Hey Pondo Fam!

We’re back with a recap from the 40th Anniversary Celebration!

It was so fun to have over 300 people here to celebrate with us just a couple weeks ago! We saw returning staff, students and community members join in on the festivities. Some of them shared stories, favorite parts of the event, or what Pondo means to them.

Former staffer Kyle Odell, came with his wife and their five children, eager to introduce them to Pondo. When asked about his experience at Pondo, Kyle said, “It’s where a lot of life decisions are made for a lot of people, myself included, so being able to be a part of that, that’s pretty awesome.”

A former camper, Izbella Mares said, “I’ve only been here for three camps… and it’s my favorite place on earth, and I want to work here in a year.” Her favorite part of the event was the worship and the giant swing. 

We even had the founders of Ponderosa Pines Christian Camp (aka Camp Pondo) here to share the story of how it started and a few moments where they saw God’s hand working. But we’ll talk about those stories in a bit.

For the festivities, we had nearly every activity open and free for those who came to celebrate. The pool, giant water slide, zip-line, giant swing, mountain biking, tree climbing, and of course all of our lawn games like gaga ball, nine-square in the air, corn hole, and disk golf. If there’s an outdoor game you wanted to play, it was probably there. Some people brought their own games and things to enjoy at Pondo too like spike ball and hammocks.

The shop had a sweet new shirt to celebrate the 40 years as well as some returning favorites from this last season. For all you coffee lovers out there, the Pondaroma coffee cart was out and was serving a new cold brew drink. It was SOO good! 

The man, the myth, the legend, Chef Rob, came through with an amazing BBQ dinner for everyone in attendance to enjoy. The line for the food literally wrapped around the lodge. It was amazing and for dessert we had the best banana pudding!

The silent auction was a hit and we had some awesome baskets filled with all kinds of stuff like ski lift tickets, photography sessions, and even a homemade Settlers of Catan game. One basket even included the opportunity to have the Pondo Worship Movement play at your event. Lots of fun choices, and all the proceeds went to building the future of Pondo!

The top bidding item for the silent auction

was a family fun weekend getaway in the Chalet!

Later on in the evening, we sat down and watched a video which captured just a glimpse of what 40 years of camp ministry looks like in a little over seven minutes. You could hear people in the crowd as they recognized themselves or friends of theirs from camp. It was like popcorn, one random cheer after another from different areas of the field popping up here and there. 

Then the camp directors of 26 years, Dan and Becky Skipper, came on stage with the founders of Pondo: George Golden, who was, at the time, the pastor of Ventura Baptist Church, which sponsored the launch of Camp Pondo and Lewis McClendon, the founding director of Camp Pondo. They shared a little more about their experiences starting this camp.

They described how scary it was to take a leap without knowing how they would pay for it, how the first season of camp went in the freezing cold winter, and how one young man accepted Christ and made a great impact on his community and ours. They talked about the AMAZING water at camp and how God provided the well that kept the camp alive and running.

To finish the night off, the Pondo Worship Movement led songs of praise and we heard an inspiring sermon from a long-time friend of Pondo’s, Rickey Jinkins.

Overall, we were able to come together as a community and raise funds and prayer support to help keep Pondo as affordable as possible while building into our future. We were also excited to announce that we reached and surpassed our goal of hitting $2,000 of monthly support through the Big Red Chair Club, which unlocked a $15,000 grant from our amazing friends over at Mission Increase! 

Thank you to everyone who bid, bought, donated, and/or joined the Big Red Chair Club. And even to those who just came. We are sincerely so grateful for our Pondo fam and the support from each and every one of you! Your presence, your prayers, and your financial support makes a difference!

So again, thank you for your support and thank you for making this day truly one of remembrance and celebration! We couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of you. Blessings Fam,

The Camp Pondo Team


We LOVE celebrating all that God does while at Camp! If you have a Pondo Story you’d like to share about yourself and/or a student encountering Jesus in a unique way please click HERE to share it with us!

If you would like to partner with us in the work that God does here at Camp Pondo, we invite you to partner with us through prayer and support. Click HERE to learn more about how our Gospel Partners help us continue to make Pondo a unique place to encounter Jesus.