Fall Retreat Fun at the Vanderkamp Center
When summer camp ends at the Vanderkamp Center, things can start to slow down a little bit. Sure, we have lots of fun with the groups who come up to enjoy the retreat center, but without the kids around? It just isn’t the same.
But the fall youth retreat allows us to forget all of that! This year, we had almost 40 of us together for an absolute blast of a time. Perfect weather, perfect kids, and a perfect time to get together and reflect on how we can get more in touch with God, and find the inner peace we so desperately crave.
Almost every young person who came out this year had been to summer camp the previous year, but we had a couple of new faces as well. Old friends were reunited, and a ton of new friendships were formed as well!
We had some powerful worship services, faith discussions, and group building activities all centered around one theme: Inner Peace. Now, inner peace is something often spoken about jokingly.. but we believe it to be foundational for a Christian faith. With all of the noise that clamors around in our minds, it can be nearly impossible to hear what God is trying to say to us. This is what makes being in nature, in a retreat “away from it all,” so important. It allows us to forget about the things that trouble us from our past, or the things we fear about our future… and it allows us to simply be.
We were absolutely blown away by the way the kids responded this weekend. Some truly brilliant insights into what it takes to find peace as a young person were offered… but what was more impressive was how these kids seemed to honestly recall all of the lessons they had learned in summer camp. The community was incredibly strong, incredibly loving, and more welcoming than even I anticipated. The lesson, as always, is to never underestimate young people and God’s ability to move in them. We are so grateful that these kids took time out of their busy lives to be with us, and we absolutely can not WAIT to see everyone at the Winter Reunion in 2012-2013!