Thursday, June 30, 2011


I wanted to pass on about an awesome opportunity that I had last night while sitting by the campfire. During staff training, we as staff members, all share our detailed testimony so we can better know where each other are coming from. Last night my friend Jenny came over to me and asked if I would talk to one of her campers. I said "okay, sure, but why?" Jenny explained to me, "her best friend died in a car accident two weeks ago and was supposed to be here at camp this week with her". My heart sunk, as I clearly remembered how hard it was when we lost Chris. On the way over to talk to her I couldn't hold the tears back, just aching for her in knowing her pain. I sat down with her and was able to listen to her talk about her friend, and explain the death. At home, her parents get mad at her when she cries about this, and she is mad at herself for laughing in just the events of camp. I remember those thoughts and feelings so clearly. I had the privilege of reminding her how this situation can either draw her to the Lord, or draw her away, but that it was her choice. How wonderful to hear her say through tears that she would grow closer in her relationship with Christ through this rather then further. I praise the Lord that her best friend did know the Lord, and is with the Lord in eternity.  I also praise the Lord for allowing me to use a hardship in my life to encourage someone else in a similar hardship.  I just couldn't hold back posting this story immediately.  Praise the Lord who has every event in life planned out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

some pics from week 2

The theme for week 2 was Star Wars.  Since we only had enough campers to form 3 solid teams, the staff made up the fourth team.  They went all out for the skit on Monday night.

Okay everyone, believe it or not but this is my wrist.  Do you see the tan line?  Impressive, huh?  Be jealous, sister Sarah Joy.

My girls have done an awesome job this week with room inspections--3 100s in a row (out of 3).  The girl who inspects the cabins name is Alannah.  My girls wrote her a special message.

Monday, June 27, 2011

week 2 day 1

I have 5 high schoolers in my cabin and what a joy they have already been.  They like sleep, how much more could I ask for?  2 girls are best friends where one of them just moved 2 weeks ago, so they are enjoying the week together before having 5.5 hours separating them for an extended period of time.  2 of the other girls are also close friends who have been coming to this camp for a while.  The other girl has been here for a while but has been open about the fact that she is catholic.  Please pray for me as I try to specifically witness to her about the gospel.  She is very open, but is mainly in Catholicism because of tradition and feels she is supposed to be one.  I look forward to being able to talk to her more about it.  For path, I am in the paintball path.  I am not too sure about God's sense of humor, but I can't complain.  Gavin has been nice to me and has threatened all of the kids that if they hit me with a paintball, him and Jacob (the third leader) would be able to open shoot at them.  I am kind of like the paintball mom: I make sure they stay hydrated, wash mask goggles, clean paint off, soothe the tears, keep kids who are not paying attention safe, take care of ticks for the screaming children (tickophobia), and keep track/charge of the paintballs they use.  For team comp this week, Daniel and I are the counselors and we seem to have an awesome group of campers!  We are hoping to win and get an ice cream sundae at the end of the week!

Thank you all for your prayers--this week is already going leaps and bounds better.  Let me know how I can be praying for you.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 1

Our first week of camp is successfully complete.  Truth be told it was a very challenging and exhausting week.  I was supposed to have 7 girls in my cabin, but one of the friends wanted to be with her friends in my cabin and so we rearranged a few things and I ended up with 8 girls.  I had the one explorer teen, who had just finished her first year of high school.  I was stretched further in some areas then I thought were possible, but the Lord was with me through the entirety of it, and here I am Saturday evening still alive.

Quick report on the spiritual status of my girls...I had 4 of my girls who I felt were saved, 2 I talked with but am unconvinced they have a personal relationship with Christ and then 2 that broke my heart.  The first girl, in talking to her she expressed how she could care less about knowing for sure if she would be going to Heaven or not.  The other girl I realized quickly she did not have the correct understanding of the one way to Heaven.  I had the privilege of opening the Word and sharing the gospel with her.  She declined God's offer of eternal life because she said she did not deserve it.  Still after assuring her that no one deserves it, but God wants her to have it, she still declined.  Please specifically be praying for these two girls.

Here are some snapshots of the week (no camper pics yet because I am not sure if I can post those)...

This is the location we camped at on Wednesday- Ponderosa. 

This is Jim, camp director. 

This little guy wandered over a few hills and joined us for our campout.  His owner came to retrieve him Thursday morning. 

 Look at the amazing concoction the guys built to cook our food on.

 Our concoction caught on fire so Gavin found a creative way to extinguish it.

This is our softball field.  Behind the building on the far right (the outdoor chapel stage) is the cabin I stayed in last week and will be in this week.

Thank you all so much for your prayers.  I covet them.  This week I will have a cabin of Explorer Teens (high school).  I am praying for these girls and am eager for them to arrive.  Well, I had better wrap things up and get over to the program office to await this week's campers.  I hope you all have a blessed Sunday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bandanna Tuesday

Today was Bandanna Tuesday!  Hooray.

Monday, June 20, 2011

day 1 of week 1

I have a cabin of eight girls ranging from 7th-10th grade.  Most are 7th and 8th graders but I have the one adventure teen.  I am very tired after a night of only 5 hours of sleep, but I knew this would happen.  I went into this knowing I wouldn't get my needed sleep, but wanted to be forced to rely on the Lord's strength and not my own.  I am one of the leaders for the sports path (Sarah, stop laughing).  Path is kind of like a college major.  The campers each choose the path they want to be in and they spend 3 hours a day every day doing it.  So yes, I get to spend 3 hours a day leading sports for a group of 13 campers.  I am going to close this entry out for today, but just wanted to give all you praying a quick update on what is happening this week.  I covet your prayers.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I have been so blessed with an awesome dad.  He works hard to support our family and loves us all so deeply.  I have seen his love for us grow through the years.  I hate that my life has me so far from him for the majority of the year, but am thankful for the times I do have with him.  I love him so much and privileged to be able to call him, Dad!  Daddy, I love you lots. XOXO

Saturday, June 18, 2011

staff training complete

Staff Training is officially over.  The next time I am "on" I will be a counselor of Explorer age (6-8th grade) girls. I have a beautiful cabin where I kind of get my own room off of the cabin room, which will be nice when I get up earlier then the girls for devotions.  Here are a few pictures of my cabin for this upcoming week...

I have been enjoying my time here, but have been drained completely of all energy. I have so much I want to write about, but so little energy to write it with.  God has been so good and already been growing me (one of which is the age group I will be working with.  I have told many people that I can deal with all ages except junior high.  What age group do I have this coming week? junior high!)  I don't know how to explain the group of people here.  I am not 'best friends' with anyone here yet, but the people here are so welcoming.  In any group I have come in to, yeah people may have been friendly, but I didn't necessarily feel like I belonged. There are groups of better friends, but they are still including of everyone.  I am so thankful for this wonderful group of people, and am adjusting to the rustic lifestyle of Montana.

Tuesday after I was involved with a game of paintball.  I can't say it was my favorite activity of all times, but I did it, and I even got a welt from the paintball that hit me!

Wednesday morning was a normal schedule and late afternoon, we left for the cliffs for an overnight camp out.  When we first got to the cliffs we had the option of going rappelling.  It was nothing I necessarily wanted to do, but wanted to be able to say I had done it.  I can now say that, and don't care to do it again anytime soon.  I think it was the nerves, but I felt sick for the rest of the evening.  We enjoyed hamburgers over the open fire and Jim provided us with marinated venison--it was delicious (which is still an understatement).  After some singing, and Jim sharing from Ezekiel we heard a storm coming in so the girls camped out in the bus.  A bit difficult for a short person, but I slept better then anticipated.  During the summer, Wednesdays will always be our camp out nights.  We will normally camp out under the stars, but due to the weather, the bus worked just as well.  Thursday morning we woke up bright and early (due to the sun rising at 4am) and I sat by the campfire for a while.  Gavin made some amazing supreme eggs including potatoes, tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, and cheese.  It might have been the nastiest looking food I have ever eaten, but it was very tasty.  Daniel, Aron, and Cienna gave their testimonies, we played some campfire games and were back to camp for lunch.

Thursday afternoon we finished up some activity training and went for a horse ride.  It was good to be back on a horse, but I definitely have some learning to do.  I am quite sore from it due to not being relaxed.  Maybe when I become unsore, I can take some Saturday and do some more riding.

Friday was our last day of training and we all went on a 6 hour solo.  A solo here at camp is when everyone is required to be completely by themselves in solitude just to catch up and get ready for camp.  Most specifically, get ready spiritually.  I went to Medicine Rocks about 15-20 minutes from camp.  I found a beautiful spot up on a hill, set out a tarp, towel and had a blanket.  It was raining in the morning, and I was nervous about it raining for my solo, but thankfully the Lord knew and the skies were blue and cloudy.  I really needed this time alone and away from everyone (nothing against anyone), and am so thankful for that time.  Check out the pictures from where I was....

Friday night we came back to a huge feast that Jim (he's a good cook) had made for us.  We had all the makings for a burrito thing- wraps, steak or chicken and bacon, mushrooms, peppers, onions, cheese, tomatoes, olives (yum, Dad!), sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, etc.  We then had jalapeno poppers (jalapeno pepper stuffed with cream cheese and bacon wrapped around it), spring rolls, and still more.  We had an awesome dinner, and afterwards a wonderful time of fellowship talking about what the Lord had done in our lives during staff training.  And then as I mentioned earlier we shared in communion which was really powerful.

This morning, I was cleaning up piles of brush and junk.  I think my arm found some poison ivy, so I am curious to learn if I am allergic or not (good way to start off camp, right?).  It got a little tedious, but  you could really see the fruits of our labors, things looked really nice.  I was thankful for lunch, was trained in archery and then moved my stuff to my new cabin and started some laundry.

I am now working on some computer work.  I hope to finish up laundry, get some dinner, clean up, and then possibly head back out to Medicine Rocks.  I apologize for it being so long, and for many of you full of boring details.

Please be praying for me as this is the first week of camp with campers.  Please pray for their safety, and that the Lord be working in their lives even now.  I am anticipating a great week where the Lord does a mighty work both in and through me.  I am excited to see Him work in the campers' lives as well.  Please be in prayer.

I am going to close this blog out for your sake, and keep working on other computer work.  Take care and God Bless!


Okay, the truth of the matter is I am exhausted, and not about to post details...maybe tomorrow.  I would like to give the update though that I love the staff team we have here this year.  They have such a heart for the Lord.  I love the stand the camp has.  Tonight, as a big group in a big circle, we had communion together, and then sang Lord Bind Us Together.  How powerful, and I so appreciate the people on this team.  But I must bid thee goodnight so I can get some shut eye for my poor sore eyeballs and body.  Goodnight all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

a few TER pics

Sorry, but there won't be much update in this email, I am just trying to get a few pictures posted in the few minutes before our next meeting.  If I am still awake later, I hope to give more of an update on how staff training went.  But until then, enjoy the pics!
 About to Billings, notice the snow covered mountains above the wing.

 This is from inside the cabin I am staying in during staff training.

Outside the cabin...this cabin has two 'cabins' and is up on the hill behind the dining hall. 

 This is the dining hall!

 During one of our free times, we gathered and just sang worship songs.

 From inside the dining hall and where we have been doing our staff training meetings.

Wednesday night the staff went on an overnight camp out at the cliff.  I went rappelling off the cliff and am still alive!  The view was gorgeous and the sunset was spectacular. 

The bus that brought us all up to the cliffs.

I hope this helped some of you picture where I am this summer.  I will try to keep taking and posting pictures.  I took a few today I may post at some point, but until then....enjoy!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

1st week of Staff Training

Mt first week of training is complete!  It has gone so well.  I have met many new great friends, and enjoying the time learning and growing with them.  A rough schedule of our day is that we meet for breakfast as 8am, and then have devos until 9:15.  We then start our first meeting which goes until 12:15.  We eat lunch, have another meeting, and then start activity training around 3ish after a half hour break.  During training we hear the dinner bell and eat at 5:45.  After dinner we do a group game, and then start our day's final meeting at 7:15.  The day is packed with learning and I am enjoying it immensely.

Many have asked how the weather is here.  The first two days I was here, we had warm sunny weather.  We then had a cold day or two, then two rainy days, and today has been a bit chilly, but the sun has been out.  There has been a lot of fog (which is fun, because I enjoy fog when not having to drive in it).  Today the temperature is 65 degrees.

God has been providing financially in such awesome ways.  My financial support is off to a good start all Praise to the Lord!  Thank you to all those have financially supported me, but more importantly to those who are supporting me through prayer.  I couldn't do this without you all.

We had a little over 24 hours off this weekend and it was such a blessing.  I got a bit of homework (for training) done, went into the great metropolis (cough, the population is 410) of Ekalaka and got a milkshake, then went over to Jim and Kim's for Hawaiin burgers and time to hang out.  This morning I went to the Bible church in town and enjoyed it.  They had a missionary in, so I will probably go again to specifically hear the pastor preach.  This afternoon I have gotten more homework done and had a nice skype conversation with my parents.  Training starts back up at dinner.

I can't even thank you enough for all the prayers you have given me.  Please keep them coming my way.  Also, let me know how I can be supporting you with prayer.  Grace and Peace to you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Just another quick update....

The first two full days of Staff Training are complete.  They have gone very well, and I have already been trained and passed in facilitating the trampoline, climbing wall, and zip line.  I am amazed with how God has already been stretching me, some pleasant, and some not so pleasant.  Please feel free to email me or drop me a letter in the mail (we have cute mailboxes that put a huge smile on my face when I find something in that [like today, I got a note in the mail from my 6 month old niece]).

I hope you have a lovely remainder of the week!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

staff training is about to begin

I have a couple hours before staff training begins!  I am beginning to settle in and meet the people around here.  I went to the local Baptist church this morning and met some new people.  I hope you are all enjoying your weekend.  Thank you for your prayers.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm Here!

Hey, I just wanted to drop a quick post that I am here at camp safe and sound.  I was picked up at the airport, and three of us were coming in, and we all got to ride back to camp in a limo (it was an old one, but still....) and got back in time to meet Mr. Anderson.  The four of us got some cold pizza from the kitchen, ate dinner, met a few people, and then I settled into the cabin.  I am very tired, since it is midnight right now in my head.  I have wifi in the camp office, and so I won't be in here much longer but wanted to give the update that I am here!

Denver, Colorado

I have safely made it to Denver International Airport.  I said goodbye to Dad Thursday morning as he left for a mission's trip to Alaska.  Mom, Sarah, Aunt Dar, Mrs. Stevens and I all headed to Ocean City, NJ.  We enjoyed some time there (the water was SO cold), and then after an emotional and hard goodbye Aunt Dar and Mrs. Stevens brought me back to their place.  I had the privilege of staying with them and enjoying some relax time.  I got some good sleep, a bit of reading, lovely fellowship, and was spoiled rotten.  Yesterday we went to the Longwood Gardens.  I can't even put into words how beautiful it was, and how very much I enjoyed it.  There were some of the most beautiful flower gardens I have ever seen, perfectly trimmed bushes, and the biggest conservatory in I think, America (I could be wrong on that detail, but none-the-less, it was huge).  I got to see some of my favorite flowers and in several different varieties: orchids, gerber daisies, bonsai trees!  We had better weather then we could have asked for, and were all zonked at the end of four hours walking in the sun.

My alarm went off this morning at 4:15am and Aunt Dar brought me to the airport in Philly, PA.  After some small hassles, I made it to my gate and on to my plane.  I was in the very back row with no one else in my section so I put my feet up and enjoyed reading Tears in the Bug Juice: A Testimony of God's Faithfulness in the Founding of Teen Valley Ranch and Trail's End Ranch by Pat Anderson.  I don't think I was even halfway through when I started, but I finished the book, was able to nap, as well as look through SkyMall (there are some very odd things in that magazine).  The flight was smooth and uneventful.

Thank you all for your prayers.  I can't believe this adventure has actually started.  Please continue to pray for safety in travel as my flight to Billings, MT starts boarding in about forty minutes.  After I arrive in Billings, I will have a four hour vehicle ride to Ekalaka.  Praying I can be a testimony to those I am around.  I hope you all have an awesome weekend, and again, thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

away for the summer

As mentioned earlier on my blog, I will be spending my summer working at Trails End Ranch in Ekalaka, MT.  I am thrilled that the Lord has given me such an awesome responsibility.  I need your help though.  I ask that you pray for me regularly as the devil will be at work, knowing the Lord too is at work.  I am going as a counselor, but may have the opportunity to serve in other capacities as well.  The first two weeks will consist of staff training and grounds keeping.  

Prayer Dates:
Traveling to Airport- June 1
Flying to Montana- June 4
Training- June 5-19
Camp- June 19- August 14
Flying to Alabama- August 15

Part of the reason I am doing this is I want to be stretched.  This camp is far from home, and I have never worked at a camp for an entire summer.  I am one who needs my sleep and gets sick when I don't get it.  As you well know, camp counselors are not ones to get much sleep.  I want to be forced to rely on the Lord's strength and not my own.  Another thing I have never been good at is flexibility.  I am one to plan every detail out and I freak out when those plans get changed.  Again, flexibility is a key to camp work.  I cannot do this work my own, no way!  I ask that you partner with me in prayer as I have a summer to grow and change.  I pray I grow in Christ-likeness and am stretched in ways I didn't even imagine possible.

Communication and time will be very limited.  I will not have cell phone service on the camp property, and I expect to only have internet access over the weekends, if that.  I will not turn down a single email though, so please email me how I can be praying for you and what the Lord is doing with your summer.  You can email me at  You know how much snail mail means too, so feel free to drop me a note in the mail (see address above on the prayer card).  I can't promise quick replies, or even frequent blog updates, but I suggest you check back here on my blog for updates on how the Lord is changing me and stretching me.  Thank you in advance for your prayer support!