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Say Hello Saturday: Claudia Fisher

This winter and spring, we’ve been highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Today we’re introducing the one, the only…

Name: Claudia “Dirt” Fisher

Job: Program Director

How long have you worked at Cascades? I worked on summer staff from 2002-2006. Then I interned from 2007-2008 and have been on year-round staff ever since.

What do you like most about working at Cascades? I love working with college students, as well as my coworkers. Because I’ve worked here for so many years, it’s fun getting to see people come back for family camps each year, and seeing campers become S.A.L.T.s, then summer staff, and sometimes even year-round staff.

If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? I really like the sandwiches – the rolls with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes – served with Chris’ yummy tomato bisque soup!

Favorite place at camp? I like Easy Street a lot. Especially walking around the horse pasture – lots of good thinking happens there. I also love my office! It’s a very comfortable place – my home away from home, where lots of good conversations happen. I’m also a big fan of Lakeside Chapel and Horseshoe Hollow.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? I’m currently finishing up a Masters in Counseling Psychology, so I enjoy doing therapy, learning, and going to school. I also like photography, my dog Bella, and pretending like I know how to play guitar.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a horse when I grew up. I thought if I ate grass I would become a horse, so yes, I DID eat grass as a kid. (Sadly, it didn’t work out – I’m not a horse.) I also wanted to be a veterinarian at one point.

Most epic camp story? Once summer Tom Moline tasked me with the job of playing “ice cream driver” during family camp, so I drove the “Cushman” (one of our three-wheeled summer vehicles) down to the waterfront on a hot afternoon to pass out ice cream. Little did I know, the brakes didn’t really work. As I was driving down the road by the sand volleyball court, it popped out of gear and I began careening down towards the waterfront. It was quite the moment – blasting cheery music like an ice cream truck, but also about to bowl over a bunch of campers. At the last minute, I decided to take a hard turn and try to drive it off to the side. In one split second, I went up on two wheels and the whole vehicle went “EEEERGGH!” Somehow I didn’t tip over or go off a hillside, but my adrenaline sure was pumping. Moral of the story: the children got their ice cream, and I didn’t die. Win-win.

What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? Probably the lasting relationships I’ve made with summer staffers over the years – how I’ve seen God use them and grow them here, and then watched them move onto other cool things.

Thanks Claudia! Claudia has brought so much life to this ministry over the years with her spunk, wisdom, many talents, and passion for everything she does. We’re grateful for you, Dirt Claud!

2016 Spring Adventure Weekends: Father & Son Retreat

Are you itching to get out to Cascades this summer but don’t think you can wait several more months? Well, you’re in luck! Our Spring Adventure Weekends are right around the corner! These weekend getaways are just what you’re looking for, with the perfect blend of quality time with family and friends, fun activities designed specifically for these retreats, and meaningful times of worship. We’re highlighting all of our Spring Adventure Weekends over the next week or two, so be watching the blog for more posts to come. Up next…
Fathers and sons, gear up for an epic adventure into the wild together! Select one of three different “activity tracks” to customize your weekend just the way you like it. Choose between the “wild west” option, the “extreme adventures” option, and the “shooting sports” option for all kinds of manly fun. You’ll also enjoy a little friendly competition as you face off with other father-son pairs in Cascades’ version of “Survivor.” Spend your free time with the rest of the guys out in boats on Elbow Lake, playing some basketball, hiking through the woods, or whatever else suits your fancy! Prepare to grow closer together through times of worship and relevant messages and discussions led by Bob Nass of Yakima Covenant Church. Are you a grandfather with a grandson or a guy who mentors a young man? All are welcome!

Meet the 2016 speaker, Bob Nass:

If you were stranded on a desert island living off of coconuts and tree bark, but could have one meal of your choice, what would you eat?  Our family favorite is homemade pizza made with spent grain dough, garden vegetables, and guanciale. I’d go for that for sure!

Would you rather have your shoes tied together for the rest of your life, or have to walk on your hands for the rest of your life?  Shoes tied together. Then I’ll walk on my hands or just stand there – life hack!

What is one of your favorite memories with your own father?  Backpacking the Grand Canyon when I was in high school with my family.

What is one of your favorite memories with your own son?  Building a sea kayak together, working on backyard projects, and rolling down the mountain because I couldn’t stop watching him ski the black diamonds.

Why are you excited to share with fathers and their sons?  I devote an evening each week to spending time with fathers and sons studying outdoor living and activity skills, home making skills, and life skills through the lens of God’s call on our lives. I’m excited to continue to learn and share together.

Learn more about our Spring Adventure Weekends (Grandparents & Grandkids Retreat, Father & Son Retreat, Mother & Daughter Retreat, and Adult Horse Roundup Retreat) here. Register for a Spring Adventure Weekend here.

2016 Spring Adventure Weekends: Grandparents & Grandkids Retreat

Are you itching to get out to Cascades this summer but don’t think you can wait several more months? Well, you’re in luck! Our Spring Adventure Weekends are right around the corner! These weekend getaways are just what you’re looking for, with the perfect blend of quality time with family and friends, fun activities designed specifically for these retreats, and meaningful times of worship. We’re highlighting all of our Spring Adventure Weekends over the next week or two, so be watching the blog for more posts to come. First up…
Grab Grandma or Grandpa and soar on over to Cascades for a weekend retreat that’s sure to take you up, up, and away! You’ll be flying high as you scale new heights on the climbing wall, build your own kite, play goofy games, sing campfire songs, and learn more about Jesus together through kid-oriented messages brought to you by Katey Hage of Quest Church. Nothing beats time away with Grandma or Grandpa, and when you’re both in the midst of creation, enjoying great food and staff to keep up with the kiddos, you know it’s going to be the perfect time away together.

Meet the 2016 speaker, Katey Hage:

What is your preferred mode of transportation? A) Hot air balloon, B) Rocket ship, or C) Helicopter  I’ve never been in any of them, but I like traveling in things with walls – so I’d say rocket ship!

Do you have a favorite memory with one of your grandparents?  So many favorite memories that it’s hard to choose – but one that stands out is sleepovers at my Grandma Opal’s house. We would waltz in her room at bedtime after she’d taken her teeth out! She taught me to read, play the organ, sing, take bird baths, garden, play Scrabble, and talk to Jesus everyday.

Why are you excited to share with grandparents and their grandkids?  I know how deep of an impact my grandparents made on my faith and how important that relationship was when I was young. I want to encourage grandparents of this new generation of kids to be intentional and available to their grandkids, and for kids to look to their grandparents to hear stories, learn, and grow from the wisdom their grandparents have. Each of us is on a faith journey, and what a better way to travel than with all generations walking together, following Jesus, and helping each other. We each bring something special and important with us.

Learn more about our Spring Adventure Weekends (Grandparents & Grandkids Retreat, Father & Son Retreat, Mother & Daughter Retreat, and Adult Horse Roundup Retreat) here. Register for a Spring Adventure Weekend here.

 

A letter to our dear Cascades family!

We hope this message finds you well! We thank God for you and want you to know your generosity to Cascades is both vital and deeply appreciated. Thank you!!!

We’re writing today for two reasons. First to tell you that the BIG new playground we’ve mentioned earlier is here and will be installed in May to be ready by summer. Thank you for your generous matching funds to the grant that supported the purchase. We look forward to the many happy hours this quality equipment will provide kids and families for years to come.

Secondly, we write today to ask for your help once again. A generous and faithful friend of Cascades has pledged $20,000 in matching funds for camper sponsorships this summer. So if you are able, your gift now will be doubled by this matching challenge gift.

Every year 100-200 kids need help getting to camp and every year we hear heartwarming reports from them. Here are a couple of short ones:

“Words can’t explain how thankful we are for the sponsors. With our hard couple years we have had, my kids wouldn’t have been able to go to camp which they look forward to every summer, since it’s the one big thing they get to do! They have SO much fun every year! Thank you for your wonderful blessings!”
–Family of 2015 Timber Rock Campers

“My family was sponsored this year, and both my girls were able to go to camp and take part in the extra activities that the camp offers. It was the best camp by far that they experienced. They were so excited and loved every minute of it. We SO appreciate the financial assistance to send our girls. We know without a doubt the impact camp can have on their lives and look forward to more summers where they will be touched by God. THANK you for your generosity and love for my family!”
–Mom of 2015 Brightwood Campers

As you can see, your gifts are a great blessing and bear much fruit. So many families today are suffering, and their children need a sanctuary and a little joy in their lives.

Can you help us take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and help kids find Christ? Simply go to cascades.org and click on the DONATE button at the top to give online to the Cascades Camp Sponsorship Drive. Together we can do this!

Thank you for your time and prayerful consideration. Cascades changes lives for the Kingdom!
Hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,

Tom Moline
Executive Director
tommoline@cascadescamp.org

Say Hello Saturday: Chris Dean

This winter and spring, we’ve been highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Today we’re introducing the culinary mastermind behind all things delicious here at the good ol’ CCACC: say hello to Chris!

Name: Chris “Deano” Dean

Job: Food Services Manager

How long have you worked at Cascades? Five summers on summer staff, two years as an intern, and about five months officially as year-round staff.

What do you like most about working at Cascades? I like the idea behind the ministry as a whole – the idea that it’s a safe, distraction-free place to come where people can focus on God. It’s amazing how all the different departments work together to make that happen.

If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? Can I say anything I don’t have to cook? Just kidding. I think I would have to say cheddar and bacon grilled cheese with French onion soup. No wait – actually breakfast tacos. Not the breakfast burritos – the tacos.

Favorite place at camp? Horseshoe Hollow. I have a lot of good memories there. I’ve led worship there a couple times.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? Hiking, reading, watching movies, and playing with my puppy.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? It bounced around a bit. First, I wanted to be a cowboy. Then a police officer, an astronaut, and a pilot – until I found out they didn’t accept people who wore glasses. (Wait, is that true? Or did my parents lie to me?)

Most epic camp story? One day during my year as the Operations Intern, my boss asked me to go round up all the boats that had floated away after a big windstorm. It was the middle of winter, and the lake was partially frozen over. I got in a canoe and started navigating through the maze of trees that were down all across the lake – swinging around them, climbing over them and pulling the canoe after me. I eventually got the boats, tied them to the back of my canoe, and started back toward shore. It was super windy and they were full of icy water, so the whole process took most of the day. I stopped partway back on the old floating dock to empty out the boats and make them a little lighter – but I accidentally slipped, kicking my boat (along with all the other boats) back into the middle of the lake. I had no radio to call for help, so I decided to swim to shore to get another boat to finish the job. I stripped down to my boxers so that my heavy winter clothes wouldn’t weigh me down (because that’s what you do when you’re 21), jumped in the freezing cold water, somehow got to shore, and ran to the boathouse to grab another paddle. I then realized that I had left my keys on the floating dock with my pants and couldn’t get in, so I got in my truck and drove back to my room to get more clothes and an extra set of keys. On my way there, I passed literally every single person I could possibly pass – soaking wet and wearing only my underwear in the middle of winter. I got some strange looks. And I eventually got the boats back.

What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? Probably seeing people who were campers when I first started here come back and be on summer staff. I love seeing how camp impacts people in that way.

Thanks Chris! After an eight year hiatus, we’re so happy to have Chris back with us at Cascades! From operations guru to worship leading master to resident culinary genius, Chris has blessed this ministry with his gifts in tremendous ways.