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

The Balancing Act

Staying Encouraged with WM Staff

by Marty Paul

Balance. There has to be balance.

Keeping Balance at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

I have lived long enough to know life can get really busy with lots of things taking every minute of my day. Early in my marriage with a young family, I was teaching school and coaching basketball. My kids were gym rats because I was always gone and they were usually with me. If I wasn’t planning my work, I was serving at church in student ministries or raising my family and taking time with my wife. When all this is going on, it’s easy to think I can get by with a few minutes of quiet time with God. It’s always easy to put God on the back burner because, hey, I was doing life!

Losing Balance at Whisper Mountain Camp

In Galatians 5:13-17, Paul tells us not to turn our freedom into an opportunity for the flesh. He doesn’t want us to fall back into sin and worldliness. Paul goes on to tell us to walk by the Spirit and we won’t carry out the desires of the flesh. The flesh sets us against the Spirit because they are in opposition to one another. There is nothing wrong in living your Christian life like I was, but when it leads to less time with God and more time with works, there becomes an imbalance.

Struggle to Balance at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

Life will become hard to navigate as more struggles come into our lives. By spending time each day in God’s Word, we will be able to pursue the life of sanctification, of being made holy, like Jesus. Can I ask: Are you putting in the time…the required quietness so God can speak into your life each day?

Solo Time at Whisper Mountain Camp.adrienne.jpg

Let me encourage you today to walk by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives within you to empower you to walk in this struggle called life. We always make time for what we want to do. I hope you are making time for Jesus.

“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ…”

Romans 13:14

Author | Marty Paul     Photography | Adrienne & Cassi

Life | When God Feels Absent

Staying Encouraged with WM Staff

by Selah Werner

Hey guys!
So today I want to share something that has been popping up a lot lately, and something I personally need reminding of myself.

Fall Split Path at Whisper Mountain Camp

I have reached the point in my life where I am faced with the “what’s next” question. I need to decide where I want to go and what I want to do after I graduate high school. This feels so daunting and overwhelming. I sometimes feel like I’m walking in the dark or in fog and I can’t really see what’s in front of me. I’ve been reminded recently that the waiting is an important part of the process and can actually sometimes feel exciting!

Distorted Tree View at Whisper Mountain Camp

Waiting is not my most favorite thing to do. In fact, I can be quite impatient in life. There’s a big part of me that wants the frustrating things fixed, the questions answered, the chaotic things quieted. But really, what’s the fun in just arriving at something without the journey? The adventure is where it’s at, so I’m told 😂.

Pathways at Whisper Mountain Camp

I think God likes the adventure part because it stretches and pushes us to trust Him like never before. The adventure tends to pull us in close to Him and allows us to see Him work. Where will He take us next?

Roadway Up to Hub at Whisper Mountain Camp

I love when people tell their stories of life. Taking a look back at our story helps us see a little better just what God was doing, how He perfectly timed everything and arranged things better than we could have ever done ourselves. During the waiting process, God can feel absent. It’s hard connecting with him during this time, but I wonder if by trusting that He’s present when He doesn’t feel like it causes us to actually exercise our faith in the best of ways. I know He really is there and has control of all the things. Sometimes we just need reminded.

Foggy Roadway at Whisper Mountain Camp

Psalm 62 demonstrates this well. Verse one and verse 5 are similar:

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. (v1)

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.” (v5)

Roadway to the Hub at WhisperMountain Camp

Isn’t it interesting how verse one says, “My soul waits in silence”, while verse five says, “Oh my soul, wait in silence”? It’s that reminding of, “Okay, Self, keep waiting because God really is my hope and salvation.” Just as David reminds us all throughout the Psalms, we can have peace knowing “that the power belongs to God (v11).” We can overflow with peace and find patience to wait in silence when we remember who He is. (see also Job 40) The scary trek in the dark then becomes a hope-filled adventure!


Author | Selah Werner    Photography | Cassi

Living In Tents can be Intense!

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.”
Shaun in tents tee at Whisper Mountain Camp
I don’t know if you’ve heard me say it or not, but one of the phrases I like to use at camp is “Camp is intense! We sleep in cabins, but camp is in-tents!” This play on words, among many others, is one of my favorites. So much so, that my lovely wife made a shirt several years ago that expressed this saying.
Army Tent at Whisper Mountain Camp
We also used this idea of camp and life being intense for our summer camp theme — were you here that year? Based out of 2 Corinthians 5:1-2, we talked about how our bodies are earthly tents and we have an eternal home in heaven.
In Tents at Whisper Mountain Camp
Remembering this earth is not our home, this life is temporary, we are just passing through offers hope in times of trouble and encourages us to not invest in things that are fading away.
I Peter 2:11 also encourages us to abstain from worldly desires because we are sojourners or temporary residents. Our perspective, or rather God’s perspective from His Word, helps us to stay on track as we seek to follow Him. God’s Word encourages and calls us to this higher road of living for what we cannot see, to walk in this faith that stretches beyond our right now.
Shaun Passing Through at Whisper Mountain Camp
I don’t know about you, but what’s happening around me seems to distract me from this big picture living more than I want it to. My focus gets so easily pulled from the eternal things and placed on things that, in the end of all things, really don’t matter at all.
So I leave you with this encouragement: stay in the Word daily so God’s perspective becomes ours and can rightly be placed on the eternal things. Let’s keep stepping toward abstaining from the “worldly desires” today so we can be in pursuit of those eternal desires as we keep passing through to our eternal home! Keep walking, Young People!

Photography | Cassi Werner

Being a Foodie is Super Spiritual

Staying Encouraged with WM Staff

Written by Patti Paul

Patti and Ms Bay in the Kitchen at Whisper Mountain Camp

Food. I must confess, I think about food much more than I’d prefer. Being the WM Head Cook is honestly not my favorite WM task, however, I recognize the importance of food for our guests as it provides daily nourishment and represents friendship, community and welcome.  If you’ve been to Whisper Mountain maybe you’ve experienced the “voted #1 favorite meal” – Poppyseed Chicken.  However you may prefer the Grilled Pork Chops or the fun Fiesta Bowl! Yum! So, tell me, what is your favorite food at WM, or anywhere?

Universal Love of Food at Whisper Mountain Camp

In the Gospels, food is mentioned about 90 times. Luke’s gospel is full of stories of Jesus eating with people. When God created humans He articulated the human body to require the need of food for energy,  growth, repair, and warmth.  Lack of proper daily nutrients will cause malnutrition and will lead to a variety of health problems and ultimate death.

peppers in the kitchen at Whisper Mountain Camp

cupcakes at Whisper Mountain Camp

The love of food is universal!  In fact, did you know that Americans spend more than $60 billion annually on nutrition and weight loss products? In the past 12 years, over 5,000 publishers produced 200,000 cookbooks. There’s also a plethora of food information available on social media and tv chefs. The human race seems obsessed with food and over indulging in it.  In the end, most nutritionists agree that eating a daily, balanced diet of small portions of healthy food will provide ample energy, keep off those extra pounds, and prevent many lifelong diseases.

Fellowship around the Table Outdoors

On occasion, Marty and I have the privilege of traveling on behalf of camp ministry.  We have found it to be true, that whenever we meet up with friends of the ministry, both new or old, our time is automatically planned around a table surrounded by delicious food, snacks, or dessert. Very sweet fellowship is automatically produced in this setting. Valued time spent together with others deepens our relationships together and gives us the encouragement we need as well.

Dining with Friends at Whisper Mountain Cmap

Food connects people together with traditions, memorable moments of celebration, gatherings of family and friends, and turns strangers into friends all while sharing a meal and conversation. Knowing food was a daily requirement for man, Jesus used meals in his earthly ministry as an expression of grace, community, and His mission. He sought to save the lost and carry on a personal relationship with all, and He still does.

2019 Study Retreat Teen in The Word

God’s Word feeds us spiritually, encourages, convicts, directs, and helps us grow to be more like Him. I truly believe that nourishing my spiritual health must be given even more importance than my daily food. Without Him I will be spiritually deprived, dried up and useless in the life He’s given me. I’m sure you relate. Many times busy life and interruptions can shortchange my daily quiet time with Him.   Growing in my spiritual relationship requires:

  • regular scripture study
  • communication with Him throughout my day
  • keeping a short list of forgiveness of my faults
  • and listening & looking for Him to reveal Himself to me in big and small ways.

I can tell the difference in the days I devote quality time of building my relationship with Him by my personal attitude, reactions to those I am in contact with and in my general well being.

God's Word and Food at Whisper Mountain Camp

Can I ask, how are you doing at making Him a priority in your daily walk? Here’s a couple places the Word uses food figuratively and practically:

  • “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good, Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”  Psalm 34:8
  • “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” 3 John 1:2
  • “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matt 5:6
  • “And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42

I sincerely hope you will practice enjoying God’s Word as much or more than the good food enjoyed in your daily living! Think of the satisfaction and joy you’ll experience if you do!


Photography | Cassi Werner

Hitting A Wall + Pressing On

Staying Encouraged with WM Staff

written by Sam Wammock

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of being in the Word. I’ve never done a great job at it. In fact, I would do some reading and then forget for long periods of time and then start that process over. I don’t think that I have the greatest discipline when it comes to this at all. But as I start in this new time in my life without having chapel 3 days a week or working in the church or being at home where I have my youth group and family to hold me accountable, I hit a hard wall. I realized it is time for me to take responsibility for learning more about Jesus and not just being fed.

Solo Time Calvary by Adrienne

I think about Hebrews 5:11-14:

“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

The writer is giving these warnings against how dangerous it is to just sit and allow ourselves to become complacent and content with being immature in our walk with God. But that isn’t what I am called to. It isn’t what any of us are called to. The writer says “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

Wall at Whisper Mountain by Adrienne

I think it is important to spend time in the Word so that we can discern and distinguish good from evil. I don’t want this passage to be able to apply to me because I didn’t do my part and I forgot the basics. I want to move on and press forward to know more about the Lord by staying consistent in His Word.

If you can relate, can I encourage you to keep making time to get in God’s Word? Keep seeking to know the Lord in your daily life! The basics are everything — let’s keep pressing on!

I’d love to know what God’s been showing you in His Word. Use the comments to share or email me!


Photography | Adrienne Brand

Zooming In on Your Walk with God

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0539.JPGSometimes the whole idea of pursuing God or knowing God can feel too big and overwhelmingly vague that we quit before we really get started. Even when we are doing what we are “supposed to” be doing, we can feel far away from God.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0540.JPGIn case you’ve felt the struggle, our staff understands and we have a heart to walk along with you and to zoom the lens in a bit more in your understanding and growth so you can experience a close-up, vibrant walk with the Lord.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0542.JPGBecause even while God may feel far away or this vibrant life you hear about may feel just out of your grasp, God actually does see you and know you and desire to be close to you.

Whisper Mountain High Ropes Camper.jpgHe wants you to know His presence in the midst of your struggle. He wants you to know His love in personal ways that light you up in the deepest parts of your soul.

Whisper Mountain Camp High Ropes WalkHe wants you to know the balance He can bring to your life. He wants to redeem whatever mess you are in and heal whatever brokenness you carry with you. He wants to direct your path where you will flourish. He wants you to know Him so personally that you can’t help but make Him known to others!

Whisper Mountain Solo Time in the WordAnd it all begins by interacting with Him through His Word!

We say all this to let you know that our staff is pretty excited (and thankful) about being more intentional with encouraging and leading you through weekly blogs and monthly YouTube videos throughout the year! We can’t wait to see how God is working in your lives and to share how He’s working in ours!

Feel free to reach out to us with questions or struggles you’re having or to share how you are experiencing God in your life! We sincerely want to share in the journey with you!


Author | Cassi Werner      Photography | Ethan + Adrienne + Cassi

2019 Summer Volunteers | July

We have been remiss in sharing with you our second round of summer volunteers that came to serve with us through the month of July! Terrible of us! Because we truly are so appreciative of them! Did you see the superheroes from June over here?

Brooke at Whisper Mountain Camp

The month got kicked off with Brooke Maclarion showing up to help in the kitchen for two weeks! One thing we think is great about our volunteers is their willingness to use whatever time they have been given, free time in their schedules or vacation time they choose to “give up” to serve with us, to work hard in whatever capacity we need. Brooke did just that, using the free time she had to serve with us! She even got to try out our high ropes course and enjoy the quiet escape that is Whisper Mountain!

Lila Pearl at wm

Lila Pearl came to lend a hand for a couple weeks! This girl — she can make people laugh! She joined in with our staff like nobody’s business. It felt like she’d been with us all along rather than showing up in the middle of summer. She worked hard wherever we needed her to and played hard whenever possible! We completely enjoyed having her pitch in this summer and are thankful for the joy and fun she brings to life!

Brad and Melloe at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

Next up was the Nash’s! Brad and Melloe have been long time friends of Whisper Mountain (and beyond) and to spend a week with them is always most refreshing! They have such encouraging ways about them! They served in the kitchen and mingled with visitors, leaders and campers who were at camp. They also got to experience the teaching and worship time with our campers! When volunteers come to Whisper Mountain, they are most certainly helping us make it all happen, but they are also given the opportunity to see the power of camp at Whisper Mountain first hand! Win-Win!

Dave and Nancy Houchin at WM.jpg

Dave and Nancy Houchin returned again this summer — we just always look forward to their coming! They have such a peace about them that exudes to those around. Dave and Nancy both helped with various kitchen/serving tasks.  And Dave pitched in with Marty on random projects! They are really great about connecting with our summer staff and encouraging them while spending their weeks with us too! We are telling you, we get the best volunteers around!

To each of these we want to say a humungous thank you for giving your time and energy and talent to come and help carry the load of camp ministry! We seriously couldn’t do what we do without all the hands, all the hearts, pooling together for the glory of God!

We look forward to whoever God brings to serve with us next summer! What a privilege to be a part of God’s work with such amazing people! Keep promoting the gospel wherever and however you can! It’s worth our every effort!


Author | Cassi   Photography | Cassi + Adrienne

Summer Camp 2019 | New City Middle School

Last week was the last week of summer 2019 at Whisper Mountain Camp, and we got to go out with a bang with New City Middle Schoolers!!!!!

New City Middle School at Whisper Mountain Camp

People are afraid of middle schoolers, and sometimes rightfully so, but they have such an excitement and curiosity as they begin to move closer to the adult realm of life. Such goodness there, a figuring out of who they are and where they fit, and a perspective that can be surprising and/or entertaining!

Arriving at Whisper Mountain CampNew City Arrival at Whisper Mountain Camp

Being faced with the truth of God’s Word all week sometimes bounces off of apathetic hearts. If we are honest, our comfort hinders us from God too often, wouldn’t you say?! We saw this in the teens this week at the beginning, but we also saw God stir their hearts throughout their time with us.

Camper at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

Middle schoolers also have a zest for life that is refreshing to be around! These teens were no exception. The love and attention they are receiving from the intentional adults in their lives will only help to harness this life and use it to bring God the most glory!

Teen Games at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpgOutdoor fun at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpgRelay at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

We love the opportunity to provide campers a chance to practice quiet, to have an atmosphere of distraction-free time with God. Sometimes this taste of practicing quiet with Jesus at camp is enough of a game changer for campers that they want to keep up the practice when they return home again! What is a walk with Jesus without the daily walk with Jesus?!

Quiet Time at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpgPersonal Time at Whisper Mountain Camp

Campers gain a personal growth through all the activities and teaching and practicing quiet, but we also find it important to emphasize group growth.

Group Unity at Whisper MOuntain CampcTeam Building at WHisper Mountain Camp

Low Ropes A Frame at Whisper Mountain CampLow Ropes at WHisper Mountain Camp

When teens have to work together to overcome challenges and work through problems, they learn the value of each person’s place on the team. When a youth group works as a unit, they reach more people for Jesus more effectively! These teens did a great job building their unity last week. People on the out skirts felt more a part of things when they left camp! That, friends, is awesome!

at the lake Whisper Mountain CampTeens at the lake at Whisper Mountain Camp

We loved having New City teens end our summer! They are a great crowd for sure!

Escape the Noise. Encounter the Whisper® — it’s what it’s all about!

Thanks, New City, for coming to Whisper Mountain Camp this summer! May God continue to capture your hearts!


Author | Cassi      Photography | Adrienne + Ellie

Awesomeness Takes the Stage 2019 | Selah

Here we are at our final Awesomeness Takes the Stage of 2019! And we are ending on a sweet note with Selah!

Awesome Selah Name Card Picture

Selah was our unofficial official GIT (Guide in Training!). She’s a unique situation, not having graduated high school yet, which is usually a requirement! But seeing as she’s also Full Time Staff and is around all summer anyways, we made the exception!

Awesome Selah at the Bell.jpg

If we gave out awards, we just might give the Most Improved Player award to Selah. She has grown by leaps and bounds this summer, overcoming personal fears and struggles and coming into herself a little more confidently! It’s been wonderful to see!

Selah with Campers

Selah is willing to work hard, has a sure-thing attitude and offers sweet encouragement to those she’s around!

Awesome Selah Silly.jpg

She seems to not take herself too seriously as much (ie: embrace the clumsy and awkward and work with it!!!) and she’s gotten to see that all leadership isn’t front and center!

Selah and Sam at Whisper Mountain.jpg

She’s proven to be a great asset to our team this summer and we are thankful she was willing to serve in the many ways GITs do (ie: hello water coolers!)!

Awesome Selah Sweet

Thank you, Selah, for allowing God’s light to leave a trail wherever you go! We appreciate you spending your summer serving with us!


Author | Cassi      Photography | Adrienne + Cassi