Posts Categorized: Building Projects

Reporting Back: Lakeside Remodel Update

Posted by & filed under Associates, Building Projects, Kindling.

 

We are thrilled to report that all three Lakeside Lodge buildings, 60 rooms in all, have been completely remodeled!

Last year we completed the remodel of the Lakeside 500 building just in time for summer. This year, we set an ambitious goal to remodel both the Lakeside 600 and 700 buildings, and thanks to Tommy Beadel’s crew with extra help from a local construction company, we finished just in time for Family Camp.

THANK YOU to those of you who contributed to this project. We know at the end of the day it’s not about the rooms, but about what happens in the rooms. Here’s what a teenage boy shared at Victory Circle during a week of Family Camp earlier this summer:

“Our family has been doing the devotions at the end of each day before we go to bed. My family and I have been going through some major struggles, especially my mom and I. We have been butting heads a lot lately and it’s been rough. We’ve even been debating whether I should move out or not. But being at camp it’s crazy, in just these past couple of days I can already tell that my Mom and I are already getting our relationship back like it used to be when I was younger and I just want to say, Mom, I love you.”

Your gifts help create the spaces where transformation happens! Thank You!

We couldn’t do it without you.

What’s happening at Kidder? April 2018

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Building Projects, General, Giving, Kidder Creek.

There are always a lot of exciting things happening at Kidder throughout the year.  This monthly blogpost will give you some of the highlights and things we are excited about.

April 2018 Highlights

God has been blessing Kidder Creek the last several years with continued growth in the number of campers that are able to come learn about the love of Christ!  It’s been such an honor to be a part of that growth process!  We hear over and over how kids lives are transformed here at Kidder, so it’s great to have more campers.  More campers =  Greater impact.  Of course, if we have more campers, we’re going to need more staff, but the problem we’ve run into is where to keep all of these wonderfully kind, servant-hearted young adults!

This spring we began construction on two new staff tent cabins that will be meeting a need that  for more staff housing.  These new cabins will be slightly bigger than our camper tent cabins and will have electricity (unlike our camper cabins).

Our awesome summer staff are the energy behind the amazing things happening at camp and we are beyond excited to provide some new digs for them this summer.
Check out the progress so far (we’ll post completed pictures later!)

  

Did you know that YOU can join us in taking care of our staff by donating to this project.  Thanks for supporting life transforming adventures in creation at Kidder Creek Camp!

Donate Now!

*After redirecting to our donation page select Kidder Creek in the drop down menu, please make your donation to the general fund.

Brand New Parent Child Camps For This Year!

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Building Projects, General, Kidder Creek, Youth.

There are so many things happening at Kidder Creek Camp as we prepare for yet another summer of adventures in creation with kids, youth and families!  There are some really great New Things that I am especially excited about.

A few years back we started our Mother Daughter Ranch Camp.  It has been so fun seeing moms and daughters playing, riding horses and worshiping together.  In fact it’s been so great that we have decided to expand the options to Fathers and Sons and also to any combination of Parent and Child for mt bike camps in 2018.  Come and enjoy time together and in creation making memories that will last a lifetime.

MD Ranch 18 - Mom & 2 Daughters

Register for Mother Daughter Ranch Camp

Brand new Parent Child camps for this year!

Father Son Adventure Camp  – At this new camp Dads and Sons will worship around the fire, eat meat, laugh, shoot arrows, ride horses, tell stories, talk to God, make friends, get wet cliff jumping and whitewater rafting. Father’s and Sons create memories of a lifetime at this three day adventure camp.  

Timb HA 18 - Rafting

Register for Father Son Adventure Camp


Parent Child Mt Bike Camps  – Shred the amazing trails of Northern California with your son or daughter.  Learn more about God and what it means to ride for Him. We’ll provide ride shuttles, food, recreation, and counselor guides that will push your riding and relationship to new levels.  

MB18 - Blue Shirt Man (M)

Register for Parent Child Mt Bike Camps

A Life Well Lived: Chelsea Opheim

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Creating a Legacy, General, Kindling.

Chelsea grew up attending Family Camps with her family. Each year she looked forward to making the trek from Santa Barbara to enjoy a week of refreshment and fun. She was so encouraged by these experiences that she purposed to continue the tradition with her own family.

Chelsea and Nathan were married in 1994. They brought their three children to Family Camps, providing the same experience that Chelsea’s family had given to her. Over the years they attended camps and concerts, forming lasting friendships with other campers and staff.

In 2011, Chelsea was diagnosed with breast cancer and recently went to be with the Lord. Chelsea had the unique opportunity to reflect on her legacy and how she wanted to be remembered.

She desired a memorial that would represent her core values of choosing life, loving others like Jesus, and having faith in the promises of God.

She and Nathan came to us to talk about possibilities at Mount Hermon, and we let them know of a fire pit we were hoping to build at Ponderosa Lodge — a place where thousands of young people gather to learn and develop relationships.

Ponderosa Lodge is Mount Hermon’s most-utilized facility, hosting Jr. High and High School students all summer, Outdoor Science School during the school year, and many program and guest groups on weekends. Over 6,000 kids and teens come to Ponderosa each year, where relationships with their counselors and naturalist teachers help lead them to the love of Jesus.

Chelsea was overjoyed at this idea, and her family and friends quickly pledged to provide the funds needed for this project in Chelsea’s memory.

The new fire pit will be a powerful tool for the relational ministry that happens every day at Ponderosa Lodge and will have a plaque remembering Chelsea and her love for the ministry of Mount Hermon.
We are so grateful for her friendship, for the years the Lord gave us with her, and for her lasting legacy
at Mount Hermon.

For more information about leaving a legacy at Mount Hermon, please contact J.R. Loofbourrow at 831.430.1244 or advancement@mounthermon.org

Learn More about Leaving a Legacy

Exciting Things Ahead!

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, General, Giving, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

I believe God has some unbelievable things in store for Mount Hermon in 2018.  This could even be our best year ever!  Thousands of kids will be coming to camp, along with a myriad of global ministry partners who will be holding retreats and equipping thousands more to better serve and share the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout this country and the world!

Two areas where God is clearly at work include phase two of our Lakeside Lodge remodel and some dramatic progress to improve Redwood Camp!

Do you remember how God enabled us to remodel all 20 rooms in our Lakeside Lodge 500 building last May? Thanks to the incredibly hard-working team from southern California led by Tommy Beadel, this building went from worn and dated to fresh, new, and transformed in just one week! Hundreds of families enjoyed these rooms throughout the summer and last fall. Soon Tommy and his crew plan to return, to complete the next phase of the remodel – WOW!

Why is this ministry project so important? Because these rooms are a vital link in God’s life transformation process for our guests and the construction crew. The Family Camp guests and Guest Groups that stay in these new Lakeside rooms are incredibly blessed. They experience a comfortable and distraction-free environment, providing rest and renewal as they absorb all that God has for them
during their conference or retreat.

Remember, it’s not just campers who are blessed. Just like last year, we are inviting Tommy’s entire construction crew and their families to return as our guests for Mount Hermon’s Hispanic Family Camp. Can you imagine how seeds planted last year will continue to grow when these families return to have fun, learn about the Savior and be enveloped with the love of Jesus, joined by a whole new group of their co-workers?

Redwood Camp is in the process of major transformation as well. The addition of the Samuelson Pavilion has been a game-changer for our children’s ministry, providing a dedicated, covered recreation space. PTL!

Up next: improvements to our Redwood Camp cabins. Plans are nearing completion to revitalize and connect every other cabin with a bathroom in between. Each bathroom will have a toilet and sink which will eliminate the long walk to the bathhouse with a counselor when the need arises in the middle of the night.

Each of my boys attended Redwood Camp and I saw firsthand the impact it had on their lives. Nearly 1,000 kids come to Redwood Camp each summer, and we know these cabin improvements will significantly enhance their experience as well as the experience of our hard-working counselors. Our Children’s Ministry Team does a phenomenal job creating a powerful program for these kids and these new bathrooms will go a long way in enhancing everyone’s overall experience.

We need your help with each of these vital ministry projects. They both require a lot of planning, prayer, and dollars to become a reality. Your prayers and support are needed to make these projects happen! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or requests for additional information. Remember, this could be our best year ever!

Support Mount Hermon

Lakeside Project

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, General, Stories of Ministry.

As an Associate, Tommy Beadel invests in the ministry of Mount Hermon. Attending Mount Hermon since he was four, what God has done in his life has had significant impact on him, his family, and now his company.

As the owner of Thomas James Capital, the largest homebuilding company on the west side of Los Angeles, Tommy felt the call to do something more for a place that has meant so much to him. “I have a passion for Mount Hermon, and I saw a need here with the housing and the accommodations and their need for updating.”

Four years ago, he began conversations with Mount Hermon about how, with his skill set and resources, he could help improve a significant area of the experience—the lodging. For six years, Mount Hermon had been slowly renovating Gwinn Lodge, room by room. “We were able to do our first project in Gwinn Lodge last year,” said Tommy. “What took them 6 years to do—ten rooms, we did the last 10 rooms in 6 days.”

That got the wheels moving.

If you have ever stayed in a Lakeside Lodge room, you know that, well, they needed quite a bit of attention. When Lakeside Lodge was built in the 1980s, it was revolutionary. A hotel style accommodation that allowed families to room together in the middle of a gorgeous property without having to worry about cooking or cleaning for the week they were at camp. Over the years, as the needs changed and the people changed, the rooms did not. Fast forward to the next century, and the rooms began to show their wear and tear and just how dated Lakeside Lodge actually was.

Tommy knew that he could bring the skills to Mount Hermon to improve Lakeside. He could provide the crew, but we needed to provide the resources and the materials so that his guys could do what they do best. We sent out a call in the spring sharing the vision with those who love Mount Hermon (and have probably at one time or another, stayed in Lakeside) and you answered. Having the resources and materials in place, Tommy and his crew showed up, and the transformation of the rooms began.

“What we’ve been honored to do is be allowed to come up here and bring our expertise, and bring our guys and our crew up here to remodel the accommodations in an extreme home makeover kind of way. We’re doing all 20 rooms and all of the concrete work and fire pits.”

The transformation of the Lakeside rooms was just the beginning. “The thing that I get is to give my boys this experience and to show them it’s not just about them, it’s about serving others. So for me, I can make this impact on my boys and show them what hard work is and what it is to put in a long day and make a difference.”

Reporting Back Lakeside Project

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Giving, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

Have you heard? The Lakeside 500s have been completely remodeled, and they are beautiful!

This spring Tommy Beadel, a long-time family camper, brought a crew of 50 construction workers to demo the rooms and completely remodel them! In seven short days they had done about 80% of the work, leaving a few final finishing touches to be completed in the weeks before the start of Family Camp.

But here’s the best part: the whole construction crew has been invited to come back to Mount Hermon in August for Hispanic Family Camp as guests of Mount Hermon! From the start, Tommy and his wife Brandy’s desire has been for their workers, along with their families, to experience Mount Hermon just like they have, with their kids. We can’t wait to host them next month and see God work.

We are already beginning to plan the future remodel of the Lakeside 600s and 700s! Tommy is excited to introduce even more of his workers to Mount Hermon.

Thank you to all of you who supported this project financially, we couldn’t have done it without you! Please pray for the guests who are staying in the Lakeside 500s this summer, along with the crew that will be coming back for Hispanic Family Camp.

Hear Tommy talking about the project below. Be sure to grab a tissue or two…or ten!

If you would like to be part of the Lakeside 600s and 700s project,
contact J.R. Loofbourrow at 831.430.1244

Learn How To Give Support

Velocity Bike Park at Felton Meadow – A Look Back

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Velocity.

It’s hard to believe but the dream for Velocity Bike Park began in 2011 when the County of Santa Cruz approached Mount Hermon to see if we were interested in purchasing the 15 acre Felton Meadow property.

Mount Hermon wasn’t looking to acquire any additional property, but we recognized the significance of this opportunity and how it would allow us to work even more closely with our community. The County of Santa Cruz helped us broker a deal with the previous owners, South County Housing, and we took possession in May of 2012. Shortly after taking possession we began a major clean-up and security effort on the property. We removed (figure of tons) tons of accumulated garbage and debris from the property and installed a perimeter fence to limit the amount of undesirable activity on the property. We also developed a pedestrian walkway to allow neighbors and residents to still access Zayante road and the Felton Faire Shopping Center. Working with CAL Fire and Felton Fire we also reduced the amount of “fuel” on the property and invasive species.

 

 

Along with improving the property we hosted a series of meetings with community members, neighbors and residents to begin planning property improvements. Through our conversations a set of guiding principles emerged that would guide our thought process:

  • • maintain greenspace on the property
  • • employ the most current sustainable development practices
  • • consider programs and amenities that would bless the local community
  • • design programs that would not compete with already established businesses or facilities, but enhance them
  • • create programs that promote healthy families and inter-generational participation

Our guiding principles helped us sort through the myriad options and settle on a few key programs and facilities:

  • • a mountain bike facility
  • • a community garden
  • • a community day-camp and after-school care facility
  • • an aerial adventure courses
  • • recreation spaces for day-campers
  • • connectivity to our existing properties

The Design Phase:

After our initial clean up, community input and discussion phases we began the design phase. We knew that we wanted to enlist the help of the best people in many disciplines to help us develop a world-class plan. After carefully considering many firms we chose Verde Designs to be the lead design firm and then began enlisting the help of experts in many disciplines including Alpine Bike Parks for the bike park design. This is also when we began working formally with the County of Santa Cruz Planning Department on developing the initial plan design.
Thinking that the design and approval phase would take approximately two years we developed and launched the “Velocity Bike Park” identity and started to promote the bike park and bike school at local events like the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival and bigger events like the Sea Otter Classic, even partnering with GoPro to provide the AcroBag aerial trick bag! It was an exciting time and cemented many great relationships that are carried on today.

 

First Hearing:

After several years of design, survey and studies the Santa Cruz Planning Department recommended our project to the Planning Commission in October of 2015. At the hearing many people voiced support for the project and urged the commission to approve the project. After the hearing the planning commission required the completion of an Environmental Impact Report. The Planning Department spent several months choosing an EIR consultant agency and we began working with them in early 2016 to complete the EIR process.

Environmental Impact Report:

For the past year we’ve worked with the EIR consulting agency to complete all the required surveys, studies and reports to ensure the best sustainable project possible. We’re proud of all the work that has been done and looking forward to moving forward with the project.

Velocity Programs:

While we continue to wait for the Velocity Bike Park / Felton Meadow project to be approved we have begun offering mountain bike skills development programs at our Mount Hermon property as well at locations throughout the county. Velocity Bike School offers progressive mountain bike programs with talented and experienced coaches certified by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). Our unique and personalized approach combines core skill development and on-trail riding to help you take your riding to the next level! Programs are available this spring and summer – join us!

 

What’s next:

The draft EIR is anticipated to publish within the next few weeks which will kick off an official 60 day public comment period. Now is the time to share your voice with local officials to let them know you support the Felton Meadow project and Velocity Bike Park. You can send in a letter directly from our website at either feltonmeadow.org or velocitybikeparks.org.

There will also be two public meetings during the 60 day public comment period where we need you to show up and voice your support. We’ll announce the date, time and location of those meetings as soon as we have them.

Thanks again for your supporting the project and for supporting healthy, growing communities!

Velocity Bike Parks / Felton Meadow Project Draft EIR Publishing Soon!

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Stories of Ministry, Velocity.

This week we’re celebrating a huge milestone–
and reaching out to you for help.

Over the past 14 months we’ve been working with the County of Santa Cruz planning department and environmental consultants to complete an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Felton Meadow project, which includes Velocity Bike Park. The EIR is a long and detailed process that looks at all aspects of our proposed plan – the level of detail required to complete the EIR ensures that the project meets and in many cases exceeds required development criteria.The Santa Cruz Planning Department will soon be publishing what is called the Draft EIR for public comment. While it is called a “draft” it is the complete document which is finalized after the public comment period. The official public comment period is scheduled to last for 60 days and is your opportunity to submit letters of support.

What we need from you

This is your opportunity to support Velocity Bike Park – by writing a letter to the Santa Cruz Planning Department. It is critical that the planners and County Supervisors see that the support for this project is deep and wide.

Sign the Petition

What happens next

Once the 45 day public comment period closes we are required to respond to all the comments – which is part of the EIR process. Depending on the volume and complexity of the comments we receive this could take a few months. Once all comments have been responded to we’ll be added to the list of projects waiting for a hearing before the Planning Commission – who will vote and have the final say on the project. We’ll need your help at this point by coming to the official hearing where you’ll again have the opportunity to support the project with your presence. The timeline will look something like this:

Public Comment
60 days

Comment Response
30-90 days

Waiting for a hearing
30 days

Public Hearing
August or September

Please help us now by writing your letter of support, and thank you for your support up to this point. It’s been a long road but we’re almost there!

The Samuelson Pavilion

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, General, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

Samuelson Pavilion Photo

On July 30, over 300 Redwood campers from past and present, staff, friends, and family all gathered under the Samuelson Pavilion to dedicate it to God’s glory and service. The Samuelson Pavilion has been a project of dreams for years, and this last summer came to fruition.

Dick Dosker, former Redwood Camp Director (1956–1989) captured the significance of the Pavilion during the dedication by saying, “Thank you all for the service in which you have given to this particular place of real estate which is hallowed ground. This new piece of equipment will help us move into the future of year-round ministry.”

“I love having the pavilion,” said current Redwood Camper D.J. Renwick. “When it’s foggy, or it’s raining or really sunny, we can play under here and it’s really nice.”

The Samuelson Pavilion sits nestled on the end of the meadow where redwoods provide the backdrop, the sound of the Ferndale Falls heard, the cabins seen, and relief from sun and rain felt. It provides a space for basketball, foosball, dodgeball and more. It also provides a great place to gather and meet with an open air feel.

  • Samuelson Pavilion
  • Samuelson Pavilion

“In many ways—Play is the gateway to a child’s heart,” said current Redwood Camp Director, Chafer Cox. “We close the week with our Luminaria. Campers spread out all over the field and under the pavilion. This is where many kids accept Christ for the first time and discover God’s unconditional love for them, (as they look back over the week and make some incredible decisions and take part in life-changing conversations). Last night, one cabin of seven girls all accepted Christ right here under the pavilion.”


“I love to build. I love taking the plans and making them come to life. We listen to the Master Builder. He leads us to build places and spots to worship.”


The Samuelson Family and staff also attended the dedication. “I love to build. I love taking the plans and making them come to life,” said Jack Samuelson. “We listen to the Master Builder. He leads us to build places and spots to worship.”

Jack has a long history with Mount Hermon having been on the board of directors and attending Mount Hermon events. “He [Jack] feels loved here,” said Jack’s son Reid Samuelson. “We feel loved here, and I’m sure that everyone who passes through here gets the same feeling. So we’re very proud, very honored to be a part of this project.”

“We want our grandchildren and all young people to understand that living is about giving and not getting,” said Jack. “It is about concern for others and living in the warm glow of God’s eternal, loving care.”

There was also no better weekend to dedicate the pavilion than the same weekend as the Redwood Staff Reunion. Over 140 former Redwood Staff from the 40’s to the present came from far and wide to revisit and reconnect with such a unique and meaningful time in their lives.

Bill (Llama) Vezey reflects back on his experience as a summer staffer at Redwood in the 80’s. “Redwood Camp, in particular, was, no exaggeration, my salvation. I was headed down a dark and self-absorbed road. Living in a community, summer after summer, that required mutual reliance in a place of such explicit prayer and service turned my ship around. I am forever grateful to Dick and Barb Dosker who took a chance on me and let me come back a second summer. And a third. And so on.”

“We’ve all been part of this,” said Ron Taylor, former Redwood Camp Director (1998–2009) during the ceremony. “I believe that this building is in good hands because the people who are serving at Mount Hermon love God and dream big.”

A Dream Comes to Fruition: Redwood Pavilion

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Building Projects, General, Stories of Ministry.

pavilion-grass

On July 30th, over 300 Redwood campers from past and present, staff, friends, and family all gathered under the Samuelson Pavilion to dedicate it to God’s glory and service. The Samuelson Pavilion has been a project of dreams for years, and this last summer came to fruition.

Dick Dosker, former Redwood Camp Director (1956-1989) captured the significance of the Pavilion during the dedication by saying, “Thank you all for the service in which you have given to this particular place of real estate which is hallowed ground. This new piece of equipment will help us move into the future of year-round ministry.

“I love having the pavilion,” said current Redwood Camper D.J. Renwick. “When it’s foggy, or it’s raining or really sunny, we can play under here and it’s really nice.”

pavilion-kids
pavilion-basketball

 

The Samuelson Pavilion sits nestled on the end of the meadow where redwoods provide the backdrop, the sound of the Ferndale Falls heard, the cabins seen, and relief from sun and rain felt. It provides a space for basketball, foosball, dodgeball and more. It also provides a great place to gather and meet with an open air feel.

In many ways—Play is the gateway to a child’s heart,” said current Redwood Camp Director, Chafer Cox. “We close the week with our Luminaria. Campers spread out all over the field and under the pavilion, and this is where many kids accept Christ for the first time and discover God’s unconditional love for them as they look back over the week and make some incredible decisions and take part in life-changing conversations. Last night, one cabin of seven girls all accepted Christ right here under the pavilion.”

We are so grateful for the Samuelson family and for the hundreds of others who helped make this project possible!
pavilion-interior-campers2

Felton Meadow Update

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, General, LOG.

feltonMeadowMeeting1200

Mount Hermon’s Felton Meadow development project, which includes the Velocity Bike Park, is currently grinding its way through the Santa Cruz County planning and approval process. It’s been two years since the plans were first submitted to the County for review and subsequent discretionary approval, and you may be wondering what is taking so long.

In early 2015 the County determined that our project would require an environmental impact report (EIR). After lengthy preparations we officially entered into the EIR process in October 2015. So far so good. No red flags or issues that can’t be mitigated. You can be praying for a few areas of concern to our neighbors: traffic, biotic resources, and visual impact. These can be areas where the perceived impact overshadows actual.

We are hoping to have the draft EIR ready for public review early this summer, the final EIR completed by fall, and be back in front of the County Planning Commission before the end of the year. If all goes well, we could be moving dirt as soon as it is allowed in April, 2017.

feltonMeadow1000In January Mount Hermon hosted a “town hall” meeting for the local community. Colorful displays illustrated the site plan, environmental issues, building concepts and floor plans, and even general information about Mount Hermon. During the presentation our staff spoke about Mount Hermon’s long history in the area, how the community will be blessed through the programs and activities designed for them, and specifics associated with the actual construction, operation, and maintenance of the site.

The goal was to openly inform the public about what we want to do and why. More than 200 people attended including neighbors, business people and a local bike club of Junior High  students. We are encouraged by the swell of support we have since received. God is on the move!


Dale Pollock is the Facility Engineer for Mount Hermon. He brings 21 years of experience at Mount Hermon to his role as the Project Coordinator for the Felton Meadow development.

Read More About Felton Meadow

Kidder Creek Prepares for the Future

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Kidder Creek, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

kidderCreekmountains1000

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.

Read More about Kidder Creek

Sequoia Aerial Adventure Opens

Posted by & filed under Adventures, Adventures Updates, Building Projects, LOG.

sequia-aerial-adventure1000

Built in 2008, the original “Sequoia Ropes Course” replaced the “Canyon Course,” which suffered much damage in the winter of 2008 when a large tree ripped through the challenge course during an ice storm. The new course built in its place was intentionally designed for family camp guests and team building programs, incorporating unique design elements that allowed it to be used by an intergenerational audience. The Sequoia Ropes Course had 12 elements, or activities, and a tandem zip line at the finish.

In 2010 Mount Hermon Adventures was formed, taking the Redwood Canopy Tours, also built in 2008, and the renamed “Sequoia Adventure Course,” surrounding these experiences with other adventures and programs. People from around the world started coming to see the majesty of the redwood forest from the perspective that only our adventure activities could provide. Along the way people overcame fears, laughed deeply, connected with friends, strangers, and their Creator.

sequoiaGirl1000 sequoiaThreePeople1000sequoiaGuy1000

At this point the Sequoia Adventure Course was used only by guests of Mount Hermon programs and our Team Building events. We saw interest in the Sequoia Adventure Course grow and we began fielding multiple requests every week from individuals that wanted to bring their friends and family to Mount Hermon for an aerial adventure experience. These guests were hungry for adventure, looking for new experiences, and excited to direct their own adventure experience in a unique way.

In 2014 we began offering limited numbers of individually registered day guests the opportunity to access the Sequoia Adventure Course. We were quickly overwhelmed with the response and began planning on how we could expand the course to maximize the “teachable moments” a guest would encounter on course. Due to a generous donation in 2015 we were able to bring this vision to fruition!

sequoiaConverge1000After months of hard work and preparation we’re ready to announce the Grand Opening of the Sequoia Aerial Adventure!  Over the winter months we expanded our existing Sequoia Adventure Course by adding two new levels of challenges and the exciting “Quick Jump” free-fall device. A new way to experience the redwood forest, this aerial adventure combines balance and partner challenges high above the forest floor. The Sequoia Aerial Adventure now offers 30 activities graded by difficulty into “tracks” that guests can explore at their own pace. Like the “ropes course” of 20 years ago it is terrifying, it is exhilarating, it leaves you wanting more. During the expansion we also rebuilt much of the existing course, using the newest technology to promote long-term tree health, reduce annual maintenance, and ensure compliance with all regulations. This newest version of the Sequoia Aerial Adventure is one of the finest adventure courses in the nation!

While we’re excited to launch this expanded program we’re even more excited at how God has used Adventure over the past eight years to draw new guests to Mount Hermon. This newest adventure is just the next step in an expanding ministry that uses activities as the tool to draw people into relationship through intentional experiences in creation, and new opportunities to encounter their Creator.

Even Small Donors Make a Difference

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Giving, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

Rachel-and-Evan-Griffith

It’s an indisputable truth that Redwood Camp is and has been one of the happiest places on earth for so many. For a century now thousands of lives have been impacted as they have realized the love of Christ under the Redwoods. Uncountable decisions to follow Jesus have been made by the tender, vulnerable hearts of Redwood campers

I had the joy of opening a letter the other day from two of our littlest donors. It brought such joy to my heart and all those who read it that I simply had to share it with you.

Most of you know we are revealing a much anticipated feature at Redwood Camp this summer, the Samuelson Pavilion. We’re not the only ones excited about this wonderful new ministry arena; so are Evan and Rachel.

I asked their mom Stephanie how this all happened. She said…

Twin's-letter

“Redwood Camp is a very special place for our family. As a camper I made a commitment to Christ at Redwood Camp. My husband and I met as counselors at Redwood Camp. Now our children will be going to Redwood Camp for their 5th and final summer, before making the jump to Ponderosa. At last year’s Associates in Ministry Celebration we decided to help financially support the new Pavilion in the small way we could.

This decision got our children thinking. On their own they decided to save their allowance and find small ways to raise money for the Redwood Camp Pavilion. Redwood Camp is their favorite week of the summer (and maybe even their favorite week of the whole year!). To them it was a no–brainer to donate their money to such a special place.”

Years from now Rachel and Evan will look at the pavilion and know they were a part of that historic event in the life of Redwood Camp and all the lives that have been transformed there. The beautiful legacy of Redwood Camp and Mount Hermon flows from generation to generation, family to family. Thank you for being a part of Mount Hermon’s story.

Invest in Mount Hermon

Redwood Camp Samuelson Pavilion Update

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

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Redwood Camp is where it all started—Mount Hermon’s birthplace in 1906. Things have come a long way since then and we are thrilled to be unveiling one of the most anticipated additions Redwood Camp has experienced.

It began in May of 2001, when the current master development plan for the Conference Center and Redwood Camp was approved by Santa Cruz County. There are many wonderful and exciting projects associated with our master plan, and each one, when completed, will be used to support the mission of Mount Hermon—lives transformed. The new pavilion at Mount Hermon’s Redwood Camp definitely fits into that category.

The Samuelson Pavilion is an open–air structure that will set nestled back towards Bean Creek, preceded by a sprawling grass meadow. The pavilion will be the new hub of activity, offering shade in the summer, and protection from the rain in the winter months.

The project started September 15, 2015 with strategic removal of trees and mass grading of the site. We were under the gun to get rough grading completed in less than thirty days. We pressed on and were able to complete the work by October 14. What an answer to prayer!

Since then, it has been full speed ahead with a six–inch water line to the fire sprinkler system, concrete foundation, heavy timber framing, and roof structure all completed. Our original date of completion was March 7, which included twenty days for rain delay. Even though we’ve had more than 20 days of rain, we are still on track to finish well ahead of the start of summer youth camps.

Someday we believe it will be hard to imagine life without the Samuelson Pavilion and its ministry impact. We feel confident, that day is not far away.

Read more about the Samuelson Pavilion

New Redwood Sports Pavilion Underway!

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Building Projects, Giving.

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For 20+ years now we have been dreaming of a Sports Pavilion at Redwood Camp, and this summer that dream will finally become a reality! Last summer we were uber-blessed with a lead gift of $900,000 along with many other generous contributions which allowed us to reach our funding goal of $1,365,000 and begin construction on our new Pavilion!

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For those of you who have worked at Redwood Camp,  you know that the lack of dry, covered recreation space can be a big bummer. When the meadow gets wet it stays wet, for days. This new space will provide us with the ability to run recreational programs rain or shine, and is also designed to  leave plenty of room on the meadow for other activities. The pavilion will be great for our summer camps and also dramatically enhance our programing options for both guest groups and our own camps throughout the school year. We will now be able to utilize this space even when the rain is pouring down for basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, and much much more!

Construction began in late September, and the pavilion will be open and ready for use this summer! It has been designed with an “open-air” feel. The lack of walls will allow for guests to enjoy an unobstructed view of the whole area while still being protected from the elements. Check out this video fly-through to see how awesome it is going to be.

There will be an official dedication ceremony during the Redwood Reunion  this summer on Saturday, July 30. We would love for you to join us!

Watch the construction happen here: mounthermon.org/samuelsonpavilion

Something Big is Happening at Redwood Camp

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Giving, Kindling.

Redwood-Sports-Pavilion

Mount Hermon began its first summer of ministry in a meadow off the railroad tracks, a space now known as Redwood Camp. Since then, this sacred space has seen tens of thousands of people, young and old alike meet Jesus and experience His love firsthand!

Redwood Camp is filled with kids and non–stop fun each summer, yet its facilities and location have allowed only limited use at other times of the year. The geographical footprint is only seven acres and it’s surrounded on three sides by water, with the fourth border being Zayante Road. The guest cabins have served us well, but were built over fifty years ago with only two centrally located bath houses for boys and girls. In addition to these rustic accommodations, there is no indoor recreational facility like the McAfee Fieldhouse.

This severely limits our program options when the weather turns wet or windy. Imagine an entire weekend conference with little to no recreational options, due to inclement weather.

Now imagine a brand new year–round recreation pavilion, packed with kids, surrounded by new guest cabins, designed and built for year–round comfort, with increased acreage for recreation. That would require a miracle, you say? Then please join with me as we Praise the Lord for how He is opening doors that allow Redwood Camp to be just that in the future!

Consider this: when Mount Hermon purchased the 15 acres of land, now called The Felton Meadow, this significantly increased our opportunities for exciting and new recreational growth at Redwood Camp.

Add to this our plan for new guest cabins designed with bathrooms and showers, along with more interior space, thanks to a two–story layout that maximizes ministry and minimizes land use. This design protects and preserves our proven counselor–to–camper ratio. Final design is pending and cabin funding is still needed.

Now the REALLY exciting news: Late last year a family who loves Mount Hermon
heard from Heaven regarding our need for a year–round recreational pavilion. PTL! They are responding by providing the majority of the funds needed to build this amazing new facility! Prayers, plans and preparation for this pavilion go back decades, but now, through the faithfulness and generosity of this family, the Lord has provided 80% of the funding we need to get started. We anticipate breaking ground this Fall. Piece by piece the Lord is providing a miracle. Just imagine the impact on all the additional children and adults whose lives will be touched and transformed due to the increased year–round ministry at Redwood Camp!

Roger Williams often said: “You can’t minister to empty beds.” You and I can make a difference; we can be part of God’s plans to build a new Redwood Camp and reach more lives for Jesus. I invite you to join with us.

To learn more contact J.R. Loofbourrow at 831.430.1237 or jrloofbourrow@mounthermon.org

Saved from the Tree

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Giving, Kindling, Staff News.

Hipwellhouse2Mount Hermon loves people and prays for Jesus to transform lives. Our mission is not only to bless, love and encourage our guests, but also to pour into the lives of those who serve on our staff.

Because of your faithfulness, we have jobs to do; we have staff houses here that we’ve made our homes, and we have a vibrant, close–knit community we live in and are so grateful for.

God provides for us in many ways, and He never ceases to amaze us with his goodness. Your provision for us may be of this world, but God’s is from his love and grace beyond this world. Phil Hipwell, Ponderosa Lodge Food Service Manager and his wife, Vicki live in a staff home up near Ponderosa Lodge. They experienced just that love and grace on a stormy, winter night. It’s a story worth sharing and I hope it will bless you.

“On Dec 30, 2014, God gave us a gentle reminder that he is in control of all things. Our house was filled with excitement and energy that night as an impromptu visit by two of my brothers and their families had filled up the house. Because of all the extra people, everyone was spread out instead of being in our beds at 10:30 as usual. The older girls were next door in summer staff housing, the boys were downstairs playing video games, and my four year old was asleep in our bed. That’s when we heard a loud crash and the house went completely dark. My brothers and I rushed outside to see what had happened and we came upon the enormous tree that had uprooted, hit the house and crushed two cars. My youngest daughter’s bed was also crushed and in a hundred pieces. Despite all the damage, not a single person was hurt. The “what ifs” are too numerous to mention!

The Lord’s protection was on full display that night. I called Mark Lilley and despite it being late at night, he arrived within five minutes to lend a hand. Less than an hour after the tree hit, the Mount Hermon community had rallied, providing us with housing for everyone and a vehicle to help us get around. My family was in awe of how well we were taken care of. It gave Vicki and me a great opportunity to speak of our faith with family and friends who are not Christians.
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I explained to my Mom why I work at Mount Hermon. It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with living and raising my family in a place where God’s community works together for his glory! That is something that just can’t be bought.”

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our guests and our staff. Your giving not only supports improvements for our guest lodging but also provides critically needed housing for many of our staff. Please pray for the repair of Phil and Vicki’s home and for the Lord’s provision to maintain and repair other staff homes.

Child Care Deck Completed!

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, General, Kindling.

Kids on Deck

Praise the Lord, our new Child Care deck is completed! Through you, the Lord has blessed us with a safe and secure new ministry zone for our youngest campers. Thank you for your gifts, prayers and patience. We needed them all to reach the finish line.By dividing this project into three distinct phases over a period of two months, we were able to continue our Playschool ministry uninterrupted. This is a deck built to last, with pressure–treated wood used for all the joists and beams, while the new structural beams are so massive they required six men to lift! We’ve installed a fire sprinkler system under the deck for added safety.

The original deck had a wonderful yet very unusual steel railing, which was one complete and uninterrupted unit. Because it was in such great shape and the cost to replace it would have been prohibitive, we reused it, but had to creatively brace it with temporary supports while the new deck was literally built around and under it.

Our building permit was issued with requirements to enhance the front entrance to the Child Care building, by making it more accessible. This turned out to be an unexpected blessing, as it will be much easier for us to minister to children with mobility issues year–round!

The next time you visit, we would love to have you pop by and see our beautiful new Child Care deck!

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“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Mark 14:10 (ESV)

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Child Care Deck Project Update

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, Giving, Kindling.

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Family Camps would not be family camps without our child care building and the fantastic ministry team that loves and cares for our youngest campers. This past summer was no exception, hundreds of children experienced the love of Jesus as they were ministered to by our staff.

Last spring many of you graciously gave a gift to help replace the old and  tired child care deck. Thank You so very much!  Through you, the Lord provided all the funds needed to restore this vital ministry zone.

Our plan was to begin work as soon as possible and be finished before our busy summer season. Unfortunately, our plans simply did not work out the way we hoped.  As the process unfolded, it became clear that the permit required for this project could not be obtained in time to complete construction before campers arrived.

As followers of Jesus, we always seek to maintain a strong relationship with the local authorities, by doing our best to adhere to Romans 13:13. As such, we will pick-up right where we left off, once Labor Day Family Camp is completed. We will then precede full-speed to complete this project as soon as possible.

It’s been said that: “Knowing when not to work is as important as knowing when to.”  That certainly applies in this case, but more importantly is the fact that we walk by faith as we trust the Lord in everything. Thanks to each of you who join us day by day on this exciting journey of faith!

Facility Upgrade

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, LOG.

Huckleberry upgrades

“It’s generally agreed that Mount Hermon’s accommodations are not what they should be.” This quote was recorded in the minutes of a Board of Director’s meeting in 1929. What was true in Mount Hermon’s history is even more magnified today.”

Increasingly, over the last few years, evaluations from our guests have elevated our concern about worn out accommodations to a whole new level. As the Facilities Manager, you can imagine my surprise and delight at the news that at the March 2013 meeting of the Board of Directors, it was agreed to allocate $300,000, from an unexpected bequest, to update some of our cabins.

This news was both a blessing and a challenge to the Facilities department, as our busy summer season was fast approaching. Our goal was to do as much updating as possible before the arrival of our Family Camp guests. We quickly put together a committee to decide which were the most urgent changes and got to work on some of our neediest cabins. With the help of some great local contractors alongside our talented staff, our summer guests were able to enjoy upgrades to several of our cabins. Here are some of the highlights of the improvements.

  • For all six units of Oak, Maple, and Madrone, all the walls and ceilings were painted and new flooring, furnishings, bedding and curtains were installed.
  • In Upper Holly all the walls and ceilings were painted, (including removal of the “popcorn” texture). Then, new kitchen cabinets, counters, appliances, floors, furnishings, bedding, and window coverings were added.
  • In Lower Holly the celetex ceiling tiles in the kitchen area were removed and replaced with sheet rock. After extensive interior painting, we repaired the living room floor, installed a new forced-air heater, new kitchen windows, and relocated the water heater.
  • In Spruce we rebuilt a kitchen wall including new plumbing and electrical, and installed new kitchen cabinets, counters, and flooring on the main floor.
  • Sycamore received a whole new roof and a repair to the roof structure.
  • Acacia Cabin got a new forced-air heating system and the old floor heater removed, as well as some new furnishings.
  • In Toyon a new forced-air heating system was added and the old floor heater removed, as well as some new furnishings.
  • In Walnut the front deck was completely rebuilt and the living room couch and curtains were replaced.
  • Upper Blackberry had the front stairway completely rebuilt.
  • In Elm we completely repainted the interior, added some new furnishings, and updated the décor.

This fall other cabins can be addressed, and we’ll be ramping up our improvement efforts. We are committed to the notion that our accommodations should facilitate an experience, not distract. Guests are discovering that these cabins are looking much more like “what they should be!”

Sequoia Lodge Upgrades

Mark Lilley, Facility and Properties Manager, has been at Mount Hermon for over 20 years. As the Properties Manager, Mark and his team work tirelessly to keep Mount Hermon up and running for our thousands of guests each year. 

Have you seen the McAfee Fieldhouse?

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Building Projects.

For many of our Staff Alumni who haven’t been here in a while, you may have never seen the McAfee Fieldhouse! Completed in 2006, it’s our newest building and is the hub for all recreation and adventure activities at Mount Hermon. It is home to our Canopy Tour, Team Building department, and Community Rec leagues. In the summer it is also used by our Family Camp youth program. Check out the video to get a brief tour and, of course, feel free to stop by and see it yourself!

Dave Burns Auditorium Update

 

Mount Hermon Ministry Update from J.R. Loofbourrow

Posted by & filed under Building Projects, General, Giving.

Donate NowJ.R. Loofbourrow provides an update on the ministry taking place at Mount Hermon as well as an update to to the repairs to the buildings damaged by the storms experienced last winter.  Thank you for your prayers and concerns about Mount Hermon during these times. Be encouraged! God is continuing to transform lives.

 
In addition to the photos below, you can also view a live webcam during the construction of Sequoia Lodge.
 

View photos of Mount Hermon

Mount Hermon Launches Project R.E.P.A.I.R.

Posted by & filed under Building Projects.

Reaching Every Person Amid Infrastructure Restoration

Mount Hermon is a place where God speaks into the hearts and lives of people of all ages from all walks of life. As stewards of the Gospel, Mount Hermon is passionate about creating safe and secure arenas where God can transform lives as people personally encounter Jesus. In June Mount Hermon launched Project R.E.P.A.I.R., as a means of tending to current infrastructure needs without interrupting our quality ministry experiences.