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

Summer Camp 2019 | Calvary Road + Berry’s Grove

Calvary Road and Berrys Grove Group at Whisper Mountain Camp

Last week was a great week with our combined groups — one from not so far away and another across the state!

Field time at Whisper Mountain CampBerrys Grove Low Ropes at Whisper Mountain CampCalvary Road friendship at Whisper Mountain Camp

Calvary Road and Berry’s Grove are both groups that have come to us before and have given us feedback on loving the intentionality and group unifying effect Whisper Mountain Camp has for their groups! We always love hearing how God uses what He’s built for His purposes! Helping everyone feel loved and part of community is crucial!

Leadership at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

Being able to build relationships with the leaders of groups is equally as important to us! So many times we encourage each other in ways we didn’t expect! Ministry can be hard and challenging, but investing in teens is worth the investment!

Calvary Road Solo Time at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

The teens last week were confronted with the holiness of God in some life-giving ways through the messages from God’s Word, through cabin time discussions, through solo times across the campus.

Archery at Whisper Mountain CampBazooka Ball at Whisper Mountain CampHigh Ropes at Whisper Mountain CampHigh Ropes Battle at Whisper Mountain Camp

Of course nothing is wasted at Whisper Mountain as we use all the activities and adventures at camp to offer life application and spiritual parallel! God is always speaking, but are we always listening?!

We had a fantastic week getting to know these teens and their leaders and pouring into them the hope of Jesus! May His great work continue as they return home!

Thanks Berry’s Grove and Calvary Road for coming to Whisper Mountain Camp this summer! Keep chasing Him!


Author | Cassi      Photography | Adrienne + Cassi

 

Awesomeness Takes the Stage 2019 | Marshall

It’s his birthday, it’s his birthday! The one and only Marshall Grant is on the Awesomeness Takes the Stage today!

Marshall Awesome Name Card

Marshall came first as a Guide in Training (GIT) but has now returned as one of our outstanding Guides! Marshall sure brings some life to any party! Well, adventuresome spirit if nothing else!

Marshall at the Lake with Whisper Mountain.jpgMarshall Bikes at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

He’s got some nutty ways about him, but his heart is to live and love life and those in it! His thrill seeking, ahem, excuse me…cough…cough...his love for adventure in the great outdoors really knows no bounds. Calculated risk is a good thing, pushing yourself to see how far you can go is a good thing. Living this one adventure of life to the fullest is a good thing. Marshall embraces life.

Marshall works at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

And he’s great about doing the hard work first, and then playing second. He’s proven to be trustworthy on many different levels and is stepping into his role as Guide naturally and with confidence!

Marshall Leading at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpgMarshall on the Rock.jpgMarshall and Micah at Whisper Mountain Camp

He’s showing himself to be a strong leader and role model and remains teachable through each new experience he’s been given! He’s a great friend and man chasing Jesus! And he’s always stretching, literally!!!!

Marshall stretches at WM.jpg

Marshall, thanks for the laughs, adding fun to the crew and loving Jesus enough to serve teens this summer at camp! We are thankful for the time and energy you pour out to help make our team stronger!

AND HAPPPPPPYYYYY BIRRRRRRTTHHHHDAYYYYY!!!


Author | Cassi        Photography | Adrienne + Cassi

Awesomeness Takes the Stage 2019 | Isaac

From Sparky vest to Minion madness, seeing Isaac grow through the years has been fun! Welcome Isaac to the Awesomeness Takes the Stage today, will you?!

Awesome Isaac Name Card

My favorite thing about Isaac this year is the way he helps to engage reaction from the crowd for the staff leading up front! Whether it’s an “OOOh Yeeeaaah!” or a dramatic guffaw or laugh, he adds to the scene to help create a fun atmosphere! (Which means someone always laughs at Shaun’s jokes ;)!!!)

Smiling Isaac at Whisper Mountain Camp

Isaac is quick to smile, always helping people feel welcome and inviting them into conversation. He’s a big encourager too!

Isaac Leads at Whisper Mountain Camp

He leads well, enjoys having theological conversations with anyone interested, and is careful to respect the person even if he disagrees with them. In it all, Isaac sincerely wants to help others walk nearer to Jesus. In the end, that’s all that matters!

Isaac serves with Jake at Whisper Mountain Camp

His contemplative ways allow him to carefully consider what he means to say so when he speaks its with authentic sincerity and something worth hearing. He’s had a great energy about him this summer that adds to all the relationships he’s creating, whether it’s with staff or campers or their leaders!

Isaac Guide at Whisper Mountain Camp

Isaac, thank you for giving Whisper Mountain the chance to be part of your story! We are so thankful for all the ways you add to our team through your service and heart for Jesus!


Author | Cassi      Photography | Adrienne + Cassi

Summer Camp 2019 | Estero + New City

New City and Estero at Whisper Mountain Camp

In camp ministry we have the amazing opportunity to come alongside youth pastors and churches as they strive to help teens find the hope of Jesus in this world! New City Church (formerly Church at Charlotte: here, here and here) and First Baptist Estero (herehere, here, here, and here) are two groups we’ve been blessed to walk with for several years now. These guys feel like family!

Welcome to Whisper Mountain CampSettling in at Whisper Mountain Camp

Having a place for teens to get away out of their ordinary, out of their bubbles, and find fresh mountain air (filled with gnats;)!!) and a slew of people whose job it is to hang out and encourage them makes for a week that can be quite life changing!

Eno Life at Whisper Mountain Camp

Escape the Noise. Encounter the Whisper.® It’s what we exist for. And no matter how many times they’ve been to Whisper Mountain before, there’s nothing quite like God’s personal whisper into messy and complicated lives, over and over again.

New City at Low Ropes at Whisper MOuntain CampHigh Ropes at Whisper Mountain CampNew City Low Ropes Celebration at Whisper Mountain Camp

Trying new things on our own but surrounded by people who are cheering us on can be helpful in pushing us to hard things and knowing the victory of doing life with others!

 

Baptism at Whisper Mountain CampNew City Baptism at Whisper Mountain CampNew City.Estero Worship at Whisper Mountain Camp

Last week we saw six teens get baptized at our local lake. The joy they wear on their faces as they’ve publicly proclaimed to be a Jesus follower — nothing like it! So amazing the story God is writing in each of these lives. It’s beautiful to catch even a sliver of His work while they are with us.

Field Fun at Whisper Mountain CampThumbs Up to Whisper Mountain Camp

The good ole fashioned fun squished in between all the other more intentional heart moments, Bible time and connecting really just rounds out the week in all the best and fullest of ways.

Thank you for choosing to come to Whisper Mountain Camp, New City and Salt and Light Youth! We love you and the opportunity to be a small part of the story God is writing in your life! See you next time, Lord willing!


Author | Cassi         Photography | Adrienne + Ellie + Cassi