It’s a near-weekly occurrence that a special story finds its way to us at Camp Friedenswald. These stories are often told through a letter or email; sometimes they arrive through lively mealtime conversation with a volunteer, camper, or long-time friend; other times they come in the midst of grief and loss of a loved one as memories are recounted and shared; and, sometimes, they are even told over the check-out counter at the local hardware store. Wherever and however the stories are told, they speak to the impact that Camp has had on the life of a person, a family, a church, or community.
As we are getting ready for the summer ahead, we’re tending the space for new stories to be written, shaped, and shared. Sometimes the stories come pouring out quickly, with the impact of Camp so clearly visible over the course of just a week’s time. And, at other times, it’s not until years later that the impact is recognized and recounted.
Just a few weeks ago, I received this story from a former camper, Philip Arner. He attended Camp Friedenswald as a music camper from late elementary school through high school (~1990 to 1998). It was the highlight of his summer every year growing up.
In writing he shared:
I love [Camp Friedenswald] very much! I am so grateful for the impact it had on me, especially in high school. I went through some ups and downs. It helped me figure out who I was, who I wasn’t, and who I wanted to be. I am glad it is a place that is still having that kind of impact. More than anything else though I met Jesus there, through the music, the teachings, and most importantly the people who staffed it.
We give thanks for Philip’s story and for the ways that God has been at work in his life and through the ministry of Camp Friedenswald!
We await with anticipation as stories will unfold over the course of the coming weeks – stories that will shape the lives of staff and campers alike; and will, inevitably, impact the lives of their families, churches, and communities, too.
If you’d like to share YOUR story, we’d love to hear from you. Email, reply here, give us a call, write a letter, send a video – or tell us over the check-out counter. We celebrate and honor the ways that lives have been shaped and impacted by Camp Friedenswald! Thanks be to God!