Independence Day Family Camp 2016 was one to remember! Check out this fancy-schmancy recap video with highlights from throughout the weekend! Lots of great memories were made during this event – we hope you enjoy watching some of our favorite moments from the long-weekend. Thanks, Lianne “Hiccup” Woodke – our talented Media Tech/Videographer Extraordinaire – for putting this fun video together!
All of the sermons were recorded and uploaded to the Cascades Podcast. Enjoy sermons by Pastor Stephanie Mathis of West Hills Covenant Church.
Simply click on the links below to listen to each sermon!
If you are having a hard time listening to the sermons please do not hesitate to contact us!
We have some bittersweet news to share with you. After 15 years of faithful service at Cascades, Claudia “Dirt” Fisher, our Program Director, is moving on. She has recently received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and is pursuing employment in that field.
Tears were shed as she shared her plans, but we feel a sense of peace that she is going with God’s blessing and leading. Claudia will remain here through Labor Day. We pray a blessing on her new path. If you wish to say a word or thanks or encouragement, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, Claudia, for all the memories and thousands of lives you have touched with the love of Christ.
Looking ahead, Jessica “Lambchop” Martin, who has been working with Claudia in the program department for several years – most recently as the Program Coordinator – has agreed to take the reins as Program Director. While Claudia will be missed by all, we are delighted Jessica will step up. Keep her in your prayers – it’s a big job – but we know that she’s up for the challenge. Congratulations, Jessica! We are so glad to have you transition into this role!
So, while we are sad to see Claudia go, we have great confidence in Jessica and trust that Cascades’ programs will continue to flourish and grow under her care! We pray blessings on both of these women in the season ahead!
This year we’ve been highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Today we’re introducing a man who wears many hats here at Cascades. Say hello to…
Name: Rob “Trane” Mohrweis
Job: Associate Director
How long have you worked at Cascades? 16 years full time, and three years of summer staff prior to that.
What do you like most about working at Cascades? It’s changed and evolved over the years. I started off really loving being around the campfire with kids and watching them worship – which I still enjoy! But I think what I’ve come to love most about camp is being able to provide a place and a space for people to come and meet with God. They do that in a variety of ways – not just around the campfire. Sometimes it’s loud and crazy, sometimes it’s on a hike, sometimes it’s out in a canoe on the lake. I just get thrilled about providing that space for people.
If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? Breakfast burritos for sure! And/or build your own burrito day. Mexican food is my favorite.
Favorite place at camp? I have a strong connection to Grandview. It was a really cool spot when I started working here on summer staff – we did some special chapels up there. I love Frontier Village and Paradise point, too. They’re some of the more unique “out there” places at camp. I also enjoy getting out on the lake in a canoe every once in a while.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? Right now my big hobby is flying – airplanes, remote control things, and drones. I have a fascination with flying things! Other than that, my biggest passion is my family, just watching my girls grow up and doing all those “kid” things with them – dance, soccer, gymnastics, etc.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? In high school I felt drawn to be a stockbroker, which is actually where my studies took me in college. I have a hard time remembering what I wanted to be when I was much younger than that!
Most epic camp story? A few years ago during family camp, we decided to have me repel down from the rafters in Rainier Center during one of the worship sessions. I was hiding up there hanging out on some boards for over an hour – absolutely silent and not moving at all. As people filtered in and worship began, I couldn’t stop thinking to myself how awkward it was going to be and what a bad idea it was! They finally called me forward to make the up-front announcements – all part of the ploy! I had a microphone on up there and yelled, “I’m coming!” – as if I was running from the back of the room. Everyone turned their heads to the back of the room, while I threw the ropes down to the ground. They fell right next to the front row seats. There was a mom and a bunch of kids sitting in the front row who squealed when the rope hit the floor, and everyone’s attention was pulled forward. When I came off the board and was dangling mid-air, there was this collective gasp as I came down to the floor. (The funny part that I hadn’t quite thought through was that I would then have to actually DO the announcements – I didn’t think about how much my adrenaline would be pumping. My mouth was all dry and I could barely catch my breath!)
What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? Beyond my own personal growth, probably watching the growth of people over the years who have attended our programs. I love seeing the impact camp has on families that come here year after year, and watching the progression of campers who become S.A.L.T.s, who become staff, who eventually move on to other big things in life. The power of camp never ceases to blow my mind!
Thanks Rob! All of us here at Cascades are thankful for your thoughtful leadership – none of us would be equipped to do what we do with your mentoring and support! (“You da bomb,” says Claudia.)
In just under three weeks, our 2016 summer staff will descend on the grounds here at Cascades and dive into an intense, jam-packed summer of ministry together. We couldn’t be more excited about the crew God has brought together (and continues to bring together, as we fill our last few positions!) – each individual uniquely called and gifted for the specific kingdom-building work God has for them in the coming months.
Over the years, we’ve found that some of the most powerful ministry here at Cascades happens amongst the ones who are pouring out and ministering to those around them – our college-aged summer staff. A summer spent serving at Cascades has proven to be an incredibly transformative and life-changing experience for many.
Would you join us in coming alongside our staff in their ministry this summer? We’re looking for 70-ish individuals/families/small groups/churches/etc. to “adopt a summer staffer” – committing to faithfully pray for and support a specific individual (or several individuals!) during their time on staff with us.
We’ll randomly match you with a summer staffer and send you a card with their picture and information on their specific job at camp, favorite treats (for care package purposes, of course!), prayer requests, and more. We’ll give them your name and contact information as well, so they can keep in touch with you over the course of the summer with updates.
If you’re interested in partnering with us in ministry in this unique way by adopting a summer staffer, please email Jessica at email@example.com with the following information:
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!