staff take a road trip | GIC 2019

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A couple weeks ago our staff hit the road and headed down to Florida for a week to participate in what’s called the Global Impact Conference! As a supporting church of Whisper Mountain Camp, McGregor Baptist invited us (and many other missionaries they support) to participate in their weekend of blessing and encouragement. We couldn’t be more thankful to have been included.

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Much of our week was spent connecting with people, life groups, churches, families and friends. The community of people within Whisper Mountain is amazing! People who share our heart to proclaim Christ to teens, who support us and participate with us, who encourage us to keep going! Amazing: the number of people God pulls into His work here at WM! We wouldn’t be able to do any of what we do without the community He’s pulled together! (If you’re part of this – thank you for being here!)

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Along with the event, gathering and meeting with people, and some of us getting brave to speak in front of crowds, we were also able to have a few stolen moments of play and relaxation! A quick swim here, a hurried beach walk there, a nap when possible.

GIC Nash Home

How refreshing to find a piece of hold still and enjoy the beauty of winter days in Southwest Florida! We were completely thankful for the hospitality of Brad and Melloe Nash! They welcomed us, invited us to make ourselves at home (which we took them up on!) and overwhelmed us with love and fellowship and goodness of all kinds.

We put together a video to give you a glimpse into our trip! We hope you enjoy!

Thank you to all who made the time to meet with us, encourage us, and give to us in some way! You are a big reason we remain encouraged to keep going in this thing called camp ministry!

Come visit soon!

 

 

Author + Photography | Cassi

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A Basketball Team Escapes the Noise

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Last weekend we had a middle school basketball team come to camp for a retreat! Kaleigh, who was first a camper and then a summer staffer, is now a teacher and coach! She wants more for her team than just a winning record on the court! She is after their hearts knowing and loving Jesus! Which of course we think is amazing and we want to support in any way we can!

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The team giggled their way through the weekend, having moments alone with Jesus, moments of worship with former staff Hayden and challenges by Kaleigh and Shaun.

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They worked on their team unity and strength with our Low Ropes Elements. They were even able to catch a local game in town while they were here!

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We don’t know if this was the most life-changing weekend of their entire lives, but we do know their group left stronger and more sure of God’s love for them. Do you find the same true in your own life as we do in ours: that those small things in our walks with the Lord are really the big things? A little more surrender, a little more trusting, a little more growing! When it comes to the things of the heart, those things take time! So keep investing in your walk with the Lord. He is always working!

We are thankful to have had the time to invest in these girls along with Kaleigh (and Brent who drove the bus and hung out all weekend!). These times away really matter!

(want to have your own retreat with us? visit our retreat page for more information!)

Author | Cassi  >>  Photography | Cassi & Brent

 

Teens Study the Bible

Sometimes our world can feel overcome by darkness and suffering. The way America is headed can feel daunting and too far gone. But I’m here to tell you … there is a generation of people who still have a heart for Jesus. There are still young people in pursuit of Jesus and desire to spread His light with the world! One of our favorite things about working in camp ministry is the privilege of catching glimpses of God’s work in the hearts of teenagers. To watch Him raise up the next generation to proclaim His name and bring Him glory!

2019 study retreat at whisper mountain camp

A couple weeks ago we welcomed Salt & Light Youth to camp for the sole purpose of learning to study God’s Word. This retreat was not for the faint of heart. They spent hours reading and re-reading and discussing and seeking to understand the text and the heart of God.

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Not every teen will come and do this, but we loved watching this group dive in and wrestle with the things of God!

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We are excited to continue to share the journey with this crowd of people when they return this summer!

2019 study retreat group at whisper mountain camp

Until then…may we each make getting into God’s Word our top priority this year! Encountering Him is life-changing and life-giving! (If you don’t have a Bible-reading plan yet, we have an easy and trackable and FREE printable to help with just that! Click here to print it!)

 

Author & Photographer | Cassi Werner

In the Kitchen with Selah | Gingerbread Biscotti

Christmas Break is here and we are sharing a quick and easy recipe for you to make to enjoy while watching Christmas movies or playing games with family and friends!

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Head to our YouTube channel to watch Selah lead you through the recipe! Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe:

1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Molasses
2 Tablespoons Water
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Sea Salt

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We hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Shoot Straight 2018

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Our annual Shoot Straight Men’s Retreat was the best it’s been so far! Experience, they say, is the best teacher, and when it comes to improving this retreat every year, we couldn’t agree more!

2018 Shoot Straight Retreat Group

Thirty-nine men and young men (8+) came for a weekend of bows and arrows, walking the woods and being encouraged by those fabulous Benham Brothers. Whether experienced or not, shooting the bows was an experience the men enjoyed, even if some of them admitted to having sore muscles by the end!

2018 Shoot Straight Hatchet Throw

The event started with some dart throwing for the young men and hatchet throwing for the grown men! Hitting the target can be harder than you think, but they enjoyed their turn at trying!

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Later in the evening, the guys were given a bunch of tickets to enter the giveaways, which were held all throughout the weekend! There’s nothing quite like the suspense of hearing those numbers called out, watching them match up across the ticket, and your heartbeat quickening when you realize your number has been called! YESSSSS!

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The Benham Brothers shared encouragement throughout the weekend, offering the young and grown alike the challenge of walking in godly manhood through the sharing of their own experiences and walk with the Lord.

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Saturday morning, after a hearty and delicious breakfast, the guys headed to the field to practice shooting their bows! We had guys who were at a hunting level, which means they hit the bulls eye a bunch! We had guys who haven’t shot since last year’s retreat, and still others who hadn’t shot a bow before ever! The competition was friendly and I don’t think anyone felt out of place because of their experience level!

2018 Shoot Straight Tourney

After lunch, the guys were broken into teams and the tournament began. Most of the 3D targets get sprinkled throughout the woods of our paintball course, with a few out in the open just outside the woods. Hiking around the property to shoot at the 20 target locations is about as fun as trying to hit the animals striking a pose!

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We heard the guys mention how they enjoyed the intimate atmosphere and being able to get to know the other guys at the retreat. Not feeling overwhelmed with a crowd helped them each relax just a bit more, which is the point of such a weekend!

If you like what you’ve seen here and want to be in on next year’s retreat, block off the weekend of October 4-6, 2019 and plan to join us! We’d love to have you be a part of escaping the noise and encountering God’s whisper in the woods of Whisper Mountain Camp.

The Beginnings of Summer Camp 2018

The Beginnings of Summer Camp

We have officially kicked off the 2018 Summer Camp Season here at Whisper Mountain with the welcoming of our summer staff this past week! Midway through our first week of staff training and we are super excited for who God has brought to serve alongside us!

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Each one brings something unique to the table, so to speak, and we know God orchestrates all things for His glory so we are looking forward to His work through each of our staff this summer!

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The laughter, the camaraderie that’s beginning, the stretching beyond expectations — all this and so much more are molding this staff to be an instrument for God’s glory alone!

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We look forward to sharing more about them and their summer as the weeks go on!

SUMMER STAFF 2018 — thank you for being here at Whisper Mountain Camp this summer! We are so glad you are here and look forward to what God has in store for you this summer!

The Adrian’s Pack Us In!

Pack Shack Enclosure Project at Whisper Mountain CampPack Shack Rennovation at Whisper Mountain Camp Inside View

If you’ve been keeping up with our (sporadic) updates on our Pack Shack Enclosure Project, then you know we are hustling to get this done for summer! Life has set us back way more than we planned, so the hustle is real. (By we, I actually mean Marty!)

Adriannes and Marty

Last week we were super excited to have Adrian and Adrian of European Craftsmen of Southwest Florida come to insulate our building. They brought a new technique to the table (or the walls actually!). Rather than the puffy, itchy insulation that is usually in the walls (and not so fun to install), they sprayed this cool foam insulation that set in 30 seconds and cured in 2 minutes. WHAT?!!!!!

Adrian One (as Tegan called him!) is the same awesome guy who came to tile our bathrooms way back here! We couldn’t be more thankful for his heart to bless Whisper Mountain in such generous and practical ways! Well beyond his giving of time, talent and materials, Adrian carries a heart of generosity with him in all things! Our guys especially enjoyed connecting with him and the other Adrian during their time with us!

We still have much to do to get this ready for summer camp in a few short weeks, but man are we thankful to have this part done in such a top of the line way and in partnership with such great people!

Thank you Adrian’s for coming, serving and giving of yourselves in ways we are still thinking about! May God bless you tenfold!

(If you’re in southwest Florida, these are the guys to renovate your kitchen or bath! Check out some of their work! They are amazing!)

Author and Photos | Cassi

We lost a Super Hero

If you’ve spent any time around Whisper Mountain or read our stuff, it’s likely you’ve read about how highly we esteem our volunteers! We see them as super heroes, really! They are the turbo boost to the work that happens around here — we simply couldn’t do it all without them!

Alex in the Woods 4.11.jpgA little more than a week ago, we lost one of our favorite volunteers and friends.

Alex Birthday Group 10.11.jpgMr. Alex or Alex Alex, as we called him (his last name was Alexandrov so it was easier!), got to take the flight of a life time as he headed to heaven! Since near the beginning of Whisper Mountain, Alex has served with us! Here are a few of our favorite things about him (that we can share — because he was a character!).

 

He was bold in his faith, willing to do the most tedious tasks, spent his retirement serving (not just us, but multiple non-profits), and helped us keep an eternal perspective. His honesty sometimes surprised us but also made us think. He didn’t seek the spotlight but was well deserving of it.

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He always made us laugh, shared a passion for people knowing Jesus, was a man who made mistakes in life but allowed God to work in and through him to make him a brilliant light in this world.

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He was family to us and we looked forward to his spring and fall weeks of coming to “live” with us, serve with us, and share in the work of Whisper Mountain.

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He brought life to the broken down and new life to the passed over — both in equipment/material things and those things involving people.

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We are most thankful for the life Alex shared with us individually and as a ministry. He’s a valuable part of our family. We love him and will miss him greatly.

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Until we see you again, Mr. Alex!

 

Using What We Have

Blinding Vision

Have you ever had a dream or vision for something that you later discovered was blinding you from seeing what you already had right in front of you? Case in point: we are at the place in our ministry where new buildings feel like a pretty big need. One building is the lodge: this will double the amount of teens we can gather for teaching and worship times, will bring the full time staff offices and the camp store up to the center of camp activity, will open up another space for small group meetings, and will allow for a higher quality experience in every way. Building such a place requires dollars which requires fundraising which requires time. This is all still very much on our horizon, but is there a quicker fix utilizing what we currently have?

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The Pack Shack is our answer! Formerly used to store equipment and be a quick shelter from rain, we are now working toward enclosing this space to become our interim gathering space with teens! By next summer, Lord willing!

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Yesterday the concrete floor was poured! Did you see the process in our Instagram stories? If not, here are a few pictures to catch you up!

We have been asking for people to give to our concrete yard sale. This project required 25 yards of concrete and each yard costs $135. Thank you to each of you who have contributed to the pouring of this floor! [We are still short and will have more walkway space to pour when the building is done. If you feel like you want to be a part of helping us make the most of what we already have you can Give Now!]

Shaun had a good time recording some of the process yesterday during the work! We posted them on Instagram — if you want to go see them, head to our feed!

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We are super excited to share the process of this build with you! Maybe you can learn from our experience in this too. Whatever you might be envisioning or feeling too far away from, make the absolute most of what you have now because it will serve as the stepping stone to the bigger picture later on! Keep going. Every step counts.

[Author: Cassi | Photo Creds: Marty and Shaun |

Shoot Straight Men’s Retreat | 2017

Shoot Straight Fire

This past weekend was a fantastic getaway for the men who came to our 3rd annual Shoot Straight Archery Retreat! Archery is fun, but it’s mostly about encouragement and fellowship!

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Friday night they had a taste of tomahawk throwing. The beautiful thing about everyone never having tried something is that it was fun even when most people were  bad at it. Because it’s not so much about the amazing skills you do/don’t possess at this retreat, but about the togetherness: fun, laughter, camaraderie. One guy said, “I can’t remember the last time I just sat around and talked with other men.”

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Shoot Straight 100 Yard Shot

Saturday was the 3D tournament held in our wooded paintball course. The morning is for getting the hang of the bow; the afternoon is the tourney and 100 Yard Shoot! Can you believe someone actually hit the target?! Calculation or Luck? Who knows!

Shoot Straight Giveaways

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Of course the giveaways are a highlight for both kids and adults! They got some great prizes this year! Of course everyone leaves with goodies of some sort!

Shoot Straight Archers Come Again

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Encouragement from God’s Word, sitting around the fire talking, eating good food, hiking the woods with a bow and arrow. Argggggg. Fathers and sons enjoyed the time together, men without sons enjoyed time together with other men. It was a great weekend and we are so thankful for those God brought to this time.

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MEN: Block out October 5-7 on your 2018 Calendar so you can come next year! DON’T MISS OUT! Like another guy said, “This was too easy — we gotta come again next year!”

Shoot Straight Plan to Come