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?
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!
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!
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 |
Over the weekend some ladies gathered for our annual Craftivities Event! Creating White Space in our lives was sort of the call this year!
We were thrilled to have Kaleigh Stickles come to lead a Hand Lettering Workshop on Friday night!
Kaleigh sells her masterpieces on etsy at Master’s Piece Co. and we were lucky enough to see them up close and personal! She does beautiful work! Go check it out!
Saturday began with some tasty homemade apple cider donuts, which means everything! (Patti does amazing work in our camp kitchen, am i right?!)
We got our hands busy Saturday, creating four different crafts throughout the day! Everybody had their own take on things and each one was so pretty and showed a little more about the person who made it! That’s what I love best — seeing the heart of each person come out in the things they create! (Such a reflection of our Creator, no?!)
I’m personally thankful for this time carved out of otherwise busy living, but it also seemed everyone else left a little more refreshed than when they came!
Thank you, ladies, for coming to spend the weekend with us at #whispermtncraftivities ! If you missed out this time, we hope you can make it the next time! More than that, we hope you are able to carve out some white space of your own! You’ll be thankful you did!
[Author & Photos: Cassi]
Well, the last of our staff pulled out yesterday. The eery after-summer quiet has officially settled over Whisper Mountain Camp. We hope you took some time to get to know a little about our staff this year through Awesomeness Takes the Stage!
As in the last eleven years, this year’s staff has been completely different in their strengths and giftedness, marking their own experiences and that of the campers who came through. Although a younger staff this year, we have seen God work in each of their lives, challenging and growing them in ways they may not have expected. We are thankful for the work each one accomplished and trust God to continue to guide and direct them in their days ahead!
Thank you Summer Staff 2017 for being part of Proclaiming Christ this summer at Whisper Mountain Camp! May you continue to live within the paradox of dying to live!
See more glimpses of their summer on our instagram feed with the hashtag #whispermtnstaff17 !
Our final summer staffer is on the Awesomeness Takes the Stage today! It’s hard to believe we’ve come to the end! Let’s welcome Cory McCowan!
Cory was our main weed whacker this year! Maybe one of the hardest jobs at camp is walking these hills, whacking the weeds in the hot, hot sun, and sometimes alone.
But we saw how the camaraderie with people on our team, the positive and Jesus-filled environment, and physical hard work helped grow Cory as a person this summer! New experiences with caring people sometimes help us more than we know!
Cory has a sincere and caring heart for others, loves the water and is always willing to be open and honest with the people around him. Even though Cory’s circumstances have not always been ideal, we are seeing how he is gaining the courage to become the man God has created him to be!
We are thankful for his time serving with us and all the hard work he put in to keeping our property in great shape.
Cory, thank you for all you’ve done to help us this summer! We see God helping to lead you — stay courageous enough to keep following Him!
[Author: Cassi | Photo Creds: Cassi, Emilie, Chloe, Casey]
Our final GIT on the Awesomeness Takes the Stage is Hayden Swanger!
Like many before him, Hayden was first a camper! Part of our vision at Whisper Mountain Camp is follow up discipleship well beyond the camp week with our campers. I recently learned that Hayden is one Shaun has poured into for several years now. Seeing God’s work in him from his 8th grade year until this year, his graduating year, has been super awesome to see!
Hayden’s ability to lead well, bring so much laughter to the table, and offer solid perspective in so many situations has made him such an asset to our team!
His heart for worship helped lead campers all summer long. His hard work ethic and willing attitude to just get the work done was beyond appreciated. His team player mentality strengthened each of us as we served together!
We are excited to continue to see how God uses and grows Hayden as he boldly follows Him in this next phase of his journey!
Thank you Hayden for giving your summer to Proclaim Christ and bring glory to Him through your serving! We love you!
[Author: Cassi | Photo Creds: Cassi, Emilie, Chloe, Casey, Sam]
We thought it might be appropriate to greet today with another spotlight on our Awesomeness Takes the Stage! Kinsley is all smiles around Whisper Mountain Camp so let’s start this Tuesday with a smile, shall we?!
Kinsley is also one of our Guides in Training (GIT) this summer. Before you go romanticizing about how amazing it must be for a person to come to Whisper Mountain Camp and be a GIT, it should be known that the GITs do all the grunt work for the team! And they all have done a great job keeping a positive attitude in the midst of the grunt! Kinsley included!
Kinsley laughs about nothing, laughs when it’s awkward, laughs when there’s jokes — she just generally laughs a lot! Which as you can imagine is pretty fun to be around.
Beyond all the laughing, however, is a girl with a heart to make Jesus famous! She has been brave in facing uncomfortable things and pushed herself to grow through challenging circumstances. Having her for this second year on our summer staff team has only made us stronger!
When we talk about having a caring staff, it’s people like Kinsley who help make that claim true! We have loved seeing her grow as a person and a disciple of Christ! We can’t wait to see how He continues to lead her as she heads to college!
Kinsley, thank you for spending your summer doing hard things like serving with us at camp! Your light and love are changing the world!
[Author: Cassi | Photo Creds: Cassi, Chloe]
We are in our final week with our summer staff! And there’s still a few of them you haven’t seen here yet! Tonight, I wanted to shine the Awesomeness takes the Stage spotlight on one of our Guides in Training (GIT), Isaac Harkness!
Isaac came to us highly recommended by another Guide. He’d never been to Whisper Mountain before as a camper, never even visited, but what a fantastic addition to our team!
While Isaac began his time with us more on the reserved side of things, we have enjoyed watching him sort of unfold and come alive in new ways! He connects well with campers and staff, he is quick to meet any need he sees and he has revived hope in us again that there are still respectful, young gentlemen still walking our planet!
Isaac helps articulate thoughtful conversation in our staff Bible studies, has the best laugh around, is a dancing machine, and walks with an integrity that raises the bar for those who are around him!
We are completely thankful to have had him serving with us this summer! He was someone we knew we could depend on with his conscientious ways and strive for excellence! His sincerity and genuine concern for others was invaluable to our team and the campers who came through our gates!
Isaac, thank you for coming to a place you didn’t know to serve a God who personally leads your way! Your bravery and desire to chase Him inspires us all!
[Author: Cassi | Photo Creds: Cassi, Casey, Chloe]
You guys ready for some more Awesomeness Takes the Stage? Let’s get on with welcoming Kaleigh Stickles!!
Kaleigh is in her fourth year with us! And as a married woman this summer! It blows us away that she is willing to be serving with us, living with campers instead of with her husband for the summer! She’s pretty cool like that! (see previous spotlights here and here!)
Kaleigh is great about connecting with people and making them feel they are worth her time! She’s a closet gangster with a passion for inspiring teen girls to find their beauty in Christ! (See more about the ministry she cofounded!)
Kaleigh led the way in doing scary things this summer when she was willing to help lead worship along with Morgan, Hayden and Chaz! She overcame a giant and inspired us each to keep doing the same in our own lives!
Thank you, Kaleigh, for giving up your summer to come Proclaim Christ to teens with us! Your love makes a difference!
[Author: Cassi | Photo Creds: Cassi, Casey, Chloe]
Have you been following our Awesomeness Takes the Stage introductions? Today is your lucky day because you get to meet Sam Wammock!
Sam started serving with us last year (check out last year’s spotlight here!), but was a camper for a few years before that! Seeing her growth over these years has been beautiful!
Not only does she look like the blonde version of Brave (see archery picture above!!), but she has displayed great bravery on many levels this summer! She’s stepped up in leadership in many ways and has a willingness to do things outside her comfort zone (i.e.: high ropes set up!). She’s nailing it all!
She’s a friend to all, being so very willing to carry the hard things and laugh off the crazy things. She’s reliable and fun and you know just where you stand with her! She helps others rise to the occasion, making them a stronger version of themselves!
Sam, we can’t thank you enough for allowing God to use you, grow you and shine through you while you serve with us! Thanks for being here this summer!
[Author: Cassi | Photo Creds: Cassi & Casey]
Every summer I get to enjoy watching a community form almost from the ground up as our new summer staff team arrives. People from around the country are here this summer with the hopes of having fun, growing in their own lives and pouring out by proclaiming Christ to teens.
We have welcomed people from different backgrounds and families, having had many diverse experiences and in different places spiritually. But all this different helps make up a strong team as each person adds their own strength. I get excited seeing the process play out all summer long! A process allowing room for failure and struggle. A process producing growth as Christ remains central.
All that to say, what an encouragement for you and for me as the body of Christ to continue welcoming in all the people different from us, in different places in their walks with God, with a different approach to things than we might have. We need to pull in together as a team to stay on mission with Proclaiming Christ to a world hungering for Him.
Go Team Jesus!
We look forward to continuing to share with you bits and pieces of our summer camp season! Keep checking back.
Have a great day, friend
[Author + Photo Creds: Cassi Werner]