So many of us have moments of life-change that happened at camp.

Recently I heard someone say, “I don’t know what Heaven will be like, but when I imagine it, it looks a little like camp to me.” She went on to describe her experience of camp as a place where you are together with friends, sharing meals, worshipping, playing, laughing, and growing close to each other and to God. Camp is a place where we get to push pause on the distractions and busyness of life for just a moment and just be with our Father. God’s love for us is always overflowing every single day, but here in spaces, like camp, where everything is designed to create an open door into His presence, we often times feel His love and encounter His heart a little more clearly. Sure, life will get busy again, but when we step back into the daily demands of life we don’t have to lose anything God gives us in these special retreat-like moments throughout our lives. They are ours to treasure and build upon. These quiet whispers of a loving God, that awaken something in us are often seeds planted in a moment that change the trajectory of our lives in ways we could never have imagined.  

Today, we have the joy of sharing with you the story of one of our seasonal staffers, who shares her journey with God at Pondo going from camper to staffer and how God changed her life one Summer as a High School student at Pondo. We hope Kaitlin’s story blesses you as much as it did us.

“For the past 8 years, I have  coming up to Camp Pondo as a student, a church leader, and by God’s plan and my surprise, a Pondo staffer. Over and over again each year I have been able to witness the life changing power of the gospel taking place on Pondo’s grounds. Camp Pondo is so special as it holds so many of my fondest memories. Its dedicated staffers make God known, and it is located in the middle of God’s beautiful creation.

In my experience with Camp Pondo, my faith truly became my own as I was heading into my junior year of high school, coming out of what was easily the worst year of my life. I was struggling with anxiety, depression, self-harm, and so many other things coming out of my father leaving and my family going through a messy divorce. Going to camp allowed me to be away from all of the distractions and gave me the space to wrestle through some really tough things with God. I left camp that year feeling renewed, and joyful again. My circumstance hadn’t changed, but my reliance on God had.

Since my high school days as a camper, I’ve had the greatest pleasure as both a church leader at camp and a camp staffer to walk with other students who are wrestling with a lot of the same questions I once had. Watching them choose to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives and respond by believing the words that they are singing during worship is one of the most humbling experiences.

Camp Pondo is truly a unique place where youth are able to encounter God.”

-Kaitlin, 2021 Summer Staff

If you would like to help us celebrate the work that God does here at Camp Pondo as we press into the more and help pave the way for even more campers like Kaitlin to have life-changing encounters with God, 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.