What is Camp?


For every person, this word has a certain connotation to it. For some, it ignites a passion filled with campfire smells, games, and singing. For others, it tells of a place far away in some past life. For yet others, it can bring up memories of homesickness and not getting along with other campers. Some parents love camp, others are afraid- but everyone knows about camp.

Whenever I walk around the camp, I try to wonder how a patch of grass on a hillside with some planted trees can become a center piece in people’s lives. Is it the buildings? Is it the grass and the trees? Is it the lake? Physically, there’s nothing that special about the camp compared to other beautiful places. And yet, it draws people back. Family reunions, parents bringing their children, retreats, and other visits keep the place vibrant with people, but there’s something more that places the camp in people’s hearts.

Personally, Camp of the Cross was not my only camp. As a kid, I went to Park River Bible Camp, Red Willow Bible Camp, and the International Music Camp. I can still see the faces of the kids I met, the counselors that took care of me, and the great places where we played games, laughed, sang, and performed. I can remember the crazy things we did and the food we ate. For me, camp has always been a fun place, and summers without camp seem empty; in fact, I don’t even know what that is anymore.

What makes camps special? Camps are where memories are made. Camps are not home, they are not school, and they are not work; camps are a vacation from the norm. Camps are a place to be truly you and be freed from the pressures of life. Camps are a place to see natural beauty, both in Creation and in people. Camps are place of sharing and caring. Camps are a place of life.

I get excited for camp. Many people get excited for camp, and it’s something to be excited about! In a world increasingly worried about schedules, appearances, and material items, camp is a place to begin learning how to truly live again. It’s a place where we can learn how to breathe. It’s a place where we can love others unconditionally for who they are. Here at Camp of the Cross, it’s a place where we can reflect on the love of Jesus, and how His sacrifice of life gives us life. Camp of the Cross is a place to free.


-Nate Peterson, Summer Off-Site Coordinator