For a handful of years I taught outdoor education. We would hike kids around outside, stopping to learn about nature. The great thing about using an outdoor setting to teach is not it readily lends itself to turning nature lessons into life lessons. Jesus understood this: seeds on different soil was really about the condition of our hearts.
As part of our week with those kids, we would do a night hike. The redwood forest is pretty shaded and dark during the day due to the thick canopy, but at night, it is near pitch black. For many kids that came to us from larger cities, this was usually the deepest dark they’ve seen. That plus being in the woods often made these hikes an exercise in trust (in me) and perseverance.
At one point in our night hike I would gather the kids into a circle and stand in the middle. Then I would light a small candle and hold it above my head. Every time (and still to this day) it would blow my mind just how much light that little candle would emit. That tiny flame, barely an inch high, would cast a net of light 40 ft across! After a half an hour of stumbling through the dark, you could feel the warmth and comfort that little light brought to our circle.
I could go on for pages the different metaphors that experience would elicit. This summer at Kidder Creek we will be looking at the power of Christ working through us to illuminate the darkness around us and just how much that changes things!
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Stories like these are common:
“Michael has a close relationship with Jesus but had been facing some emotional difficulties – camp came at the perfect time for him to reconnect and strengthen that relationship.” – Susan
“Well, if I had to tell about Kidder Creek I would say it was the best camp I ever went to. We did most of my favorite things plus another thing I never heard about. I learned so much about God. All in all, I had the most fun I ever had!” – Natalie
“I learned that no matter what, if you let Jesus fill you, you will produce great fruit. Kidder Creek was amazing. I learned more about God and made a connection with Him.” – Cooper
We rely on generous donors to partner with us in making camp available to all who want to come to camp. In 2016 Kidder Creek granted $180,000 in discounts and camperships to campers in need. Would you prayerfully consider becoming a regular monthly donor and invest your treasure in a program that is making a difference in the lives of young people by helping sponsor them to come to camp?
Find out how you can get involved!
Amy Dickson is the Ranch Manager at Kidder Creek. Not only is she passionate about horses, but loves to snowboard and is actively invloved as a leader in her Junior High Youth group at her church. Last spring, Amy and Andy Warken hosted a group of Chinese Camp Directors at Kidder Creek. During their time, Amy and Andy led them in a “typical” Kidder Creek Ranch Camp experience which included an outback trail ride to Campbell Lake. No experience at Kidder Creek is ever “typical.” Amy’s story is proof.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read an email in December requesting to come to Beijing China in just a couple of weeks! Every January, I usually do a mission trip to Africa, but for some reason God told me not to go this year—now I know why.
The group of Chinese Camp Directors who visited us last fall asked if I was able to speak for five days to various audiences about camping! I had the privilege to share how Kidder Creek provides high quality programming through safety and awesome staff.
My favorite day was speaking to horse riding instructors about teaching riding lessons for a higher purpose. Although they aren’t yet Believers, I was able to speak truth into their lives through horsemanship. They also invited me to ride a couple of their horses!
A small crowd gathered to watch the American cowgirl ride a jumping horse. Thank you the Lord, the horse was bilingual. He listened to my cues and gave me a great ride.
Hopefully this trip has opened the door to Chinese children joining in future Kidder Creek programs and ultimately meeting Jesus.
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Glory to God for the work that He is doing in the lives of campers that join us each summer at Kidder Creek, as they enjoy rafting, horseback riding, and daily adventures, they discover who God made them to be and learn how they fit in His plan to serve Him and others as they grow closer to Him.
Another highlight of this summer was adding Kidder Creek’s first-ever Mountain Bike Camp to the schedule. We filled the camp quickly and had a waiting list for this fun new camp. One camper said, “It was the best week of my life!”
Daily rides were the essence of the camp with rides at camp, the base of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Ashland. Summer 2017 will see a return of Mountain Bike Camp, with this upcoming year separating our Jr. High and High School Campers so that we can offer an even better experience. Many thanks to our volunteers who helped build trails, lead rides, drive the shuttle and do bike maintenance, we could not have done this camp without them.
“I found how God is showing us His love in great ways. I found myself doubting His existence but that completely changed. I am so non-doubting about my faith, and I am willing to give my life fully to Him and go serve the Lord in any way possible.”
BRANDEN, WILDERNESS ASCENT CAMPER
“If we marvel at creation we should marvel even more at the Creator.”
NICHOLAS, TIMBERLINE CAMPER
“I want to decide for myself that I believe in God.”
KELLY, TIMBERLINE CAMPER
“It has changed and probably saved my life.”
SAM, WIT CAMPER
This summer, Kidder Creek will hire nearly sixty young adults to live and serve at the camp all summer long.
For the staff, the summer is just as transformational as it is for the campers.
God uses their relationships, hard work, dedication and perseverance to deepen their faith and help them grow closer to Jesus. If you’ve ever been on a mission trip, you’ve likely come away from your time of service feeling like you were the beneficiary. The same is true of summer staff at camp. All summer long, our dedicated staff continue to give their best even when they are worn out and God is faithful to use each moment to transform lives in powerful ways as only He can do.
Serving on summer staff is a thrilling experience and one that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Kidder Creek is still looking to hire a handful of remaining positions for the 2016 summer.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the life transformational work of summer camp, please invite them to visit whyiworkatcamp.com. The power of camp is available to camper and staff alike.
Come join us this summer!
As summer approaches, there is much to be done to prepare for the arrival of summer staff and campers. Our site requires hours of cleanup from the harsh fall and winter weather and each year we focus on several large facility projects to continue maintaining and improving our structures and site.
Our facilities manager, Tim Lloyd, does an incredible job coordinating these projects and ensuring that the camp looks better than ever on day one of the summer. We are tremendously grateful for the groups of volunteers who come and give hundreds of hours to help us prepare for the summer.
Recently, we have had volunteers from Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Southern California, Servants on Wheels Ever Ready (SOWERs), and the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program (MMAP) helping with projects ranging from slash clearing to window and siding installation. As we get closer to summer, Heavenly wheels from Redding, Calvary Bible Church from Grass Valley, and Flood Student Ministry from Colorado will come to volunteer their time and talent to make Kidder Creek better than ever.
In addition to these groups, a number of faithful volunteers from the Scott Valley help with site maintenance throughout the year. We are beyond grateful to them all!
If you would like to know more about ways you could get involved in supporting the ministry of Kidder Creek as a donor or volunteer please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kidder Creek Camp is excited to welcome Drew Otto back to its staff as our incoming Associate Director!
From 2007–2013 Drew spent most of his summers at Kidder Creek as a counselor, men’s staff counselor and head river guide. The other 3 seasons at Mount Hermon he spent working as a naturalist, principal and developer in the Outdoor Science Program at Mount Hermon.
“I’m excited to be vocationally working for the kingdom and to see God move and reveal himself to our campers AND to our staff. It’s an exciting honor to be a part of what’s happening at Kidder Creek.”
Drew is joined by his wife Charlene and daughter Ellie. Charlene is pregnant with their second daughter and due in August.
Everyone who knows Drew and Char is so excited to welcome them back to Kidder Creek as part of the full time staff. Together they bring a passion to invest into our staff and to see campers’ lives transformed as they meet Jesus here at camp through our staff and adventure experiences.
Please welcome Drew and Char to our team!
April has started with the Rolling Hills Covenant Church youth group doing projects all over camp like raking, cleaning out the pond and building some new fencing. Curly, our contractor, is here building stairs and moving dirt to revamp the water slide/ropes course areas, the SOWERS and MMAP’s groups are here working on the Timberline Dining Room, horses are coming back to the pasture and UPS is making more regular visits. Our office staff is busy answering phones and taking registrations, the kitchens are getting cleaned and the last few summer staff are being hired.
The energy is so exciting as we anticipate our summer staff and campers that will be joining us in a few weeks for Summer 2016.
Kids at camp means lives transformed as they have incredible adventures where they meet Jesus and grow in their faith.
All of this work has me pondering the amount of work and energy that it takes to get ready for camp each year. I’ve been thinking a lot about the verse in
I Peter 4:10 where it says,
Getting ready for camp each summer is a huge undertaking and it requires many people investing time, energy and resources to be prepared for the ministry at hand. I get so excited thinking about each person involved using the gifts that God has given them to serve the campers that will join us this summer.
The people involved does not include just those who are here getting their hands dirty. It also includes our donors who are giving to camperships and general giving, it includes our prayer warriors praying over the work that God will do in the lives of campers and it includes all of our previous campers who are out talking to their friends and inviting them to camp this summer.
God has great things in store for the campers and staff that will be with us this summer. Thank you to all of you who are a part of using your gifts to serve others at Kidder Creek Camp and are helping get camp ready for Summer 2016. It’s going to be a great summer as we see Lives Transformed!
We have recently heard back from the Siskiyou County Planning Department that we are nearing the end of our long journey in the process of approval to our Special Use Permit for the Kidder Creek Master Site Plan. Over the last seven years we have been working with Federal, State and County agencies to dot our i’s and cross our t’s to ensure that we have been diligent in preparing our environmental documents needed in order to proceed. We have most recently finished our traffic impact study and biological survey in the summer and fall of 2015.
Once we receive the application back our next step will be to review any mitigation required and then to submit our application to the planning commission. Prior to the hearing with the planning commission there will be a 30-day public comment phase, which will give our neighbors opportunity to voice any concerns. Please pray with us that God’s hand will be evident throughout the continuation of our process.
Until we hear back we plan to continue to be proactive in getting our plans out into the community by holding meetings and one-on-ones, where we will share the vision and answer questions and concerns that our neighbors may have.
God is doing great things in the lives of young people at Kidder Creek…
…and we look forward to the opportunity to increase that impact by having more campers here in the future. Thanks for your prayers and your support as we walk through this process of approval.
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At Kidder Creek, Custom Group Adventures are one fun way we work with churches. We lead their activities, prepare their meals, and coordinate all the logistics, so each group’s leaders can focus all their attention on building relationships and fully sharing the camp experience with their students.
Peninsula Bible Church, Cupertino, has adventured with us for over ten summers. Shawn Reese of PBCC writes, “Our middle school summer program is built around our trips to Kidder Creek. In fact, most of our students say these trips are the highlight of their middle school years. And many high school students serve with us just so they can go BACK to Kidder Creek!”
We create Adventures uniquely tailored to serve each group. Shawn says,
“Kidder Creek is so accommodating, allowing us to shape our own trip, and tweak it to our liking. We bring our own staff who have relationships with the kids, and Kidder Creek’s guides provide for all the adventure stuff. Their staff love God and love our people, and they want to know our kids. The entire trip is God-centered.
Their model allows us to serve our students in a profound way, maximizing the impact of a multi-day epic adventure within the context of our year-round youth group. The results are incredible. Our trips to Kidder give us time to breathe and ample time in God’s good creation.
Many parents tell us that their 6th graders return home with new confidence gained on these trips. Some have never been away from their parents overnight, and many have never camped in the woods, so when they ‘conquer’ our River Camp experience, they know they’ve accomplished something!”
If you’re interested in a Custom Group Adventure for your church or other group, give us a call! 888.226.7386 We’d love to serve you this summer.
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