One hundred campers from all over the U.S. (three from Canada) and 45 staff gathered at YMCA Camp Carter July 5-12. I thought it was one of our best years yet. We enjoyed a great group of campers and staff. It’s always heartening to witness the positive example of God’s young people as they engage fully in camp for a week. It speaks to the dedication of the parents of our teens in the Church. It’s difficult to explain what it’s like to be in such an uplifting environment for a week without experiencing it. It’s a week of nonstop activity, fun and fellowship.

The weather turned out to be a bit cooler than expected; and we received rain Tuesday morning, which kept the dust down the rest of the week. By that afternoon, we were able to get back to our activity schedule. The lake conditions that day ended up being perfect for tubing, skiing and wakeboarding for our four speedboats as they ripped around Lake Worth.

This year we introduced an orienteering/survival skills class, where campers worked in teams to build fires without matches, build shelters and use compasses for navigation. Dance class was reinstated; and a cookie decorating class was offered, where the decorators were permitted to devour their creations.

Of course, we continued to offer our activity classes: archery, basketball, volleyball, gaga ball, speedaway, disc golf, and strength/fitness/agility training. This year one of our campers set a new Camp Carter record for pull-ups (military-style and in perfect form): 31—quite a feat! One camper from Colorado set a new climbing tower record by scaling it in a time of 3:01.

The staff and campers mixed in various activities throughout the week in the evenings, as they played against one another and mixed in together at times in basketball, speedaway, capture the flag, kickball, gaga ball, dance and volleyball.

The staff enjoyed their get-togethers as well at nights from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m., as we hung out, ate popcorn and snacks, laughed, talked and played various speed card games, such as spoons and peanuts/nertz.

Compass Checks and Christian Living classes centered on aspects of the pearl of great price our young people have been given. Britton Taylor, COGWA treasurer, gave the sermon Sabbath.

Consider joining us at Camp Carter next year on staff or as a camper. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll establish some lifelong friendships in the process!

Andy Burnett, director