An Afternoon At Camp

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Jason Barnard and David Bromley at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca

Bible Camp has been on my mind this week for several reasons. I suppose the primary reason is that my Claire is spending the week at Gulf Coast Bible Camp. Having spent many many summers at GCBC, there is a part of me that wishes I was out there to enjoy watching her have fun and learn at camp. There is, of course, another part of me that says I’m no longer able to keep up with the camp pace and need to leave that to the younger set!

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Claire at Camp, thanks to Les Ferguson’s cell phone camera!

There are many reasons why Christian Camping is so important. One of the invaluable experiences is meeting Christian young people from a regional area. It is easy to forget that we are part of a larger kingdom than our local church! These friendships often last a lifetime. Christian Camp is also an experience that creates the most effective mission fields available. I believe that camps ought to be fully and sufficiently funded by churches so that we have the best campsites possible. Many summers at GCBC we would see 60 to 100 baptisms and numerous rededications – responses that most churches do not see in an entire year. The building of these friendships and shared experiences spans across generations, providing a unique ministry.

I enjoyed being at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca yesterday. It is a historic year for that camp. Having ceased operation a few years ago, many wondered if it would ever be back. Thanks to some godly men and women who have a vision to see it happen and a willingness to chase a dream, Ch-Yo-Ca is operating this summer.

My first camp experience did not come until I was in the 7th or 8th grade, when my parents dropped me off at Camp Smiling Acres near Baton Rouge. What an amazing experience (and this was at the OLD, much more primitive CSA, not the new one they use now!). I still have vivid memories of my weeks spent there. In the summer of 1982, while attending Magnolia Bible College, I started attending Sardis Lake Christian Camp, located between Oxford and Batesville MS. When  we moved to the Coast of course we attended GCBC. And there are other many great camps.

There is no experience like Christian camping. I’m glad Claire is enjoying that this week. John Robert never missed a camp or a retreat … he loved GCBC. If he were still with us he would be out there right now on staff for the first time.

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Glynn Bowman, John Robert, AJ Olivares Some Summer At GCBC

Feel free to leave your camp name and URL in the comments! Thanks for reading.

John

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