While most people think today is just September 30, 2014, to the Camp Oak Hill staff, it’s New Year’s Eve! Today marks the end of our fiscal year and tomorrow begins the start of a brand new fresh year. Just like we all spend time during the last week of December reflecting on the past year and setting goals (resolutions) for the next, the Camp Oak Hill staff are doing the same thing this week
I sat today for a moment to just think about the past year at Camp Oak Hill. What a year it has been! We have migrated to new software, sent off one Camp Director to pursue his dreams of going back school, hired another Camp Director, met goals with our Retreats Ministry thanks to Taylor, had 8 Campfire Reunions where we re-engaged approximately 150 people to be part of our ministry, celebrated reaching our goal of our matching gift grant campaign in July at our Summer Celebration, had a wonderful Summer Camp season, and ended the summer with a great staff retreat where we all rested and reviewed from the year. Whew- it’s been a busy, fun year for sure!!
This week, we’re all entering in to a time of dreaming big, planning for the next year, and praying over where God sees this ministry going in 2015. We are setting goals and resolutions for this fiscal year, while also eagerly anticipating watching God move and work through Camp Oak Hill in 2015.
We’re very excited about some new things coming up in this next season of camp. T-shirt sales, bible studies, discipleship, volunteer days, dinners with the Director, COH sponsored workshops at camp, a new summer theme, new ideas for camp, fresh thoughts on staff leadership development, and continued pursuit of the Lord through each season of Camp.
We hope you’ll join with us in celebrating this wonderful past year and buckle up for a fun, exciting, and jam packed new year with Camp Oak Hill! Happy New Year from the Camp Oak Hill family to yours
We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done. Psalm 78:4
I recently watched something beautiful unfold, a morning I will not soon forget. On one special day in July, generations came together to share their experiences at Camp Oak Hill. Founder, Greg Poole, and first Camp Director, Jerry Barker, met on the camp’s front lawn to interact with campers and staff. It was wonderful simply to listen as they shared stories of God’s great work. One generation to another, telling of His mighty deeds.
Greg began by sharing his remarkable story, of buying this piece of land and founding Camp Oak Hill. Next, Jerry related his experiences as our very first camp director, and of a special prayer offered 37 years ago that God would bless “This Place”. Camp counselor Mike-Mike explained just a few of the ways this camp had touched his life, and camper Molly was about to jump out of her skin to tell of her awesome adventures. And still there were more…Sydney and Morgan, Chris and Merritt and Ben, and 3rd generation camper Peyton—each shared a special experience and told of their love for this camp. But our young friend, Max? Well he may have summed it up best…
“This camp just shows me more of Jesus.”
What an incredible moment it was to watch this gathering of believers. Each shared their own unique story, no generation gap between them, a group united in Christ. At one point I turned and glanced at our newest Camp Director. I saw tears in Michael’s eyes as he gently and quietly sobbed. “Michael,” I whispered. “Are you alright?”
“I’m okay,” he responded joyfully. “This just brings it all home, as to why we do what we do.”
When the gathering concluded, the campers and staff headed off to their regular camp routines while I joined in with Michael, Jerry and Greg. We circled up and prayed, four eras of leadership together on that “hallowed ground.” We prayed for God’s blessing, and His very best for Camp Oak Hill. We prayed for His purpose to be accomplished, for His vision, and for each new generation to commit to tell the next.
We all hugged and said farewell later that morning, and in many ways it was like any other reunion. But I knew in my heart that it had been a special moment—a bunch of regular people joining together, generation-to-generation, sharing the wonders of God. What a miracle to behold. There is no better legacy.
Camp may be over, but we’re in full “swing” preparing for our upcoming Golf Tournament. Join us on September 11, 2014 for our annual Golf Tourney. It’s sure to be a great day celebrating Camp Oak Hill and raising funds to help send campers to us each summer!!