Posts Categorized: General

Tips for a Stress Free Year

Posted by & filed under General, Uncategorized.

Everyone, even those of us at Mount Hermon, get stressed. Just the work and home life obligations and put a strain on your physical and mental well-being. We serve a God of peace who wants his people to rest in His presence, loving Him and loving others from a deep well of refreshment yet often we feel anxious and out of control. Here are some helpful and practical ways you can lean into the refreshment and rest the Christ offers:

1. Identify unhealthy coping mechanisms

How do you currently deal with stress? Are these behaviors unproductive or even unhealthy? Identify if you use any of these mechanisms that may actually promote more stress later:

  • · Smoking
  • · Drinking too much alcohol
  • · Overeating
  • · Mindless TV watching
  • · Withdrawing from your family
  • · Over-sleeping

If any of these are true for you it’s a warning sign that you’re under stress and may need assistance in setting new habits.

2. Get some exercise

Research has shown over and over that exercise reduces stress and can help you through particularly stressful life events. Almost any kind of physical activity is helpful in boosting your mood and energy. 20 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week can have profound impacts. Exercise doesn’t have to mean sweating it out at the gym. You can try:

  • · Walking somewhere instead of driving
  • · Take the stairs at work
  • · Dancing with your kids
  • · Trying a new hobby

3. Build and maintain real relationships

Even though when we’re under stress the temptation is to withdraw there’s lots of evidence showing the power of support networks in helping us regulate our emotions. Keep in regular contact with friends and loved ones – ideally face to face. Even one friend that you can be real with can alleviate the isolation we feel when stressed. Try:

  • · Calling a family member to catch up
  • · Schedule a weekly walk with a friend
  • · Ask a co-worker out to lunch

4. Pray

How we respond to negative thoughts can have a huge impact on our stress. There are a few ways you can pray through your stress. First, tell God what your negative thoughts are and ask Him what opportunities they might present. Be patient and wait on God to give you feedback.

Second, ask God for perspective. Ask him if this is a situation that you should care about and if so ask him how to respond. He is the God of things big and small.

Third, ask God for humility and acceptance. So much of our stress comes from seeking perfectionism. Know that God loves us as we are, not as we wish we were.

5.  Develop healthy coping strategies

Lastly, it can be helpful to know you have resources to help you fight stress when it arises. There are a multitude of things you could put in your “toolbox” but here are some ideas:

  • ·  A walk in God’s creation
  • · Time in silent prayer
  • · Watch a favorite movie
  • · Enjoy a coffee with a friend
  • · Ride your bike
  • · Book a massage

God want’s us to live a life fully dependent upon Him, not stressed about today or tomorrow. Let us hold to his promise for us in Matthew 6 which says:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Nate Pfefferkorn
Vice President of Strategy

High-Point Experiences

Posted by & filed under General, Kidder Creek, Uncategorized, Youth.

How “High-point” experiences unlock learning

Often the way Church works is that the focus is on the pastor. He or she is the source of information, sharing expertise through sermons and directing you to certain passages of the Bible. While participating in a Sunday worship gathering is good, how many sermons have you heard that you really remember? Things we hear, we may remember, but things we experience, we know.

Christian summer camp has long been a place where people of all ages come to know God more fully through experience. Campers learn in ways that are practical and hands-on, in both structured and self-guided times, and the counselor acts as a guide to help identify lessons they can apply to future experiences. One of the key reasons camp works is because it pairs physical activities with biblical metaphors allowing campers to experience God in powerful ways. These physical activities unlock learning and help the lessons to be “sticky;” easily remembered whenever the activity is recalled.Camp is a place where campers can stretch their comfort zones by experimenting with new activities, roles, ideas and behaviors.  They can try new things, fail, succeed and learn in a supportive environment free from distractions. Camp gives campers the chance to do things that are uncomfortable and see that discomfort doesn’t mean something is bad. All of this new learning is cemented in us through real experiences, “high points” that are remembered for years and allow us to easily recall all we’ve learned.

Here’s how it works:

As a camper during the cabin morning devotion time you discuss as a group what it means to have a rugged faith– one that is tough and determined. You discuss new ideas together and look at the Bible for inspiration and truth. Later that day during cabin activity time your whole cabin has the opportunity to ride the zip line together. The zip line looks scary, spanning over 1200ft and soaring over 200ft above the valley floor. You’re scared to step off the platform, but the caring support of your counselor and cabin gives you the courage to do it– and once you step off the platform it’s one of the best feelings you’ve had all year: fun, exhilaration, confidence, success. You’re proud of yourself, glad you did it, and thankful you shared it with new friends. This is a “high point” moment.

Now, several weeks later when you’re back home you run into a friend who asks you, “how was camp?” Immediately the first image that pops into your brain is your trip on the zip line and you feel the same things you felt then: fun, exhilaration, confidence, success. The story of the zip line comes tumbling out, but then it is followed by a recollection of what you talked about earlier that day – what it means to have a rugged faith. At that point you decide to take the path of determination and share with your friend other things you learned at camp: that God loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. This is the power of a “high point” experience.

At Kidder Creek we build in “high point” experiences for every camper– something new and memorable that will help them remember their week of camp forever.

 

Nate Pfefferkorn, Vice President of Strategy

Why We Need To Do Hard Things

Posted by & filed under General, Kidder Creek, Uncategorized.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out WHY” — Mark Twain

So often we take the easy way out– taking shortcuts, not really putting in the effort, or avoiding the hard conversation. A new idea– probably the best idea– is to do the hard things in life instead. This means making decisions to do the things that other people aren’t willing to do, or the things that you’ve always avoided doing. Kidder Creek has been built upon the belief that doing hard things, alongside other people, reveals the character of a Jesus in profound ways. Here are 5 reasons why doing the hard things is the best way to connect to the heart of God:

  • 1. You will grow

    There are few things that are as fulfilling as growth. Expanding your knowledge, community and understanding of the world, your place in it and how God is using you are deeply satisfying. Challenge yourself to experience people, places, and things that are outside your norm. Allowing yourself to do the harder things in life will help you grow into who God has made you to be.

  • 2. You will stand out

    Many times people avoiding helping another or doing the task that nobody wants to do. Not being this person, and instead being the one who chooses to take on the project, or do the task, will help you stand out.

  • 3. You will become better

    Taking the time to solve a problem, or plan an event, puts your mind into overdrive. You’ll learn to come up with great ideas for doing new tasks, and open your mind to new concepts, you would never have come across taking the easy way out.

  • 4. You will be valued

    People look up to those who consistently do “hard things” and know they’re someone that can be depended upon. When you are able and willing to have the hard conversations people know that your actions are in alignment with your faith and that you can be trusted.

  • 5. You will find joy

    Probably the most important reason to do the hard things in life is that it will bring you joy. When you know you’ve done the hard things you’ll have a sense of accomplishment, pride, and that you’ve made a difference. When you listen to that still, small voice telling you to press on, and you do, you’re more connected to the heart of God. It becomes easier to listen and easier to step forward in faith to do more hard things.

At Kidder Creek we present campers with ways they can do hard things like: getting up early to help prepare breakfast, rafting down a river, praying in front of other campers, or stepping off a high platform to ride a zip line.  When a camper takes that step – into thin air before the zip cable catches them – they get to exercise their faith. They get to experience that they can do hard things, that God has them, that they are enough and always have been.

Let’s do hard things. God believes in us even more than we believe in Him.

 

Nate Pfefferkorn, Vice President of Strategy

Always

Posted by & filed under Alumni, General, Staff News, Youth.

Each Sunday evening last summer, I stood in the dark backstage, listening to the “Wild” skit being performed. I felt afraid and overwhelmed, knowing that in a few short minutes I would be standing on stage, by myself, in spotlights, talking in front of hundreds of people, and facing my deepest insecurity. It was in these moments of fear that I felt God speak truth and light into my heart. And each opening day, and throughout the whole summer, He ALWAYS said the same thing. 

What started as a spark of peace in my life last summer, grew into something much bigger, and has culminated in this summer’s Ponderosa Lodge theme: Always. 

This summer students will experience the truth that God is with us always, no matter what fears we face. We will be looking at the life of David, a man who many times throughout his life had reason to be afraid. Each day we will look at a narrative passage of David’s life, and pair it with a Psalm written by David around the same time. Students will see God’s faithfulness and steadfast love as He walks with us through every fear we experience, always

To help students grasp this truth, we will be creating a Dream World. Dreams are often a place where we are confronted with our fears, as dreams can suddenly turn into nightmares. What does it look like for God to be with us always even when we are afraid that we’re not enough, or when we have every reason to fear? How do we experience God with us always when giving Him control is hard, or we’re faced with the consequences of our sin? In what ways is God with us always, even when it feels like we’ve been waiting on God for a really long time? 

In all of these things, God is with us always

Please join us in praying for the campers who will be at Ponderosa Lodge this summer, and for the counselors who will be loving them and leading them one step closer to Jesus.

Find out more about Ponderosa Lodge Summer 2019

Mark & Joan

Posted by & filed under Associates, General, Kindling.

Part of the family…that’s Mark and Joan Folden. They have left their fingerprints all over Mount Hermon both literally and figuratively.  Chances are you may have met them

Mark shares their story:

“I grew up attending Mount Hermon as a teenager.  Early on in our marriage, we began to attend couples conferences and family camp with the children and renting cabins through Mount Hermon.  A few years later, we were able to purchase a cabin of our own. This allowed us to spend even more time at Mount Hermon. Our children were able to attend multiple day camps while we enjoyed the adult teaching. A favorite time was Sunday morning Bible study with Roger Williams. It didn’t take long to realize this would be our favorite place to spend our time. 

We began volunteering about 12 years ago, starting out ushering and collecting tickets at the Saturday night concerts. Over time our involvement increased to include ‘hosting’ a donut table during the summer coffee breaks, serving as door greeters to the dining hall, table setters, and helping serve the guests at the Sunday night barbecues.  We also enjoy working in the auditorium during the summer and Christmas concerts.  We love interacting with the guests as we greet people, collect tickets, and help with seating. 

For a number of years we did ‘airport runs’, picking up speakers and musicians during the summer.  We enjoyed having these people captive in our car for the hour it took to drive over the hill.  Great memories and friendships resulted from those experiences.

One of our favorite times is meeting the guests each week throughout the campus, greeting them, remembering their names and talking with them about their lives. Connecting with people we come to know brings an instant smile.

Being part of the volunteer family allows us to have a closer relationship with those we serve and work with. We have made lifelong friends and have had the joy of celebrating events of happiness as well as caring and praying for other volunteers as we go through challenging times.

When we first heard about Mount Hermon’s Associates in Ministry, we had a heart tug knowing we wanted to participate.  The Associates in Ministry Celebration each year, including the Friday morning prayer time, has become the highlight of our Mount Hermon experience.  We strongly believe in the Redwood Society. We know that leaving a financial legacy to Mount Hermon will help continue the mission of ‘Lives Transformed’ for many years to come.

We feel abundantly blessed having an opportunity to serve at Mount Hermon.”

———————

Mark and Joan are a beautiful example of the faithful friends that help make Mount Hermon so special. They love and care for our guests and staff so generously. Thank you to Mark and Joan, thank you to our volunteers and thank you to our Associates. Mount Hermon would not be the same without you! 

By Kerry Phibbs
Advancement Team

Come and See God’s Great Love!

Posted by & filed under General, Kindling, Stories of Ministry, Youth.

You may think that when our busy summer season finishes, it’s time for a break. No way! Our program team is already planning for our busy season of fall youth retreats. This past fall more than 800 students attended one of our five Fall Frenzy weekends, uniquely designed to give Jr. High and High School students all the fun of a week of camp in three short days!

The theme was Wonder: Come and See God’s Great Love! Our theme verse was 1 John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Focusing on the story of Zacchaeus, students examined the amazing truth that God loves us and calls us his children. 

This all took place at the Mount Hermon Boardwalk, an amusement park theme we created full of child-like wonder!

There is something special that happens when students attend a Fall Frenzy with their youth group and leaders from their church.

Having quality time together at camp often cements relationships for years to come. It builds trust and openness, and campers get to continue their growth with God throughout the year alongside the people they began it with. This was certainly the case with Courtney, who attended Fall Frenzy for the second time this past fall.

Back in the fall of 2017, Courtney came to youth group for the first time.

It was a Halloween event, and she had been invited by a friend. Courtney had never really been to church before, but began attending youth group regularly. Just two months later, she decided to come with the youth group to Fall Frenzy at Mount Hermon. That weekend changed everything!

After her time at Mount Hermon, she continued coming to youth group, and was noticeably more engaged. She began to open up more and build relationships with the leaders. Several months later she made the decision to place her trust in Jesus and get baptized! She now comes to youth group and church every week and is going on her church’s Mexico mission trip this year. On top of all that, she is already signed up to come to Mount Hermon’s Campers in Leadership Training program this summer! 

The best part of this story? This year, Courtney brought her friend, Amanda, to Fall Frenzy for the first time. We can’t wait to see the ripple effects of what God started in Courtney’s life at Fall Frenzy and how it will continue to spread to others. 

Please join us in praying for all of the students who attended Fall Frenzy, that they would continue to grow closer to God and more fully understand his wondrous love for us!

By Andrew Summers
Advancement Team

All Things New

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Associates, General, Kindling.

Do you like “new?” New car? New boss? New school? New child? New neighborhood? New friend? New job? New challenge? New problem to solve? New In-laws? I guess it depends on what is “new,” right? 

In a powerful passage of Scripture found in Revelation 21, it talks about a day when all things will be made NEW. It is a day when God will wipe away every tear from crying eyes, a day where there will be no more mourning, or pain, or death. It’s hard to even fathom such a day, a future day that gives us hope as we trudge through days that can include difficulty, loneliness, fear, and heartache. 

Each December our Board of Directors chooses the theme verse for the following Mount Hermon year, and the verse they chose for 2019 is …

“I am making all things new.”  – (Revelation 21:5)

All things. New. God is the one making them this way. Wow!!!

I am looking forward to being in the Mount Hermon Auditorium and watching people read this verse on the large wood placard that hangs down from the ceiling. I will be praying for the hope and healing that this one sentence of truth will bring to the many who visit our grounds. 

Thank you for your investment in this ministry that helps people be refreshed, renewed and transformed by the God who makes all things new. Your prayers, encouragement, involvement and financial support are vital in keeping this ministry thriving.  

To God – the one who makes all things new – be the glory! 

By Mike Romberger
President/CEO

Fall Festival at Kidder Creek Camp

Posted by & filed under General, Kidder Creek.

Thanks for joining us at our annual Fall Festival!

If you didn’t make it, mark your calendars because this is a can’t miss event.  Fall Festival will be the last Saturday in September in 2019, on the 28th.

We had over 150 volunteers and 1,000 guests join in the fall festivities.  Activities included Free Apple Picking, Caramel Apple Making Station, Free Apple Crisp, Zipline, Pony Rides, Archery, Dodge N Arrows, Giant Inflatables, Ropes Course, Laser Tag, Mountain Bike Ride and so much more!

Thanks again to all who volunteered, to all who donated to our Pond Bathroom Project and to those who just came to have fun with friends and family.

What a great day!  So glad that we get to open our doors to our community and neighbors for a fun filled family day!  See you Next Year!

 

Family Camp: He Restores My Soul

Posted by & filed under Associates, General, Kindling.

 

Each summer Mount Hermon hosts the largest weekly Family Camp in the country – if not the world – as over 700 people of all ages descend upon our grounds to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience that spans the generations.

Personally, Family Camp has been a huge part of my childhood, teenage and adult years, and I am not the same because of how God has used it in my and my family’s life. I am deeply grateful!

This summer our Family Camp theme is “He Restores My Soul” from Psalm 23. People come on our grounds tired, discouraged, broken hearted and stressed but leave renewed, refreshed and transformed due to our God who restores us from the inside out.

“He Restores My Soul.” What better focus for a week at camp?!!

Here are some of the word-for-word comments from campers who shared their stories of restoration at Victory Circle during the first couple weeks of camp:

“This is an amazing place, and I want to say that the theme is so well picked. Everybody needs restoration, and I am so thankful that God wants to do that with my life.”

“I am sure that I am not the only person here who walked into the auditorium on Monday morning and saw the theme verse of “He restores my soul” and let out a sigh. This is exactly what I needed, to be able to come, rest, breathe and have an amazing balance of family together time, separate adult time, God time, marriage time and all of those things that feed your soul. This week is the beginning of that restoration work, the letting go and giving it to God.”

“I learned this week that restoration isn’t always taking us back to what we were before, but it makes us into something more beautiful. God can restore us to be something more beautiful than anything that we were.”

“I am a pastor, and this has been the hardest year in our life as I have battled with burn out and depression for the first time … This week, for the first time in six months, I felt Heaven open, and I said, “Thank you, God, for restoring my spirit.” We do our devotions. We do our daily lives. But there are times when you need that Psalm 23 green pasture.”

That’s what God does at Mount Hermon Family Camp. He provides a “Psalm 23 green pasture” for people of all ages and stages of life as He restores souls. He (God) restores (makes healthy) my (personal) soul (inner spiritual being). Incredible! Truly that’s why God made Mount Hermon.

Thank you for your encouragement, prayers, and support. Your tangible investment is making a difference in the lives of many as God is still in the business of restoring souls!

Working on Summer Staff has HUGE impact

Posted by & filed under Adventures, General, Kidder Creek, Staff News.

 

A recent staff impact study  highlights the impact that working on summer staff has on staff.  We already know that spending a summer serving others in great community is life transforming, this study backs it up.

Through the study, summer staff were asked to describe the impact of working at camp had on them.  Their responses were similar to the impact that campers share when asked how camp impacted them.

Leadership.  Impact.  Life.  Grow.  Teach.  Learn.  Relationship.

According to the study summer staff grew significantly in the areas of teamwork, faith, social and emotional intelligence and leadership.  Wow!  Not only are we having an impact on our campers, but also, on the staff we get to work alongside of every summer!

Check out what one of our staff had to say about their time on summer staff team last summer.

 “Kidder Creek brought me close to God in ways I didn’t even know were possible!  I grew up in the church and knew who God was but nothing compared to how I know Him now.  Having meaningful conversations about life and how we see God moving is something I had craved but never knew.  I left something so comfortable back at home and at my old school.  Knowing that God is with me everywhere I go makes anything worth it!  I have given my life to Him and I cannot wait to see where He takes me!”

Please join us in praying for our summer staff.  They have really cool jobs and make lifelong friendships in their time here.  Pray that God will use this summer to impact them in great ways and draw them closer to Jesus while they work alongside of Him and get to see Him do great work in the lives of the campers.

Know a college aged young adult that still needs something to do this summer?  Send them to:

whyiworkatcamp.com

There they can apply for summer jobs at Kidder Creek Camp.  We are still hiring lifeguards, counselors, food service and maintenance staff.

 

 

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.

Why Adventure?

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

Why Adventure?  Better yet, why not adventure?   Through adventures we develop and grow into the person that God made us to be.  He invites us into His adventure, to join Him in doing His work.

 

At Kidder Creek we have ample opportunities to join in on great adventures.  When a child rides a horse for the first time they will carry that with them the rest of their life.   When someone faces their fears and steps off the zipline platform to soar through the trees they embrace life’s adventure.  Mountain biking, rafting or backpacking to a mountain lake with nothing but the necessities of life on your back, one realizes how big this world really is  and the intricacy and beauty that abounds in it!

These adventures teach, allowing us to grow in our faith and discover who we are and what we are made of.   Think about your own life, the times you remember are the times you stepped out of your comfort zone and into your adventure zone.  Growth happens in the adventure zone.  Growth that develops leadership and teamwork. 

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy got it right.  He understood that a life of adventure is a life worth living.  Dare to do mighty things at Kidder this summer and grow!  

Learn to work together with your team while rafting on the mighty Klamath.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a leap and find out what you are made of.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn to stand when everything in you says you should sit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Develop grit while climbing to new heights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get some dirt on your face while riding with your friends.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spend time in creation and connect to the creator.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register today for an adventure experience and grow.  Live the Adventure!

A Glimpse at the 2018 Kidder Creek Summer Staff

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

2018 Kidder Creek Summer Staff Highlight

Spring is in full swing and we are well on our way to being fully staffed for the summer!  Meet a few of the awesome staff we have hired so far!


Abi A.

Abi is returning for a second summer at Kidder Creek as one of our Adventure Trip Leads!  Last year she brought so much light, joy and energy to every week’s cabin that she counseled and we are thrilled to have her serving alongside the rest of our staff next summer.  Abi originally came to us from Southern California where she attended Cal Baptist University and played for their water polo team.  After last summer, she proved to be a great example to us all as she followed the call from Jesus and accepted the challenge of moving to a new town and stepping into the unknown.  We are so glad she’ll be back to share her heart, joy and zeal for the Love of God with everyone who comes to camp!



Gerrit

I’m excited to share the love of Jesus with kids through the outdoors and be a positive role model in their lives. The outdoors is often where I connect with God the most and kids need to know that He is not found solely within the walls of a church. 



Maddie

Maddie grew up coming to ranch camp as a camper and now, full circle, we are excited to have here on our Lifeguard and Health Aid team!  From Maddie: “Hey guys! I’m so excited to be working at Kidder Creek this summer because God works in amazing ways and I can’t wait to see how He takes ordinary people and circumstances and turns them into extraordinary situations. He’s taught me so much these past several months and I’m excited to put what I learned to use and have Christ work in and through me as much as possible. I’ve always wanted to work here because I grew up going to Ranch Camp so, I’m excited!!” 


 

Fischer

Fischer is making his debut this summer at Kidder Creek as our videographer!!  He felt the call of God to move west and we couldn’t be more thrilled! From Fischer: “This summer, I am beyond stoked to dive in to camp life and document all of the joy and Jesus present. It will be my second summer working as a camera guy at camp, and I aim to continue investing myself in telling stories that matter, as well as honing my abilities as a videographer. Through capturing God’s work and presence at Kidder, I can use my talents to further His Kingdom, and that’s pretty cool!”


Paige

Paige is returning another year as one of our wranglers!  Paige says: “I look forward to teaching kids how to ride horses and conquer fears throughout their week with us. I’m super excited to help them see God in everything they do. I’m hoping to help them realize that they are loved and important and that there’s a Creator that loves them for who they are. I can’t wait to meet these kids and help them to be a light of the world.”

 


With staff like these, I am sure it will be a great summer!

This summer we will hire 65 summer staff.  Know someone who might be a good fit for Kidder Creek Summer Staff? Send them to our application page where they can find out more about having the best summer of their lives serving Jesus in a rad place as part of a great community.  www.whyiworkatcamp.com

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

7 Day Tour Experience

Posted by & filed under Associates, General, Kindling.

Washington, D.C. is a place like no other. Step into the mosaic of monuments and culture that reflect the history and shape the future of America.

This immersive journey through our nation’s capital is much more than a vacation. Connect with the heart of D.C. on this Christian travel experience as you pray for and impact this strategic city.

Over 15 significant sites visited during your 7 days!
See website for full list of sites and dates.

  • • White House
  • • Capitol Building
  • • Washington Monument
  • • Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • • Mount Vernon
  • • U.S. Supreme Court Building
  • • Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool
  • • Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial
  • • National WWII Memorial
  • • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • • Smithsonian Natural History Museum
  • • Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial
  • • National Cathedral

 

Learn More about this Cruise


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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

Testimony

Posted by & filed under General, Kidder Creek, Stories of Ministry.

For a handful of years I taught Outdoor Education at Mount Hermon in Santa Cruz. We would hike kids around outside, and stop to learn about nature. The great thing about using an outdoor setting to teach is that it readily lends itself to turning those nature lessons into life lessons. Jesus understood this: seeds on different soils was really about the condition of our hearts.

As part of our week with students, we would do a night hike. The redwood forest is shaded and dark during the day due to the thick canopy, but at night, it is near pitch black. For many students that came to us from larger cities, this was usually the deepest dark they have ever 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.

This summer at Kidder Creek we will be looking at the power of Jesus working through us to “Illuminate” the darkness around us. The light of Jesus changes everything in our own lives, in our communities and in our world!

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.”

Summer Staff Testimony: Amy Kral

Posted by & filed under General, Staff News, Stories of Ministry.

I learned so much this summer about what it means to walk daily with God…

As I spent time with Him I realized I could get everything I needed and more from Him, and that freed up my hands to be able to GIVE to people. To serve them and see them the way He does.

Camp wears you out, and you still experience hurt and grief and insecurity, but the Lord works best when we are at our weakest. The thing He told me over and over again was that I could boast in my weakness. I don’t have to have it all together! I don’t have to feel like it. But I get to call on Him.

He blessed me with a 4-year-old telling me she loved me or listening to a group of 30-something preschoolers shout, “MY HOPE IS IN JESUS.” Thank God that I don’t have to rely on my own strength to bring Him glory. My first summer in 2016 was just the beginning of discovering these beautiful truths about my Jesus, and this past summer was incredible. But He is not finished with me– and praise God for that.

Summer Staff 2018 Positions

Summer Staff Testimony: Justin Whelpley

Posted by & filed under General, Staff News, Stories of Ministry.

  

Hi my name is Justin Whelpley and this summer I had the amazing privilege of working at Mount Hermon Kidder Creek as a Timberline Counselor/River Guide.

This summer was by far the best I have had in years. With the many adventures I embarked on with my campers and staff and just how God was able to show himself to me every single day and week was phenomenal. It was truly something special and it was every prayer I had for this summer answered and then some.

Now this summer wasn’t always perfect. Like any summer position you feel drained and feel like you are not doing enough. You sometimes feel and begin to question your purpose at camp and why you are in the position in you are in. I remember I found myself in these shoes towards the middle end of summer. It was a classic week at Kidder, meaning we had younger kids in our cabins ranging from 9-11. So as you can imagine it is a lot of work tangling 8 kids on your own who all come from different places and have an extreme amount of energy. You gotta be on your A game on those weeks. Now it was about on a Wednesday on this week and I had just about it with my kids. They refused to listen to me and I was always having to tell them to come back to me or to listen up or there will be consequences, Usually resulting  in limited pond time. However they ended up listening and getting the lost time back. However I was just exhausted and I personally felt as if I was not teaching them anything about God or that they even liked me. I was just so negative and very hard on myself and I remember asking God: Why me? Why am I here this summer and am I even fit for this position?

So on this Wednesday during my one hour break I went into the staff house where we hang out, eat, etc. I decided to check my mail box and see if I got mail, in my mind I had doubts of receiving anything but still it wouldn’t hurt. So as I looked I had three letters and they were from previous campers I had that summer earlier in the weeks. Shocked I opened up the letters and they were filled with encouragement and words of gratitude. They wrote about how first amazing Kidder was and how much it was missed and also how I was a great counselor and taught them so much that they wanted to come back in the summer of 2018. These letters changed my entire view of myself but not only that God was showing me that I am at Kidder for a reason and that I am doing a great job and he has me there because he wants me to be there. It was the most humbling experience but also the most meaningful all summer because everyday from then on I knew no matter what I did or said was because God placed me at Kidder in that position for a reason.

That moment this summer taught me that when you are at camp or anywhere just remember God has blessed you to be there so be present in those moments and do not doubt what you are doing or saying because regardless God is at work. I will always carry that moment with me forever.

Summer Staff 2018 Positions

Summer Staff Testimony: Abi Auer

Posted by & filed under General, Staff News, Stories of Ministry.

JOY. That is what God showed me this summer at Mount Hermon’s Kidder Creek.

I grew up in the church and knew who God was but nothing compared to how I know him now. Kidder brought me close to God in ways I didn’t even know were possible! Getting to connect with campers and other staff members and have real meaningful conversations about life and how we see God moving is something I had always craved but never knew.

Through those conversations and prayers, I soon realized camp ministry was something I wanted to pursue. The only thing standing in my way was the fact that I was already going to school and studying something else. With the help and prayer from mentors and friends at camp I decided to take some time off of school and move out to Bend Oregon where I am now a part of an amazing church and work community. God is even opening doors for me to go study outdoor leadership at a school in Colorado. So who knows, maybe my adventure will continue!

I left something so normal and comfortable back at home and my old school. It hasn’t been the easiest transition but knowing that God is with me everywhere I go makes anything worth it! I have given my life to him and I cannot wait to see where he takes me!

Summer Staff 2018 Positions

Summer Staff Testimony: Sydney Sheppard

Posted by & filed under General, Staff News, Stories of Ministry.

Week 7 at Redwood Camp this last summer, I had my first cabin of 6th graders.

I was excited to see how the Lord would work through them since they were at a more mature age than the 4th graders that I normally had. I couldn’t wait to have my one-on-ones and hear more in depth about their lives and their relationships with Jesus.

I had one camper named Alexa, and she was so smart and mature for only being 11 years old. During our one-on-one, she told me about how her and her family had been searching for a new church for the past few years, and because they didn’t have a home church, it caused her to fall away from the Lord. She told me that during this week at camp, she wanted to work her way back to God’s side. She asked me countless questions about what it meant and what it looked like to follow Jesus, and how to pray to Him. She told me that she loved Huddles (our cabin Bible study time), and that they just got better and better each day. Hearing her say that lifted my spirits, because I knew God was at work inside of her.

On Friday night, the last night of camp, we have something called Luminaria, where we all worship together, and then break out into our cabins across the meadow with just a candle in a jar in the middle of our circle. Alexa and a few of my other girls were crying. I could tell it was a good cry, but I wanted to hear from them what this night and week meant to them, so I asked them. Alexa couldn’t stop smiling through the midst of her tears as she explained how God had truly revealed Himself to her throughout the week. She said again how she came to camp to get closer to the Lord, and said how that happened. [She] and my other girls couldn’t stop smiling and crying and saying how God blessed them with each other as friends, as well as showed them how much He loves them each that week.

Week 7 was a special week to me. The Lord clearly showed me that He was at work in my campers this summer. Sometimes it’s can be hard to truly know how much of an impact you had on them, but this week, God reminded me that I was doing His work and that there was an impact being made. The day after they left, the mother of another girl in my cabin, Colette, contacted me to tell me how much of an impact the week of Redwood Camp had on her daughter. While God worked through these sweet girls, He also was reminding me that He was working through me to help lead them to Him, and that it was in fact working.

Summer Staff 2018 Positions

“I Don’t Know Much About Jesus”

Posted by & filed under General, Kidder Creek, Stories of Ministry.

In 2014, Mount Hermon had a unique opportunity to partner with Camp Hope. Camp Hope’s core is to minister and love on kids who are victims and witnesses to domestic violence. “Partnering” with Camp Hope is the key word here. Did you know that Mount Hermon writes the curriculum that Camp Hope uses for their nationwide camps? When Camp Hope comes to Kidder Creek, did you know that it is our staff that leads the cabins and their small group discussions? This partnership is more than a group renting out a facility. This is a true partnership with the goal of seeing Lives Transformed. This summer we were witness to just one of the fruits of this partnership.

Hector came to Kidder Creek with Camp Hope – San Diego. Right before he left home, his mom said to him, “Just because you go to this camp doesn’t mean you are going to change, you are just like us, and you will never amount to anything.”

Indeed, Hector had an amazing week at camp and became upset and teary as the buses were loading to go back to San Diego. Casey Gwinn (Founder of Camp Hope America and son of former Mount Hermon Executive Director, Bill Gwinn) saw Hector’s reaction and approached him.

“I don’t want to go home,” cried Hector. “I want to live here. I want to work here.”

“Hector, what do you believe about God?”

“I believe in God.”

“What do you believe about Jesus?”

“I don’t know much about Jesus.”

“Would you like to go to a wilderness camp this summer where you can learn more about Jesus?”

“YES!”

In Mount Hermon’s partnership with Camp Hope, our counselors get to “be” Jesus to kids whose world doesn’t contain unconditional love, peace, or hope. Once trust is carefully built, we invite them back to a Kidder Creek experience where we can dive even deeper exploring the love of the Father for His children, regardless of how bad or good they are, whether or not they think they are worthy of love, or regardless of their home life.

Hector got it.

“This week I learned that Jesus is good. I asked Him into my life to keep me going on the right path. He loves me the way I am.”

Hector’s experience gave him an eternal hope that cannot be taken away from him no matter what. He learned that God loves him for who he is. Hector plans to return to camp each year and hopes to one day be on staff at Kidder Creek. He can’t wait to help spread the Hope that he now has with others.

A Lasting, Global Impact

Posted by & filed under General, Guest Groups, Stories of Ministry.

The relationships that build between organizations and Mount Hermon go beyond their event at Mount Hermon. The partnerships that develop are deep and extend over years.

Chinese Families for Christ has been coming for the last nine years bringing over 600 people each time. Their goal is to invite non-Christians to a camp that focuses on marriages and family relationships within the context of what it means to love how Jesus loves.

For the last ten years, California State Youth Conference brings over 450 African American youth from all over the state of California to train to be leaders within their churches.

The Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society (JEMS) has held their family camp at Mount Hermon for the last 68 years.

Shiloh Baptist Church from Sacramento has been holding their women’s retreat at Mount Hermon for the last 45 years.

Groups of all kinds come to Mount Hermon and then go back into their communities, their cities, and even their countries refreshed, renewed and restored. Over the last several years, Mount Hermon has been partnering with the division leadership of World Vision. World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization who is assisting over 70 million people each year in its quest to end poverty, fight hunger, and transform lives.  Tracy Steuve shared at an Associates In Ministry event this year about the impact Mount Hermon has globally.

“What better place to focus on your spiritual life than in this beautiful venue? Just look at those trees, they’re hundreds of years old. Some of my people come here, and they’re broken because they work in really difficult places. They work in places like Congo, and Sudan, and Somalia, and Indonesia where they suffered from the tsunami years ago. They work in very challenging environments, and they come broken, but they come here and then walk away restored. That is really important and special to me.

“I was recently in South Africa, and one of the women told me, ‘I remember Mount Hermon, when can I go back? My soul was filled in that place! When are we going to have some of our other programs there?’

“I want to encourage you that what you are supporting here is touching the lives of people who come here as guest groups; they are part of a global outreach you have. You might not even know the fact that we have people from India, Mongolia, Latin America, the U.S., Kenya, Sudan, and Myanmar. These people come here, and they take Mount Hermon in their hearts. They remember not just the training they received, but the essence of this place and the fact that God is moving here. So I thank you for that. You’re supporting something that touches lives around the world in ways that I can’t fully explain.”