Sam’s Journey at Whisper Mountain Camp | 2020

We first got to know Sam Wammock when she was a camper in 2011 and then as she returned for years until joining our Summer Staff team in 2016. (see these posts: 2016, 2017) Her story continued as she joined Full Time Staff last year (2019).

Today she is sharing with you how her story continues! Watch the video to see a quick peek of her through the years and hear what she has to say!

We love Sam’s heart for the Lord, how well she leads, her strong work ethic and her fun-lovin’ ways!

She tends to leave a mark wherever she goes. We know she will continue to do so as the Lord continues to lead and make Himself known through her.

We love you Sam! Thank you for your years spent Proclaiming Christ with us!

Until next time,
your Robbinsville family

A New Feature of the Whisper Mountain Experience!

When it comes to campers, there’s one thing we’ve heard (in its various forms) repeatedly throughout all fourteen years of camp:

“We hate walking up the hill.”
“Get rid of the hill and my week was perfect!”
“Can you guys get a conveyer belt to pull us up the hill?”
“My least favorite part of camp was having to walk up the hill!”

By “hill” they mean from the Field to the Hub or all the way to the cabins! Now, most teens aren’t used to hiking hills. So on the one hand, it’s good for them, right?! But on the other hand, when you have to do it multiple times in a day, by the end, you just really don’t want to do it one.more.time!

So Marty created a solution we were super excited to implement this summer! Only, as you know, summer didn’t happen! While the name is still being finalized (we had some good ideas from our instagram/facebook followers — thanks guys!), we’d like to introduce you to a new and we hope soon-to-be-a-favorite feature of the Whisper Mountain Experience — The Whatever It’s Going to Be Called Express! And by “Express” we mean a pleasant but slow climb up the hill!

We did have a small teen group come through this summer who got to be the first ones to give the Express a whirl! (Thanks guys for the sacrifice!) Smiles — everyone had smiles! For some reason it sorta makes ya giddy to climb aboard a trailer and have a tractor haul you around! Of course the driver’s joy might just be contagious (isn’t he cute?!!)!

So what do you guys think? Anyone excited to get to enjoy this feature at Whisper Mountain next time you come?!

Craftivities Weekend | 2020

In the spirit of catching up on all the communications since the COVID pandemic, I’m taking you back to March, when things were just starting to get harry! March, when the ladies were to be gathering at Whisper Mountain Camp for the annual Craftivities Weekend!

Let me tell you about Craftivities in case you are unfamiliar! Each spring we welcome a small group of ladies to the mountains for simple encouragement, white space for the heart and mind, and a new skill to learn to cultivate beauty in their lives!

This year we learned the art of Block Printing! A simple way to create things of beauty for gifting, homemaking and so much more!

Because this weekend was at the very start of people being afraid to interact with each other, about half the guests who were supposed to come ended up cancelling at the last minute. This was the first disappointment in a long line of disappointments for our ministry in association with the pandemic changing our lives! We definitely missed having those who didn’t feel comfortable coming, but found those who braved the outing to have been glad they did!

Many beautiful things were made, each one’s personality seen in their creations. We hand carved the stamp blocks with our preferred designs then printed those designs with a permanent and washable ink on canvas bags, large cloth “flour sack” towels, and paper for wall art and/or stationary. Each design was happy, unique and beautiful!

Not everyone was around for the group picture, but here’s most people!

When we weren’t creating, eating good food or chatting, we were being encouraged by the words and message of Becca Giancana! Becca is from Long Island, NY living in Columbia, SC. She has a degree from Columbia International University in Bible and Bible Education and is currently studying for her Master’s Degree. We really enjoyed her coming and teaching us!

She had an easy to grasp way of communicating God’s Word with us. Becca gently challenged and encouraged us through Mary and Martha’s story and helped make the Gospel relatable for everyone, no matter where they are in their walks with Jesus.

The weekend was rainy, the fear of the coronavirus was swelling, and we were on the brink of quarantine as none of us had ever known. But this weekend was a weekend filled with the white space necessary to be refreshed, make something beautiful with our hands and be encouraged. Thanks to all who came!

Lord willing, we will host our next annual Craftivities Weekend in the Spring of 2021! So tuck that away in your mind and be looking for more information in the new year!

Thanks for reading and may the Lord be encouraging you in these times,

Cassi

Finding the Words

Since the beginnings of Covid, I’ve sort of felt unsure about how and what to share with you guys about camp! As the communicator of this ministry, that’s just pretty unacceptable though right?! I’ve covered the big things, like the announcement we sent out about cancelling camp, and Sam shared her heart to you all, but beyond this, my words have been scarce! I’m sorry for the quiet, not that you’ve probably even noticed, but I’m starting to find my footing again! And it feels great!

I have much to catch you up on! I will take you back to the beginning, when quarantine was just being talked about and we were stunned with the crazy of what was really starting to happen! Meet me here tomorrow so you can start getting caught up on all things Whisper Mountain?!

See you then,
Cassi

In This Season

Sam and Selah. Adrienne

This past year of my life has been unlike any other. It was the first time in 18 years that I wasn’t in school. I was super excited about being done and moving to my dream job to start working in a ministry I really wanted to get behind. I started off last summer well and was so sure I made the right decision to work at camp, but then the summer ended and everything got harder. All the people left and the ministering to people part of my job seemed to come to an end. For a while, I kept telling myself everything was okay because I love the place I work and the people I work for. Over time my view changed. It became harder and harder to do the background work for the ministry and not be able to do the ministering. I have struggled through this the whole year and have wanted to fix it, but I just held on to the hope that the summer was coming soon.

Sam on Gator. Adrienne

Fast forward to right now. As a camp, we have decided we will not be running our summer program this year (which in my opinion was logically the right decision), yet I feel crushed by the fact that it will be a whole year until I can do the thing that I love most again.

Sam Watermelon. Adrienne

From most of the people I have talked to and also just from the things going on in the world around us, I think there is a lot of hurt and frustration. I don’t know what the answers to fix all the problems are (and if you know me, I want to fix all the problems) and I am so frustrated because I don’t know what to do.

Then, I found myself reading Ecclesiates 3:1-8. It’s a fairly popular passage, but nonetheless it says:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Sam Sitting HighRopes. Adrienne

I was reminded me so quickly of my need to sit at the feet of Jesus and recognize this is a time that needs to happen. This is a season I don’t understand and I wish I did, but I do know that through this, the Lord will be glorified. Of this I am confident. I don’t have to get it or even be happy all the time about everything, but I do need to continue to worship my Lord and Savior in this time and love everyone around me.

There will be a new season and new time eventually, but until then my hope is still found in the Lord.


Author | Sam Wammock     Photos| Adrienne Cicero

2020 | Creekside Basketball Retreat

Right after Estero Study Retreat, we welcomed a middle school girls basketball team from Georgia to Whisper Mountain for a weekend retreat!

Creekside Basketball Girls Title at Whisper Mountain 2020

Kaleigh has a heart to help her team get away together so they can work on their team unity and experience reflection and encouragement from God’s Word and each other!

We were thankful for Maggie and Brinley (some local friends) who were willing to come lead worship one night and loved when the team themselves led worship! Such talent! Their leaders challenged and encouraged them throughout the weekend! These girls have some amazing people leading them!

Creekside Basketball Fire Pit Chats at Whisper Mountain Camp 2020Creekside Basketball Opening Letters at Whisper Mountain 2020Creekside Basketball open Letters 2 at Whisper Mountain Camp 2020

They fought rain most of the weekend, but on the last day the sun came out and the group ended with shoutouts and letters Kaleigh asked parents or caregivers to write for their girls! Coupled with a gift basket, they received love, affirmation and encouragement in just the way they needed most! The special touches are everything!

Creekside Basketball Group at Whisper Mountain

We so much enjoyed getting to be part of your season this year! Thanks for spending the weekend with us — may you remember all God whispered to your hearts while you were with us!

PS: They ended their season as Champs!!!

Creekside Champs 2020


Author | Cassi     Photography | Cassi + Shaun + Kaleigh

2020 | Estero Study Retreat

Estero Study Retreat Title

We jumped into the new year with two groups right out of the gate! The first of which was First Baptist Estero’s Salt ‘n Light Teens! Twenty people hopped in vans and drove up from sunny, warm Florida into the cold and leafless forest of the backwoods of Appalachia! I think we’d all agree, we are so glad they did!

Estero Study Retreat Pastor Weston

Pastor Weston is a guy with a heart for his teens to youth group armed with a passion for God’s Word so they stay near to God as they leave the nest! One way he tries to prepare them for walking life with God is through what we call a Study Retreat. It blows my mind, but these middle and high school teens spend 4 days intensely digging into God’s Word. I  N  T  E  N  S  E  L  Y. We are talking hours at a time.

Estero Study Retreat Tablescapes

They learned how to read in context, how to use other resources to gain deeper understanding, how to practically apply what they read. They discussed what they gleaned and asked questions when they didn’t understand.

Estero Study Retreat Tablescapes 2Estero Study Retreat Praying Man

They may not realize it yet, but these teens were given a treasure as they learned to study God’s Word. Because being in God’s Word changes us and shapes us and leads us in powerful ways. We simply aren’t the same after encountering God’s truth. To be given to tools to break down God’s Word so it’s no longer daunting but actually understandable is a fantastic gift to receive. And Whisper Mountain is grateful for the opportunity to be part of that!

Estero Study Retreat Outdoor Fun

Of course there was fun to be had as well! We got a skiff of snow but to Floridians it might as well have been a blizzard!! They LOVED it! They also enjoyed tomahawk throwing and the simple pleasure of hanging together!

A couple of them were willing to share their experience with you on camera (SO BRAVE!) so follow the link below to catch a glimpse into their time with us!

Study Retreat Video Still

If you are a youth pastor wanting something unique for your teens, a way to help arm them for life, carrying the Word of God with them rather than abandoning it as so many are doing, then reach out to us so we can schedule your weekend!

Estero Group Study Retreat at Whisper Mountain Camp

Thank you, Estero, for hiking all the way up to us so you can encounter the Whisper of God in deep and personal ways! May you find His light for your path to be enough!


Author | Cassi     Photography | Susanna Eckert, Marty Paul, Cassi

Sam, Soccer, Worship?

Staying Encouraged with WM Staff

by Sam Wammock 

Worship? Outside of Sundays?

 

Sam Soccer Team CIU.jpg
I grew up thinking worship was something that happened before the pastor would get up and preach. I had no idea how wrong this is. I finally became aware of how worship can happen as we do anything in our lives. I learned how to worship while I play soccer and how to worship as I am going throughout my day. It has been a really cool experience to learn how to take a bunch of things that I love to do and use them as an act of worship.

Sam Wammock Kicking Soccer

 
There are two things that helped me get to a better place of understanding when it comes to worship.

The first thing is Romans 12:1, which says,

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

I began to think that if Jesus could offer his body as THE living sacrifice that offered me eternity with him, then I should be able to live my life in such a way that is for the Lord. The biggest misconception I had when I started learning this is that I cannot do anything that I enjoy (soccer, biking, hanging out with friends) because I needed to live a life that is holy and acceptable to God. How silly of me to think God would give me passions in life that I could not do because it was not holy or pleasing to him. So I learned how to instead use the things that I love to honor and glorify him as an act of worship.

Sam Kicking CIU.jpg
The second thing that helped me understand worship better is realizing I can choose to worship God or his creation/people in His creation. We were made to worship something, so if I choose to not use my life to worship the Lord, I will find something else to worship. I think this was a hard pill to swallow because it reminded me of Romans 1:18-25 which says,

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

This is a bit more extreme than what is going on in my life, but the concept remains from Exodus 20:

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

I want to make sure that I am always worshipping the Creator and not allowing myself to worship any other gods in my life.

Sam Soccer Big Bad Wolf.jpg

Worshipping is something that is so important and I want to make sure that I am aware of how easy it is to worship anyone or anything. I want to stay constant in offering my body as a living sacrifice to the Lord of what is holy and pleasing to be my act of worship to the Lord.

What’s something in your daily life you can turn into an act of worship?


Author | Sam  (Photos provided by Sam)
FUN FACT: Sam played 4 years of collegiate soccer at Columbia International University. She was named Female Student Athlete of the Year and All-Tournament at Nationals for 2 years!

A Secret Ingredient of the Christian

Staying Encouraged with WM Staff

by Cassi Werner

If you’ve been in the Church or a follower of Jesus for any period of time, you understand prayer to be a vital part of your walk with Jesus! But WHY should we pray?

Personal Prayer at Whisper MOuntain Camp.jpg

>> Fellowship: In its most basic form, prayer is connecting with the God of the Universe, which is a grace we tend to take far too lightly.

Sitting with or abiding with God changes us, shapes us, focuses us on God and eternity. Talking to Him wherever, whenever about whatever keeps us moving toward Him. We gain a greater understanding of Him, see more of Him, are led by Him as we spend time in prayer. Praising Him, calling out to Him and interacting with Him: there is nothing quite as amazing as prayer. If we were honest, this is something we know, but might not tend to practice. At least the without ceasing part!

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

Teens Praying Together at Whisper Mountain Camp

>> Intercession: Big word for praying on behalf of others!

All throughout the Bible we see how God has involved people through prayer to accomplish things on earth. Some examples of intercession were when Moses stood in the gap for God’s grumbling people and God heard his prayer. There were prayers for healing, protection from destructionobtaining favor, restoring the sick and so much more. As the body of Christ, we can seriously support each other by consistently praying for each other. Praying for those outside of the body of Christ maybe even more so.

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men.

I Timothy 2:1

Intercessory Prayer at Whisper Mountain Camp

>> Spiritual Warfare: We have an enemy prowling around seeking to destroy and devour, which should motivate us to be fervently and continually praying! We are up against unseen powers and yet we “seldom consider the nature of our opponent, and that is to his advantage.” (Elisabeth Eliot)

A few places in the Bible where prayer brought about deliverance from spiritual attack are when Jesus Himself prayed against Satan for Peter; some demons could only be cast out through prayer. Peter was released from prison because of prayer. The early church knew the power of prayer and they were always found devoting themselves to prayer. Prayer is vital in our battle against the forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving

Colossians 4:2

Parallax - Drone Mountains

Prayer flexes our faith in a way that activates the power of God in unexplainable ways in our lives. Not because He needs us or there’s something special about us, but because He desires us and a relationship is a living, active, responsive thing.

What’s crazy is we are busy wandering around inside our days doing what we call living, often without so much as a nod toward the One who knows our name and created us to do all of our moving inside of Him. We get the chance to connect with THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, but often we exchange that connection for lesser things. I’m so guilty of this. You to?

Let’s become fervent and intentional and committed to prayer! Our walk with Him depends on it!

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Jude 1:20-21


Author & Photography | Cassi

Shoot Straight 2019

Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Camp 2019

A month ago now, we hosted a crowd of men for our annual Shoot Straight Retreat! Kids 8+ came to our woods to relax, throw knives (mhm, that’s right!), shoot some arrows, eat good food and be encouraged!

Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Camp Mountain RangeShoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Hatchet ThrowShoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Boys Club

The worship and encouragement throughout the weekend (from Rich!) helped center the time on Christ and uplift in those most personal spaces of the heart. The older men praying over the younger men was a highlight to see and a powerful time for both the younger and wiser among us!

Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain WorshipShoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Prayer 1Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Prayer 2.jpg

All of Saturday was spent outdoors, first practicing with the bows and arrows and then the actual 3D tournament in the afternoon! The time shooting arrows ends with a long shot, which is a fun challenge for all! (No worries, guys, we did find most of the stray arrows 😉 !)

Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Archery PracticeShoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Archery Groups 1Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Archery Groups 2Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Camp Group

Of course, one of the favorite parts of the weekend is getting to draw for allllllll the raffle prizes! This year, we even had a fancy spinning machine to select the ticket from! They say it’s all in the details, right?!

Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Camp Door PrizesShoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Big Raffle Winners

After all the tournament scores are collected and counted, of course we have a trophy ceremony, because if you didn’t get a trophy, did you really win?!!

Shoot Straight at Whisper Mountain Winners

We hear such good things about this time away in the woods! The encouragement, the fun, the refreshment! Thank you to all who came this year! We hope you’ll gather again with us next year! Keep October 2-4, 2020 blocked out on your calendar!

Shoot Straight Retreat at Whisper Mountain Camp 2019

Now, go be those men God’s called you to be! And help raise up some younger men to follow behind! To God be the glory!


Author & Photography | Cassi