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