It was good to have Dave Hargreaves with us yesterday. He has been the director and/or manager of our Sawtooth Camp for 44 years. Where is the camp? On your way to Sun Valley, when you get to Fairfield, turn left. You’ll have about 10 miles of paved road and another 25 of dirt road (this time of year, buried in snow). When the road ends, you have reached camp. It’s a beautiful, remote, sacred location. It’s been our camp for a long time. Pat Winch told me yesterday that she was one of the original campers there, back in the early 50’s.
Church camp was part of my summer from about 6th grade through high school. If I were to point to one single moment in my life when Jesus became real for me, it was at camp.
I hope you will check out the link below that will get you information about what is going on at Sawtooth this summer. Our church’s major connection with the camp recently has been Creation Vacation, which provides family vacations at camp for families that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford a vacation. Kaetlyn Healea goes to camp at Sawtooth every summer. I look forward to the day when Kaetlyn won’t be the only one we send.
Dave shared a beautiful story about a high school girl whose life was transformed by one week at camp. She’s the one who showed up at camp with black lipstick and 13 piercings on her face. She said at a campfire mid-way through the week, “I’ve never felt so accepted” And on the drive home with the grandparents who were raising her, she said, “I got more hugs in that one week than in my entire life, even from my family.” There were some wet eyes as we listened to that story.
Camping changes lives. We have a wonderful camping program in our Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. Thanks Dave for reminding us.