Jim Culp, a pastor at Orchard Church writes:
Our group spent an incredible day on the Klamath River with the staff of Kidder Creek Camp. Many of these students from Chico, CA, whose lives consist of poverty, homelessness and family disaster, never leave the county apart from this trip.
We watched our students absorb the beauty—and the challenges—around them. As they conquered their fears to jump off a 40-foot cliff, and forded the swift water around Dragon’s Tooth, they began to trust us as their counselors, and their friends. We saw them let go of their pride, their reputations, and their “credibility” and be kids again.
While we were working our way up the canyon to the falls, “it” happened. A life-hardened high school student, who has spent much of his teenage existence in detention centers, lost his tough demeanor and became a kid for the first time in a long time. In the middle of that creek, he stopped and looked around at where we were: in a crystal clear creek, in the middle of a box-canyon on our way to a spectacular waterfall. Just then, one of the Kidder Creek staff said to him, “Can you believe God made this for you…so you could see His beauty? And God says that as beautiful as this is, you are His masterpiece.” For the rest of the time, our student went from friend to friend saying, “Can you believe God made this for you?”
Back at camp, the calluses our students had allowed to cover their hearts were sloughed off by the fantastic day on the River. They sang, hugged each other, and prayed with tenderness. We were able to connect with these students in ways we’d been unable to before. Kidder Creek’s wonderful staff and amazing program helped us take our youth to a new level spiritually.