I remember I was scared. Menacing figures lurked across the dark and seemingly endless lawn. Two friends and I huddled tightly as we lay on the moist grass whispering excitedly. Adrenaline flowed as we most seriously discussed how we might manage to retrieve The Word without being caught by the prowling Romans we had been warned about. We decided, as I remember, to charge across the grassy field I now know as The West Lawn. Yet maybe what I remember best are the girlish screams that rang from our mouths as we ran for our lives.
My name is Bryan “Mowgli” Putnam and I am now a counselor here at Brightwood/Timber Rock summer camps. Now going into my sophomore year in college I realize just how long ago it was that my friends and I came here for Junior High confirmation camp. Memories of those three days at Cascades in the fall of seventh grade are now mostly gone yet what is amazing is how God has shaped my life and the person I am today on account of Cascades. From this place my church was blessed with an amazing youth pastor (Chris “Rafiki” Maki) who not only built up hundreds of kids during his summer at the Cascades but who also showed God’s love to hundreds more over four years as my home Church’s (Community Covenant in Twisp, Washington) first full time youth pastor.
But it doesn’t end with Chris. God has filled this place to the brim with an entire staff of amazing people. They are a group willing and ready to serve, devoted to building others up in Christ. This is truly what has touched the campers, the guests, and me most this summer and it is the only thing that will last beyond the fading memories of camp. It is not the beauty of Cascades that changes us, not the recreation and fun, and it is not even the seminars or Bible studies that last over time, it is simply the love of God that is poured out to all who enter those large wooden gates.
Working with kids every single day for a summer has taught me this. I have seen my peers, my fellow workers pour out God’s love to the campers and one another since day one and that is what, I find, you can always count on Cascades for. The summer camp is incredible, the setting is amazing, but those serving here, Councilors, O-Team, Kitchen Crew, and SALT’s are what will be remembered, for it is through this staff that God’s love is poured out.
Summer has officially begun in full force, with campers and guest groups bringing more life and energy to Cascades Camp. After preparing for a couple weeks for their arrival, it has been exciting to finally have campers here to share our enthusiasm about what God is going to do this summer at camp.
My name is Kate “Mozie” Englund, and I will be a junior at Boston College next year majoring in Human Development and English. I started coming to Independence Day Family Camp here at Cascades farther back than I can remember with my family, and continued on as a camper at both Sunrise Ranch Horse Camp and Timber Rock. In high school I was able to come as a SALT, (Servant and Leadership Training), for two summers, immediately after which I began my time on Operations Team working in the gift store during the summer of 2004. After counseling last summer, I am back again to lead the SALT 1 program with Cean “Torque” Williard. It is awesome to be a leader in a program that personally helped me learn how to share Christ’s love with campers and be a leader through service to others.
This week also kicks off a brand new extension of the SALT program for high school students: the SALT Crew. SALT Crew is a camp for ninth and tenth graders who want to learn what goes on behind the scenes at Cascades Camp. So far they have helped the kitchen crew clean dining halls and set tables, as well as helping the Operations Team put up tee-pees at Frontier Village which will be used by the campers this summer. Seasoned SALTs, in their second year of Servant and Leadership Training, are getting ready to be put into cabins to assist counselors at both Timber Rock and Sunrise Ranch. The SALT 1’s will be arriving after family camp, and will undergo a week of training before joining the counselors and the kids at Brightwood Station.
After this first week of campers, we will be heading right into Independence Day Family Camp July 5th-9th, which is always a huge event with hundreds of families and tons of activities around camp. Please pray for us as we have already started a busy yet joy-filled summer. It is awesome to be a part of how God is ministering to all those who come to camp, and we are excited to see what comes next! Blessings on your summer!
My name is Daniel “Archie” Stevens, I’ll be going into my second senior year at North Park University in the Fall as a History/Education double major, and I’m pumped to the max about being at Cascades Camp this summer!
I was first a camper here at Cascades back in 1991 when a neighbor of mine, who just happened to go to the local Covenant church (Shoreline Covenant, which back then was called North Seattle Cov.), invited me to attend a three day “Primary Camp” with him. After my first summer here, I was sold for life that Cascades was (and still is) my favorite place on earth. A few summers later in Jr. High I committed my life to Christ while at Cascades in Rob “Trane” Mohrweis’s cabin. In high school I participated in the SALT program, bringing invaluable leadership skills, people skills, and a deeper sense of what it meant to live and serve Christ into my life. In the summer of 2002 I got to live the dream and was hired as a counselor here.
This summer, which will be my 5th at Cascades, I find myself serving in the SALT program as the Seasoned SALT co-leader along with Kristen “Pumpkin” Rothwell. The opportunity to train the Seasoned SALTs this summer is truly a blessing. There is a very Pauline sense of discipleship and the Holy Spirit’s power when God gives us the opportunity to minister to adolescents, teaching them and helping them to be shaped in God’s image and plan. As the Seasoned SALTs work closely with counselors and other members of staff they learn the value of serving as parts in the body of Christ, as well as being instructed and trained by Kristen and I in daily Bible Studies and meetings to discuss effective ways of serving those around them. There is the most incredible joy in watching and walking along side a young person as they grow in their understanding of what it is to love and follow Christ and obey His commands. This summer I am given, along with my fellow SALT leaders, the great privilege of bearing witness to God’s work in this way once more.
Pray with us and for us as we carry out this ministry!
Daniel “Archie” Stevens
Well here we are, it’s my turn for the staff thoughts column and were just a few days from our first weekend retreat, the first event of our season. The Adult Horse Riding Clinics Weekend is coming up this Friday, with Girls on Horses 1 & Grandparent Grandkid Retreat next weekend.
I started on staff here in September after spending three summers on seasonal staff. Its been incredible for me to experience camp during the “off season”, times where there isn’t anyone else here besides us for days. In the wintertime I’ve spent most of my time working on things like the enews, website, and different publications & mailings that we send out. With the weather turning warmer, and days getting longer I’m finding myself in more of a program role with camp coming up and spring weekends right on our heels.
I’m excited to get out of the office, to spend hours at camp timber rock, at Brightwood station and at Sunrise Ranch. Rob mentioned a few weeks ago that his favorite time of the week during the summer is Sunday afternoon when everyone is getting dropped off and is so excited for camp. I’d have to agree with Rob, I love how busy Nisqually center gets during that time….but I also can’t wait for our first Saturday morning. I love being down at the lake for closing chapel at Timber Rock, or the show at Sunrise Ranch. Parents are always so excited to see their kids and the kids just ready to explode with stories and songs that they’ve picked up over the week. I love watching the change that happens in a camper, you can see that God has worked and become real in their life during the last week.
We’ve hired the staff, we’ve sent out the registration brochures, we’ve got the programs ready…..now its time for God to work, to speak in the lives of those who will come to camp this summer. Be praying with us.