant, but so do many of the things we need everyday.  No matter how trivial, God can give us everything we need if we just ASK HIM.  We don't need to worry about making the little we have work, we don't need to rely on "broken laundry baskets," because God is just waiting for us to ask Him for something better.  He has everything we need, if only we ask!

"Ask and it will be given to you;  seek and you will find;  knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives;  he who seeks find;  and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  Matthew 7:7-8

Sara Gardner
CIT - Counselor In Training

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Simple Gospel - Craig Johnston

This last week ranks as one of the best weeks of camp that I have been part of.  It was amazing and refreshing to watch the Holy Spirit's convicting power.  The gospel is both simple and powerful.

In my life, I prayed the sinner's prayer at a young age, but I never repented from my sins.  I continued living in sin, thinking myself to be saved.  It was not until I repented and turned away from my sin surrendering every part of myself to follow God, that I was saved and received salvation.  The change in lifestyle was instant and dramatic.  This week, I had many campers in my cabin who were in the same spot I once was.  Thinking themselves to be saved, they lived in sin.  Though they professed Christ with their mouths, they lived as though He had not given them a commandment to obey.

The speaker this week had good messages and gave many practical ways to follow God after camp.  The camper's learned that each of us have broken God's law by sinning and because God is just, holy and good, He will give us exactly what we deserve...hell.  It isn't until a person comes to an understanding that because of their sins, they deserve this punishment that they can repent unto salvation.  Some campers were convicted, some prayed and surrendered to God this week and others said they would when they got home. 

It is truly an honor to see the Holy Spirit work in people, both saved and unsaved.  After seeing what happened in these camper's lives this last week, I am excited to see what else God will bring in the last week of camp. 

Craig Johnston

Sunday, August 11, 2013

From camper to staff - by Nicole Reams

Hello! My name is Princess Nicole Reams! I am an Assistant Cook this summer here at Camp Gilead. This is my first summer on staff after being a camper for the last seven summers. I am so excited to have chosen this year to be on staff for The King's Quest!                                                                                                                     
God put it on my heart after my last summer as a camper to apply to be on staff. I wasn’t sure what position I wanted to apply for, I just knew that I needed to be a part of Camp Gilead in some way because I have never been able to picture my summers without camp. One thing I was afraid of when applying was the adjustment from being a camper to a staff member. I didn’t know if I was going to like it, or be ok with being away from family all summer. It was a big step in my life that I didn’t know if I was ready for. I realized though that even while having to deal with the adjustment of being on staff, I now have an amazing opportunity to be a light in the camper’s lives who used to be just like me. That aspect of being on staff excited me a lot.

When I arrived for training week, I had no idea what to expect. It instantly hit me that I was now on staff at Camp Gilead! I was excited, nervous, and worried all at the same time. God, to no surprise, provided me with instant friendships with the staff members, and the ability to re connect with those I already knew.

I have been at Camp Gilead for 6 weeks now and it has been the most amazing experience I could ever be blessed to be a part of. God has been surprising me with my abilities to interact with the campers, and to be able to put myself on the outside of being a camper and setting an example for those who are experiencing camp in the way I used to.   Each of the speakers that have come to camp this summer have been a huge light in my life. Their messages have strengthened my relationship with God and have given me a lot of encouragement for this summer to be the best that I can be for the staff and campers of Camp Gilead, and most importantly, for the Lord. I have realized that it is going to be really hard to head home in the next week. This summer has gone by so fast but has been a blessing in the midst of it all. There is no other place on earth I would rather have spent my summer than here at Camp Gilead.
I came to Camp Gilead this year hoping to strengthen my relationship with God, and to find out what my purpose was for God leading me here on staff this summer. After these past couple of weeks, I have felt like I am beginning to discover that purpose. I am here to not only discover myself, but to serve God in whatever way he needs me. He isn’t going to guarantee that there won’t be struggles, because their will be, but in the end I will realize God’s purpose for each and every one of those struggles.  

My heart has been so touched by the campers I meet each week, and the staff that have become my family. I am so blessed to be here this summer and I can’t wait for what God has in store for me for the rest of the summer! I hope that when I return back home, that I will continue to have the encouragement that I am able to receive here at camp to bring others around me to Christ. My future is in God’s hands and I can only hope that that future will involve Camp Gilead!

Nicole Reams
Assistant Cook

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Sharpest Blade - by Megan Haskins

“The Word of God is the sharpest blade, better than what any man has ever made. When the battle rages I can overcome with the Word of God on the tip of my tongue.”

This is the chorus that is sung over, and over, and over, and over, and over again in the morning and evening chapels this summer. It has become habitual to run up to the stage to lead motions to this song time and time again, until this week…Thursday night of Teen #3 camp.

There are large “giants” in my life that I battle almost hourly. I am constantly being told lies…that I am not good enough…that I am not pretty enough…skinny enough…smart enough…or the most common one, which is that I ate too much. Craig and I had just gotten back from a date night out where we classically indulged in good Mexican food, followed by a special treat – my favorite – a peanut butter Oreo milkshake! I returned back to camp only to find myself feeling miserable, giving into the lies that I was being fed. My thoughts spiraled downward to the point of feeling inadequate as a head counselor, on program staff, and a leader to my girls. I wanted to go back to my trailer and curl up…until I heard my name over the walkie-talkie. I had just been told (very last minute) that I would be sharing my testimony in chapel that night! I felt unprepared and ESPECIALLY inadequate at this point. How could I share my story and give all the glory to God during an extremely weak moment? But then I thought of King David and how God used him despite his downfalls.

Then the music video began, and I almost had to drag myself up there to lead motions.

“The Word of God is the sharpest blade, better than what any man has ever made. When the battle rages I can overcome with the Word of God on the tip of my tongue.”

I almost had to walk out the front side door during the song, for I was so convicted. Who knew that God could use this children’s song (with cheesy motions included) to tap at my heart? I needed to run to Scripture and I needed it badly. My mind was instantly flooded with verses I knew, such as Psalm 139:13-15, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” And Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

God used this song to prepare me for my testimony. Every word I spoke was NOT from me. I relied heavily on the recent Scripture that had come to mind to express God’s grace and goodness. I was able to be vulnerable and transparent even though I felt weak and frail.

The Word of God IS the sharpest blade and I need to use it as a crutch, as my safety, and as my weapon for defense against destructive thoughts. I am reminded of my inner beauty and my outward service towards others and God, as well as my adequacy here at Camp Gilead as program staff. God has and can use me through my weakest moments, such as sharing my testimony while personally being under attack.
Megan Haskins
Girls Head Counselor


The Sounds of Camp - Pastor Phil Perry

It has been my privilege this week to be included at camp as this week’s pastor.  My responsibilities are primarily in the evening; so there is lots of time to watch and listen this week to the sounds of camp.  As I sit in the speaker’s house in the middle of camp, many sounds wander up to my ears.  The sound of kids splashing in the pool, daring each other to be more adventurous on the diving board and cheering on each new accomplishment like it was an Olympic moment.

I hear squeals of laughter from the kids sliding down the slip and slide. And the roll of skate boards and the bouncing off basketballs drifts up to my ears.

Down in the free time area I hear different sounds, gutter balls smacking into each other, tether balls being struck and soccer balls being kicked.  There is laughter and joy coming from many directions, and all of this without kids saying they are bored or wanting their iPods or to watch TV.

Over in the kitchen the staff is working hard and it is noisy in there.  Pots are banging, dishes are being washed and when the kids come in the servers are interacting with them.  Upstairs verses are being said as the kids eat their food and friendships are forming over. 

The most incredible of all the sounds is from chapel.  Over 100 voices raised in prayer and worship before our God.  They love the fun songs in chapel with all of the motions and great favorite songs of camp about Platypus and Woodpeckers and Creation; but they are just as passionate to sing songs about God’s Greatness and Holiness.  You should hear the excitement and joy that comes from those young voices, oh that we adults would learn from these kids how to praise the Almighty God…

Life is in full bloom at camp and the sounds are filled with that life.  Some sounds don’t come to my ears; but I know they fall upon the ears of our Heavenly Father.  Counselors spending one on one time with their kids; or leading them in Bible time after breakfast and Devotions at night before they drift off to sleep.  The sound of the Holy Spirit working on a student’s heart drawing them to Himself.  While I may not hear those sounds, I know they are happening because when they come before me they are eager to hear from God’s word.  They are sitting on the edge of their seats, Bibles out and pens ready to write.  They ask me great questions after chapel and are so excited to learn about God and what He wants them to know. 

Today after chapel the students were asked to spend 30 minutes in quietness with God.  It was then so quiet on campus you could hear the birds singing and the trees squeaking as the wind gently nudged them.  So quiet that hopefully the students could hear the still small voice of God as He called to them.
Phil Perry - Pastor, Prairie Bible Fellowship, Yelm WA
Teen #3 Camp Gilead Pastor

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Perspectives - by Jessica Cooper

Time flies! I can’t believe it’s our second to last week here at C+G! It has been a marvelous summer filled with memories and such grand times. Last week during high school camp I was able to interact with the campers more than I am usually able to and remembered how fun it is to have a cabin full of girls. Last year when I was a counselor I was with my gals 23/7 and while sometimes it was tiring I loved it! Being on Program Staff this year has been quite a transition, I see the camp through completely new eyes. I see God using the little things such as cabin bible time as I walk about and take pictures, I see cabins bonding together over a meal as I dismiss to seconds, I see campers form friendships while sitting waiting for pop’s inn, I see teams grow together as they cheer for their team during tug of war, I see counselors pouring out God’s love on their campers, with smiles, cheers, hugs, encouragement, wise words, and so on. I love to just sit and watch them do the work of the Lord. Every single one of the counselors is working hard to show God’s love to each of these campers and they are doing a terrific job. God has been working in the lives of all who come to this place.
Jessica Cooper
Girls High School Staff Counselor

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Not always "easy" - by Anna Heins

I just finished up cleaning my cabin after a week of camp. This may sound perfectly normal, but it really wasn’t. Not the cleaning part, that is, but the cabin part. 

I am the day camp director and stepped up into the position of cabin counselor for
High School Camp week. I was nervous even though I was not totally unprepared for
the position, having spent two summers as a cabin counselor.
Preparation doesn’t always make it easy.  God showered his blessing upon me this past week.  Blessings don’t make it easy.  And the “regular” counselors were a great support.
Even with support, things are tough.
When we are weak then He is strong and God’s strength is visible to all.
“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Psalm 54: 4
God is the one who helped me through this week. When things were tough and
poignant memories came to mind, God was there as a steady shoulder to lean on.
When my campers were constantly by my side even to the point of ridiculousness,
God reminded me that each camper is a soul that needs Christ’s love. When I was
flailing down the slip’n’slide on my feet, I thanked the Lord for the moments of
laughter and fellowship with the campers.
“Come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For
the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of
the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.” Psalm 95:1-4
Anna Heins
Day Camp Director/High School Camp Counselor

Monday, August 5, 2013

On the Shoulders of Past Staff * by Nolan Cason

Greetings from Gilead!

My name is Nolan Cason, and I'm the counselor of cabin 15. This is my first year here on staff at Gilead. Actually, it's my first year here at all, and I'm enjoying this summer of service immensely. For those who don't know, we just finished up high school week here at Gilead. Simply put, it was a blast. We as counselors in particular enjoy high school week, not only because many of the normal stressors that comes with counseling are not present, but it can also be easier to relate to the kids and connect with them. Sure enough, that was the case for me this week. As a result, I walked away tremendously thankful to the Lord, not only because of the great week of fun that was had, but primarily because of the incredible ways that he worked in the lives of the campers.

One of the ways that high school camp is so special is found in the one-on-ones that the counselors have with the campers ( a one-on-one is a time reserved between one camper and their counselor just to talk, usually as a way to get to know one another, but also discuss questions or spiritual issues that the camper may be working through) . High schoolers can be incredibly open and vulnerable with us, in response to very little prodding. While younger campers may reach a level of openness with us during the week, and be willing to sit with us and discuss spiritual difficulties that they are having, lessons and concepts that God is teaching them, or simply be willing to talk about themselves for a certain length of time, many high school campers jump into these areas of discussion almost immediately into our conversations with them. I know that I wasn't the only counselor this week that was a bit overwhelmed when several of my campers opened up about some of the darkest areas of their lives within very brief times of sitting down.

As I thought on these conversations later on, I came to recognize the true team effort that camp is. In this case, the team extends beyond any one summer's staff, but it includes staff members from many years. If you are a former staff member, particularly a former counselor, at Camp Gilead, my colleagues and I owe you a tremendous thank you, not only for ourselves, but especially on behalf of the campers. The level of trust and respect shown by our campers towards us this week comes as a direct result of your efforts in the past. As you showed these campers Christ-like love, treating them warmly and kindly throughout their weeks of camp, they came to expect similar treatment from their counselors, and, as a result, have to come to trust us implicitly from day one. Their willingness to open up, to trust us, comes from the fact that you have laid the foundation for us through your efforts in the past. In truth, we stand as brothers and sisters in this work today, as seeds of love you sowed in the past we have reaped in the form of trust and vulnerability. You have helped campers conquer challenges they face in their lives today by putting in the time with them in the past. My fellow counselors and I are simply undeserving recipients of your past ministry, empowered by the Spirit to carry on what you have begun. Your efforts have given me another great reason amongst many others to finish this work strong in the final two weeks, as we work with 7th to 9th graders and 5th to 7th graders. Now, I can embrace the fact that I'm not only doing ministry for these kids' lives now, but am working to lay the foundation for the counselors of the future, as you did for me and my colleagues. Again, thank you so much.


In Him and through His love and power,
Nolan Cason, counselor of cabin 15

aka Nolan of House Cason, earl and lord paramount of the fifteenth holdfast, servant of the High King

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Still loving camp ... after 32 years! - Junior Camp Pastor Curt Jones

My experience with Camp Gilead began 32 years ago, in the summer of 1981.  By that time I had been a pastor at my church in Portland for about six months, and I brought a group of middle school kids for a week of camp.  Back then, Camp Gilead used volunteer adults for counselors, so I stayed for the week.  Since then, I have been camp pastor/speaker several times, and my family has been part of Family Camp for many of those years as well.  I have always had deep appreciation for Camp Gilead, for those who have led the ministry, the staff, counselors, and many others who are part of making camp happen every year.  I believe God has used Camp Gilead to have powerful influence in the lives of countless kids, teens and adults.
But, none of that history really matters too much when you are standing in front of a new group of 150 Junior Campers who are excited to be at Gilead for a week of camp!  One of the things I love about being a camp pastor for junior kids is the enthusiasm they show so readily.  They get excited about getting points, answering questions, acting out stories in Chapel, watching puppets, etc., and it shows.  More than that, most kids this age are also very responsive to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  They are not afraid to ask the questions that are on their hearts, nor are they afraid to stand up and go out to pray with their counselor when they feel that God is leading them to do so.  I am grateful for another opportunity to be part of that this year.
I am also thankful for all of those who work to produce a high quality camp for the kids.  I know that what I do in chapel is just a small part of all that makes up the camp experience.  I'm always impressed when I see how smoothly (at least as I see it from the outside) and seamlessly the program fits together in chapel.  There are skits, competitions, videos, worship, and all of it comes off without a hitch most of the time.  That takes a lot of work and planning behind the scenes, and a lot of cooperation together.  Beyond that, there are schedules to plan, facilities to care for, endless details to handle, and it always impresses me to see how it all comes together year after year, thanks to those who so skillfully lead the camp ministry.  I praise God for another opportunity to be part of what God is doing in kids' lives, and I praise God for all those who follow the call of God to serve at Gilead!
Junior Camp #2 Camp Pastor
Curt Jones

Having a Friend at Camp - by Toni Adame

Hey everyone! My name's Toni, and I'm the counselor of cabin 3 here a Camp G. Anyways I'm just going to tell you about an experience I had last Thursday afternoon.

            After dinner Tuesday evening I stopped by Kimberly's office to check my mailbox. In my box was a slip of paper that said,You're telling your testimony in Chapel Thursday night! I had been scheduled to share in two weeks, so I was a little confused. Later that day a staff member explained to me that one of the highschool staff wasn't able to speak, so she had been replaced with me. I didn't let myself stress out about fact I hardly thought about it until Thursday morning when I remembered I still needed to write out my testimony.

            As soon as my hour off came I grabbed my Bible, journal, pen, and headed to my one-on-one  with the girls' head counselor, Megan. For the next forty-five minutes we sat in the grass just past the entrance to the camp. By the end of that time all I had was a few bullet points scribbled on a piece of paper. Side note: Speeches, standing in front of crowds, and microphones really aren't my thing. I was so unprepared, and being unprepared in front of a lot of people is one of the most terrifying things ever! Just laying on the ground my throat started to do that thing where it gets dry and scratchy just before I start to cry. I could tell my eyes were filling with water. I hate crying. It makes me feel weak - it makes me feel vulnerable, so I tried to suck down the tears.

            Sitting there for a few seconds fighting with myself trying not to cry I finally just let it go (I know that sounds sappy, but try to bear with me). I didn't want to cry in front of anyone, but I knew that Megan was here because she wanted to help. She is the best person I could choose to be vulnerable with. I know that she's here to see me through the scary times, so I chose to be truthful about how terrified (notice the word terrified) I really was. At first I felt dumb, but I don't think God wanted me keep all my fears bottled up to suffer alone.

            So, I'm not really sure what it is I'm trying to say by telling you this story. Maybe just that it's so great to know there's a friend I can be vulnerable with. And at Camp there's so much constantly going on that I got to have those five minutes where I can say, I'm freaking out right now please pray for me! It's unhealthy for me to keep it all inside. I have trouble being completely open, but it's awesome when I find a friend who I know is there to pray and bring me cookies after Chapel when I'm finished telling my testimony.


Toni Adame
Counselor - Cabin 3

Camp: A Chance to Be a Kid - by Hannah Knight

This past week has shown me how important a camp such as Camp Gilead is important. Obviously before, I thought this was a wonderful camp but it took a situation this past week to really show how important it is to have a place where kids can learn about Christ as well as a safe place to just be a kid.
 At the beginning of the week I met this little girl and right off the back I knew that she was a quiet girl with an amazing heart. She seemed fine the first day, she was having fun and hanging with the rest of the other girls in the cabin. On Day two, Tuesday, she was paying attention in chapel and seemed so interested in everything that was being spoken about. It wasn’t until later that day during one of our activities that I learned why she was at Gilead. It was later in the afternoon and some of the other girls and I were playing handball, so I hadn’t noticed that she had gone off by herself. One of the LIT’s who was a part of my cabin this week, noticed and sat with her. I noticed her and saw she was crying and ran over. Between the sobs I learned that her mother had sent her and her brother here for the week so they could have a chance to be a kid. Her father has a brain injury that requires their house to have minimal amount of noise possible and this is limiting to a kid. Here was this sweet girl just going into the fourth grade and she was crying because she was sad about her father’s injury but also crying because she was also getting the chance to be a kid. I later thought about my own childhood. I never went to a camp such as Gilead yet I always had the chance to act like a kid, as well as be loud.

                Working here at Camp Gilead has also shown me why people, campers and staffers, come back. In my first week with campers, I had two girls in my cabin that came all the way from Texas and one of the LIT’s comes from Arizona. I used to wonder why one would travel the distance when there must be a camp near them that had the same type of program as Gilead. However, people develop incredible relationships here. There is something different about a friendship that is formed when Christ is at the center of the relationship. Though Christ is not always the topic of the conversation, people feel comfortable to bring Him into the conversation because they know that the people who come here genuinely love Him. That is why they come back to Gilead and that is why a camp such as Gilead is so important to have. 
Hannah Knight
Counselor, Cabin 4

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Joy of the Gospel! - by Nolan Cason

Greetings faithful supporters of Camp Gilead! My name is Nolan Cason, and I'm serving as the counselor of cabin 15 throughout this summer. This is my first summer at Gilead in any capacity, but in a mere three weeks I've already to come to care for this place deeply, and appreciate the incredible impact that it has on the lives of so many. The Spirit moves in incredible ways at this camp.

It was anticipation of this impact I applied for the position of counselor in late April. While I'd never been to Camp Gilead, I've worked as a counselor at different Evangelical Christian camps over the course of three summers, and I've grown up going to camp. In my own life and in the lives of others, I've witnessed firsthand the tremendous power the camp experience has as a tool for youth ministry in God's arsenal. That power was felt this last Wednesday night during Junior Camp #1 (3rd--5th grade).

Our speaker for this week, Pastor Curt Bidwell, had been pounding home the message of the Gospel all week, skillfully intertwining the Good News with the story of King David. During the Wednesday night chapel, he continued in this thread, telling not only of David but also relating the story of Gideon. He established the definition of true faith through an insightful acrostic (Fact not feelings, action, individual response, trails and temptations, and hope), and challenged the campers to respond to God's promptings and accept Christ.

As the invitation was given for those campers who wished to respond to quietly slip out the back and wait for their counselors to join them, I was hopeful. I knew that the Lord does great things with this particular age group. Yet, the response that occurred surpassed my expectations. A majority of the campers, including five of my nine, slipped out their seats and headed out. I'm sure the rest of the staff shared my elation and surprise as we watch the Lord work powerfully in so many young lives.

As I talked with my campers that night and reflected, the Lord impressed two truths on my heart. The first was in relation to one of my guys, whose joy at his own commitment to Christ was uncontainable. I was reminded of just what happens when the Lord gets control of someone's heart, an experience I once shared at camp growing up. His joy was contagious and exciting, an absolute pleasure to witness.  Secondly, I was reminded of the power of the Gospel message in its simplicity. Pastor Bidwell added no garnishments or enticing extras to the Gospel; he simply presented the truth. And the Spirit worked. At few other times have I been reminded of the truth of 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Praise to the Name of our Lord, who softens hearts and calls the lost out of the darkness.

In Him and for His glory,

Nolan of House Cason, earl and lord paramount of the fifteenth holdfast, servant of the High King.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What IS it about Camp Gilead? - by Kim Anderson * Staff & Camper Mom

I love Camp Gilead. I love the work the Lord does there. I think every child needs to go there at least once in their lives. I didn’t grow up with my family going to family camp every year, I’m not a present or former staff member, I didn’t even get to go to camp myself each year as a kid. I think I went once when I was in third or fourth grade for a week of resident camp. But that week made such an impression on me, it feels like I went year after year as the memory is so strong. In my adult years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend time at Gilead on weekend retreats, as a volunteer for various events, as a prayer partner and one of the highlights; working in the day camp for a week.  Both my children have attended camp every year as soon as they were old enough, and now they both have had the opportunity to be on staff.

What is it I love about Camp Gilead? Is it the activities? The staff? Bucky? Maybe it’s driving car loads of kids down during the summer for their week of camp. The anticipation as they see landmarks they recognize as we get closer to camp: the Armadillo BBQ, the round-about, the bridge- oh, the bridge… After driving two hours and that bridge comes into view; most know that just across that bridge there will be a line of staff members shouting, cheering, and welcoming them to CAMP GILEAD! We roll down the windows and everyone starts yelling, screaming, the horn honking. It brings tears to my eyes every single time, year after year. Why? Because I know for the next week of their lives they will be immersed in God’s Word. They will be challenged, held accountable and shown CHRIST in word and actions. The TRUTH will be taught, and for many a life changing, life saving decision will be made.

What about pick up on Saturday after a week of camp? Maybe that’s it! Sitting in on closing ceremonies, hearing the staff and children raise voices in song, singing praise to our God and Savior. Arms around each other as they sing that final song, heads bowed in prayer. Is it tearful goodbyes to their counselors, or the running to parents bursting with excitement to share what God has done in their lives that week? Of course there’s the drive home, sharing with me about what they did, learned, how they plan to go forward and continue to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

What is it that I love so much about Camp Gilead? It is the transforming power of Christ at work in the lives of those who live there, work there, speak there, and attend camps there. God is doing great and mighty things through this ministry and I encourage YOU to experience it too!

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Want to Stay At Camp Gilead Forever! - by Tyler Pagel * Staff Alumni

Looking back on my three summers at Gilead, my perspective has changed quite a bit. During my three summers on staff at camp, I knew I was in the middle of a life changing experience and I knew God had great things in store for me, but looking back could have never imagined the true and full impact of Gilead on my life.

For all of us who have been campers or worked on staff, we've heard it so many times..."I want to stay at camp forever!" I have heard and thought it more times than I could ever wish to count.  Now having some time to reflect since my last summer on staff (2011), I can see why God provides places like Camp Gilead to be a temporary place for a permanent change. The lessons I learned, the people I met and the way Christ worked in me could have only been accomplished in those three summers at camp. Wanting to stay at camp forever is a selfish desire of my flesh not wanting to put what I have learned to the test! I am reminded of a set of verses in Romans chapter 1 where Paul says to the Church of Rome...

 "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you, always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you - that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine (Romans 1:8-12 ESV)"

 For me, the desire is very strong to return each and every summer to continue the ministry that happens at Camp Gilead, but understanding and accepting that God's will has men and women who want to serve God there on staff this summer, learning the same lessons that have profoundly impacted my life, is something I rejoice in. I am encouraged by the step of faith that each staff member is taking by being on staff this summer and I am strengthened by the memories that The Lord has allowed me to have at camp.

As Paul wanted so much to be with the church at Rome, many want to be in ministry with God's servants at Gilead. Just as Paul prays without ceasing for the church at Rome, many people across this country pray for you at Gilead. I pray that the ministry at Gilead remains strong, not just this summer, but for decades to come so that God may allow many, many more staffers like myself to be impact through the grace and divine plan of God!

In His Service,

Tyler Pagel * Staff Alumni 2009 - 2011

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Perfect Fit - by Melissa Ruhlman

Hello! My name is Melissa Ruhlman and I am a counselor at Camp Gilead this summer! I have been attending family camp and kids camps literally since I was born, but this is my first summer actually being on staff at this amazing place.

This past week brought the first batch of campers to Cabin 7 (also known as Castle 7)! Since this was the first week of my first summer as a counselor, and it was junior high week, I was extremely nervous Monday morning as my campers began to arrive. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to relate to them, if I could keep order, if they would respect me, if anything I said or taught throughout the week would resonate with them, or if they would even like me. Greeting them, I came to find out that eight out of the nine girls played on the same soccer team together….and at first thought, made me feel somewhat intimidated and even more nervous because I didn’t know if the cabin would be able to mesh together as it ought. Also, I came to realize throughout the week that most all of the girls, as far as I can surmise, had some sort of a relationship with Christ; not necessarily a growing and healthy one, but they all claimed to have made a commitment to Him in their younger years. Because of this fact, and since none of them publicly came forward after any of the chapels to make any spiritual decisions, I began to get somewhat discouraged and feel like a failure in my job as a counselor.
It wasn’t until Friday, after the campfire during the cabin devotions, when I realized how wrong and prideful my thinking was. The girls in my cabin took turns saying one specific thing that they were going to work on or change in their life due to what they had learned during the impactful week at camp. Hearing my girls commit to read the Bible daily, pray more often, and to share the gospel with their unsaved friends and family was so amazing and made me gulp down my pride.  Who was I to question the Lord’s plan for the week and His plan for the girls in my cabin? It is not about how many salvation decisions I can tally down for my cabin, and it is not about what I know and teach during Bible time and the words that I say. It is completely and utterly about God and how He decides to work in my cabin through me, using me only as a tool, as a means to bring about His sovereign plan.
Looking back on the week and the individual girls in my cabin, I can tell that they were all specifically in my cabin because I was exactly like them when I was in junior high. I was crazy, weird, loud, played soccer, and had made a salvation commitment at a young age but didn’t actually live out my faith in everyday life. It was an utterly perfect fit. God used my life experience to be able to relate very well to the girls in my cabin, and I thank Him for being in control of everything, all-knowing, and continuing to use blundering, proud, messed up people like me in His global plan to bring people closer to Him.


Melissa Ruhlman
Counselor, Cabin 7


Friday, July 12, 2013

A "Knight's" Tale - Camp Speaker Tim Counts

I am an “outsider” at Camp Gilead in that I am not here on Staff this entire summer; I am only here for this week (I am the speaker for Teen Camp #1).  But, I am an “insider” at Camp Gilead in that I spoke here in 2006 and I was on Summer Staff from 1998-2001.  Before that I was a Family Camper, my mom was a Kids’ Camper in the ‘60s, and my grandpa was a pastor who was involved with Camp Gilead in the early days.  As my week as a Camp Speaker comes to a close, I find myself praising God for His faithfulness to Camp Gilead.  Many things have changed, but the most important things are the same.  The games may be a little different every year, the theme may be different almost every year, the skits and the music may change, but teaching children and teenagers God’s Word and the Gospel while having a ton of fun has always been the same.

My son Tobias was a Day Camper while my family and I were here this week, and now as a parent and a pastor I am thankful that Camp Gilead is so Bible-centered, Gospel-centered, and Christ-centered.  At the end of the first day, when I asked Tobias what his favorite thing was he said, “Swimming, mini-golf, riflery, boating, and dirtboarding.”  In other words, everything.  Then as he drifted off to sleep he started to sing a song about Jesus that he had learned.  It was refreshing to come back to Camp Gilead this week.  I realized that the reason that Camp Gilead’s heart is my heart is because it is exactly what I believe Youth Ministry should be:  centered around God and His Word while also being a blast.

Teenagers have real questions about God and their relationship with Him.  They are not as superficial as we often think they are.  Camp Gilead is a place that they learn more about Jesus or hear about Him for the first time.  As I think about the 65 years that Camp Gilead has been doing that, 1 Corinthians 15:58 comes to mind:  Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  Camp Gilead is a testimony to the truth of that verse!      
Pastor Tim Counts
Camp Gilead Camper, Staff Alumni & Speaker

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Family Camp ... A Lasting Tradition - by Faith Bridges

Family Camp.   Those two words hold so many memories and feelings.  My parents brought me to camp as a tiny baby every year until I graduated from high school.  It was a priority to my parents and I am grateful.  My brother and sister both had the opportunity to be counselors for a couple of summers and my sister even met her husband who was also a counselor.    I spent the summer working on high school staff in 1999 and now just completed my 3rd year at family camp with my husband and daughter. 

When I was a kid, I was so shy.  The idea of making friends and doing camp games just about killed me, but there was always someone who would encourage me and make me feel at home.  It was exciting and fun and by Wednesday I was already dreading the last day and wishing camp could last forever.    

A few things have changed at camp since I was a kid, but truly not a whole lot.  I remember hours of pickle ball and mini golf, time in the tree house and on the merry go round.  I remember riding horses and swinging so high I felt like flying.  As I got older, staying up late with friends and playing games in the dining hall were my new favorite things.  We often got a little too loud, and Jack had to come remind us to keep it down as there were people trying to sleep.  I remember so much laughter and fun.  This surely hasn’t changed. 

The summer of 99, both my husband Darren and I (we were not yet married at the time) came to work at Camp Gilead.  Darren was a counselor in cabin 13 and I served as an LIT.  It was such a wonderful summer and we are still friends with many of those that we worked with.  It is hard work to be on camp staff, but I wouldn’t trade all of the scrubbed dishes and toilets for anything. The laughter, encouragement, and the humble work ethic of my friends could make any job seem fun.   It was an honor to be a part of God’s work at Camp Gilead.

When our daughter, Evelyn was 5 we finally got the opportunity to attend family camp together.   I had been hopeful we could carry on the tradition with our family.  Two of Evelyn’s favorite things are being outside and being with people, so she absolutely loves every moment of camp.   It is such an amazing gift to give her.  She loves her weeks at camp.   She says she’s not quite ready to go to camp without her mom & dad, but I think she’ll be ready soon and she’s already asking when she can be on camp STAFF! 

My parents made family camp a priority and so many of my greatest memories are from family camp and working on staff.  Now, I am making new memories with my family and we are already looking forward to next year.  I believe the baton will keep being passed down as we make camp a priority.  

At camp there is beauty and quiet.  It’s a time to get away from our busy lives and focus on our families.  It’s a place to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.  It’s a place for relaxation and fun.  It’s a place for laughter and worship.  Ultimately, it’s a place to meet Jesus and fix our eyes on what is truly important in life, our relationship with our Savior. 
Faith (Blazer) Bridges
Staff Alumni & Family Camper

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Lord's Chosen Workers - Tyler Wells

My name is Tyler Wells, and this is my second summer as a counselor at Camp Gilead.  My first year was an amazing experience, and as soon as I drove away from the camp, I couldn't wait to get to come back.  One of the reasons it was a great summer was that we had an awesome staff last summer.  I made a lot of great friends, and I was encouraged literally every day in several ways by my fellow staff members.  Each one of us was there for a reason...last year.

As I began the process of reapplying for camp a few months ago, it occurred to me that many of the people who had worked at camp last summer would not be able to come back.  Out of four male counselors last year, I was the only one coming back, and many of the girl counselors and program staff and support staff had other plans or obligations for this summer.  At first, this was disappointing for me.  I knew I would miss a lot of people that I had build strong relationships with last summer, and I was unsure of what to expect for the new staff.

Between then and now, after finishing a week of staff training, God has been teaching me something.  I realized that every summer, the staff will be a little different, with some returning faces, some people moving up to higher positions, and some brand new people.  No matter who ends up making the list, one thing is for sure, and that is the fact that the Lord has chosen each person for a specific purpose.  Some people only get one chance to work on staff, and some end up staying for a lifetime, but each year, God hand picks a staff to serve together as brothers and sisters in Christ, so the camp will continue to be successful and so His will can be done.

During staff training, I was so encouraged to see all the returning staff and the new staff come together as the Lord's chosen workers for the summer of 2013 at Camp Gilead.  We all have different stories, strengths, weaknesses, and personalities, but we all have the same goals and purposes of seeing God work to change lives this summer.  I can already tell we have another great group of staff, and I am so blessed to be a part of this team.  Over the next seven weeks, I look forward to getting to know each one even more as we work together, encouraging one another and building each other up.  The Lord has really given me peace about the fact that even though this exact staff will only be together for this one summer, He will continue to provide just the right staff year after year, and when our time on staff is done, He will continue to work in us and through us, wherever he leads us in the future.


Tyler Wells
Counselor - Cabin 14

Saturday, July 6, 2013

95 years old and still coming to camp! - Kimberly Mallory

I have been attending Family Camp at Camp Gilead since I was "in the womb."  Seriously ... my parents started coming to Family Camp in 1974, and they loved it so much that we have only missed one year since then!  For our family it wasn't, "are we going to go?" but rather ... "when is it?"

For me, family camp meant new friends, reconnecting with old friends, hot summer days, 4th of July fireworks, eating meals with other families, late nights and great chapels.

We just finished up another week of family camp this past week.  The weather was amazing and we had an incredible group of GREAT families that attended this year.  Some have come for years while others experienced their "first" family camp week. 

One of the highlights for me is to see past summer staff bring their own families back to Gilead for a week of Family Camp.  We had a couple of staff alumni families, Sara Counts and her two kids as well as Faith and Darren Bridges and their daughter. 

But there was one "staff alumni" that really stole the show this week.  His name was Leland Haggerty and he was here with his son and his grandson.  Leland is 95 years old!  Leland stayed in the lodge with his son and grandson and worked his way around the camp with a walker and a cane.  It was such a blessing to see him and hear his perspective on camp. 

He shared with us that he was with Forrest Johnson when he came out to meet Elma Jenkins Faul, who would donate the Carnation Chicken Farm Property to Tabernacle Baptist Church of Seattle for a Christian youth camp.  WOW!  The stories he told!  (My husband Josh Mallory spent an afternoon filming him sharing his stories!) 

As the week wound down, we gathered around the campfire in the Victory Circle.  Children, moms and dads all shared about how they were blessed throughout the week.  Comments were made about the speaker, Mark Suko, about the staff and how they served the family campers, about the relationships built and about many other aspects of a week at Gilead. 

After the sharing began to quiet down, Tom Ruhlman (my dad as well as the camp pastor) asked Leland to pray.  His strong voice bellowed as he spoke to his God.  He thanked God for the inner workings of what it takes to run a camp.  He spoke clearly as one who knows about the "staff" side of camp ministry.  He challenged us to burn brightly for our Lord in all the places we go.  It was moving and incredibly touching to hear Leland pray and to realize that he was soaking in everything about Camp Gilead just as the rest of us were.  He was given the rare opportunity to see a dream realized.  A dream that had started in the 1940's and that dream was continuing to flourish through the blessing of the Lord. 

It was a special week at Family Camp.  I know many consider coming each year, but for different circumstances are not able to.  I challenge you to clear your calendar for 2014.  You will be encouraged, challenged, blessed and your family relationships will be strengthened!

See you in 2014!

Kimberly Mallory
Camp Gilead Program Director

Friday, July 5, 2013

Strengths & Weaknesses - Craig Haskins

Camp has been a major part of my life.  This is my sixth summer here at Gilead.  Each one has been such a different experience and I can tell all ready that this summer will be following suit.  After my first few weeks, I am excited to see the dynamics of the program staff begin to form.  We are a unique group of people with a wide range of abilities, strengths and also weaknesses.  What is cool is that each persons "weakness" is another person’s strength.  Knowing that I can trust the other program staffers to take on the areas that I am weak in is so relieving and I feel like I am free to work out my strengths to the best of my abilities.  This is going to be a great summer and I am excited to see God will do through the life and testimony of all of the staff this summer.
Craig Haskins
Guys Head Counselor

Sunday, June 30, 2013

#everythingweownisdamp - by Hannah Knight

As a Native Southern Californian, I was introduced to the Washington definition of a thunder/rain storm this past week. On the Wednesday of staff training week, after dinner, the rain started to fall. Now rain is not a rare occurrence in Southern California; it just doesn’t happen as much or as hard as here in Washington. What started as a light drizzle it proceeded to turn into buckets of rain being poured on our heads. Unfortunately for me, my jacket was left in the chapel and I was in the Dining Hall. Yet while I was worrying about my lack of a jacket, strangely, many staff members had peeled off their extra layers and were playing Ultimate Frisbee in the rain. Also, did I mention that there was also thunder and lightning going on as well? Anyway, rather than wait for the rain to stop, one other staffer and myself decided to make a run for the chapel to get our jackets. We were soaked within seconds. As we tried to avoid the larger puddles, we kept losing our breath because we were laughing so much.
For most of the week, it rained off and on. Yet even the rain led to bonding experiences!  Soon the "inside joke phrase" became #everythingweownisdamp.  Seriously, it is experiences such as this one that have really bonded this year’s staff. Being a new staff, one of my fears coming here was that I would be an outsider. However, each returning staffer has opened their hearts and welcomed new and returning staffers into their circle and hearts. We have all laughed together, held each other up (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). Staff Training Week has not only allowed us to learn and plan ways for every person that comes to Camp Gilead to have a great time, but spiritually has prepared our souls, so that everything we do pleases and serves God, as well as serve anyone who comes to Camp Gilead. Each one of us has been incredibly blessed to be able to come and work at Camp Gilead this summer, including myself. We are all so excited to see what the Lord has in store for us this summer and so excited to meet all who come here.

Hannah Knight
Counselor Cabin 4

Camp Staff: One big, crazy family! - Katie Powell

The moment summer 2012 ended, I began thinking about summer 2013 - my first year on college staff. God has really been working on humbling me throughout this last year as I prepared to be a counselor. I have had to learn some hard lessons and realize the importance of asking for help when I need it. The group of staff that God has brought together this summer have really been able to come around me and encourage me in my trials, and I am looking forward to 7 more weeks of growth with them.

This past week was full of singing, laughing, playing games, eating camp food, listening to Pastor Jim, driving to Yogurtland, and enjoying fellowship with old faces and new friends. It’s hard to believe that only ONE week has passed since I met some of these people that I will be living with for the rest of the summer, because I feel like we are already a strange and crazy family! There is hardly a place on camp that you can go where there isn’t a Disney song being sung, a game of ninja (or bunny-bunny tooki-tooki) being played, or a hilarious story being told. Memories are occurring on a daily basis here at Camp Gilead!

One of the people whom I am most thankful for this week is our speaker, Pastor Jim Mailloux. This is my second year attending staff training led by him, and I have experienced so much spiritual growth and understanding through his explanations of various tough issues that we will have to face as counselors. He is always there when we need someone to ask questions, and has made an effort to get to know each staff member individually. God was truly able to speak through him this week to better prepare our staff group for what we will have to face in the very near future.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement this summer! It is such a blessing to know that there are past staffers and campers and other fans of Camp Gilead out there, praying for us staffers as God works through us in the lives of these children.

Katie Powell
Counselor, Cabin 5

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dependence - Jessica Cooper

Victory Circle Post for June 23, 2013


Hey ya’ll!  I was a counselor last year and have returned to be the high school staff leader! I am so excited to see what God has in store for this summer! It has been a crazy week for me. I arrived on Tuesday barely knowing what it meant to be a program staffer let alone the leader of the high school staff and was eagerly anticipating meeting my fellow coworkers and starting the planning process. I don’t know how it all works but I definitely feel more prepared for what’s to come.

Lately I feel like God has been teaching me to fully depend on Him and rely on His strength. Well every time I think I have it down he slaps me with a reality check that I am not in control, he is, that I can’t do anything on my own, only by his power can I live freely, and that he is sovereign and good in all things. I entered this last week feeling pretty confident that I was going to get everything done, know exactly what I was supposed to do, and have the entire summer all planned out. Ha, nope. I sure don’t feel it yet, but can see that everything will come full circle and work out. There is a reason Camp Gilead is the best kids camp in the NW – a great program director and staff who know what they’re doing. I just feel so blessed to play a small part in this great ministry. So please pray for me as I embark on another great summer at Gilead, that I would fully depend on the Lord, go to Him often, and that he would use me in the lives of all those I am working with. God is so amazing, Amen?
Jessica Cooper
Girls High School Staff Leader

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Camp: On the Bucket List - Megan Haskins

We arrived on Tuesday; the fire inside of me had been ignited but was small, being kept alive with just a single flame. The past 6 months had been a crazy journey: getting the idea of working at camp, laughing at the idea of working at camp, discussing the possibility of working at camp, and having life’s events fall into place making it TOO easy to work at camp.
Camp Gilead is a special place to my husband, Craig Haskins, and I. We met as 15-year-olds, working on High School Staff in 2002.  The day we got married was the day we decided to put “working at camp” on our bucket list.  Here we are…married…on program staff…and checking it off our list!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, for it had been 4 years since we had last worked out here on program staff. Would we know anyone? Would anyone know us? How much had the program changed? Are we MEDIEVAL enough to be on staff? Would I be able to relate to the staff that is 6-7 years younger than myself? What does that look like?

Despite reservations, we packed up our car and road tripped it from Spokane! The fire inside of me has been fanned this past week as we have planned, prepared, and prayed over the summer staff and campers. It included a ton of re-learning, stretching (mentally and physical), adapting, and acclimating to full-time ministry. I have such a heart for service and can’t wait to grow and watch growth occur in those around me!

James 1:2-4 says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Let the summer begin!
Megan (Stephens) Haskins - Girls Head Counselor

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How the First Century Church relates to Camp Gilead! - Ali Williams

This weekend at church, I was struck in a new way by what a special place Camp Gilead is. The pastor talked about the first-century church described in the book of Acts 2. The Bible describes the early believers as “devoted to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer,” and says that they lived together, shared with each other and with those in need, and ate together often. The pastor pointed out that these healthy, positive features of the church were both causes and results of the believers’ strong relationships with each other and the Holy Spirit.

My sister lamented the fact that none of the churches she has attended actually practice much of that. As she said, they’re often “sit-and-get” places, where you simply walk in, sit down, listen to a sermon, and leave. You can belong to a church and attend it regularly without actually having a relationship with anyone there.

As I listened to that, I thought about my past summers at Gilead. This special place, filled with the special people whom God has chosen to bring here, is the closest thing to the early church that I’ve experienced. At Program Staff Training this last week at Gilead, we seven program staff spent almost our time together: we served the meals together, ate together, did the dishes together, planned for the summer together, worked on projects together, prayed together, went on some adventures together, and all roomed within about a few hundred feet of each other. Though some of us were strangers to each other when we arrived on Tuesday, we quickly built relationships and strengthened them throughout the week. We began to create the strong bonds that will carry us through the summer. And when the rest of the staff arrive soon, I know that they will do the same; as we all learn, work, and live together over the next eight weeks, and as our relationships strengthen and deepen, by the grace of God, we’ll embody the spirit of the early church.
Ali Williams
Assistant Cook/Program Staff

Monday, June 24, 2013

Back for more ... Andrew Anderson

Program Staff Training…

This is my second year on program staff serving as the guys High School Staff leader, so I had a general idea of what to expect driving in to camp this past Tuesday morning. I knew I was in for a lot of work, but I was going to have a great time doing it, and this past week didn’t disappoint. We’ve spent many hours talking, planning, and organizing the program for this summer and in the process I’ve grown very close to my fellow program staff. What’s great about this year is I’ve had the opportunity to work with all the program staffers before and have come into this week with existing friendships.
This group is certainly a very creative and fun group to be around and I am excited to see how God is going to use us this summer. If you’ve noticed some of the pictures on the Camp’s Facebook lately, we’ve had a lot of fun going to different locations to take in the scenery and culture of our theme, as well as record some fun video stuff. It's great working with such a creative group where we can bounce ideas off each other, laugh about stuff and then quickly iron out thoughts and ideas. This team has great leadership skills and has the ability to see the “big picture." Now, bring in the staff and let’s get to work! (:
Andrew Anderson
Guys High School Staff Leader

The FIRST ... 2013

SUMMER!!!  This morning is our FIRST morning of staff training!  A few staff arrived last week for program staff training and we spent the week planning, preparing and praying for the rest of the staff that will arrive today. 

We will welcome our staff to embark on an adventure and experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.  This, for some, will be a turning point in their lives.  It will be "that summer" that everything changed.  And we are at the CUSP of that!  It's such an exciting morning! 

This summer, for some, will be the summer that they met their best friend.

This summer, for some, will be the summer that they met with God.

This summer, for some, will be the summer that they got to lead someone to the LORD for the first time.

This summer, for some, will be the summer that God stretched and challenged them in a whole new way.

This summer, for some, will be a summer of many first time experiences.

This summer, for some, will be the summer that they became an adult.

This summer, for ALL, will be memorable & impacting. 

We pray that this summer, for ALL, will honor God. 

Won't you join us on this journey of summer camp?  Hope to see you out a a staff!  If you can't make it out this summer - would you pray for those that will be here?

This "Victory Circle Blog" will be a sharing of experiences, thoughts and remembrances of our summer.  If you've been to Gilead before, you know that the Victory Circle is where we have our weekly campfire nights.  There have been many, many amazing times around the campfire, sharing what God has done, what God is doing and what each hope to accomplish as they leave camp. 

Join us as we "gather around the campfire" here and share those same things ...

To God be the glory!

Kimberly Mallory
Program Director