Fifty-nine campers and 47 staff came together in the beauty of the North Georgia mountains for the fifth year of Camp Chattahoochee!

Besides our regular activities—such as arts and crafts, swimming in an Olympic-size pool, canoeing in a beautiful stream-fed lake, and “slip-and-sliding” away on a brand-new and longer version of the slip and slide—the campers enjoyed three new activities this year: gaga ball, riflery and team building.

While slip and slide is a regular activity, Camp Chattahoochee has now incorporated a “slip-and-slide-off” competition, where the best of each dorm competes in front of the entire camp after lunch on the final day. This year’s winners were Sara DeGagne from the girls’ dorms, Aaron LaMagna from the boys’ dorms, and Billy Hicks from the staff. Each winner received a special trophy made from the dishwashing soap bottles used to “slip” the slide, which were attached to a tree limb base.

In previous years, gaga ball was more of a special one-time activity. But its popularity increased to the point where it made sense to incorporate this extremely fun game into the regular schedule. One of our Church members in Jefferson, Georgia, was able to build the arena at a relatively low cost; and as expected, it was one of the highlights of camp.

Riflery was introduced, not only to provide the opportunity for some fun target practice, but with the intention of teaching gun safety and respect. The campers were thoroughly educated by one of our staff members with over 20 years of teaching and certification in this field.

Team building brought a new aspect to our campers this year—that of working together to solve clues and ultimately find the special treasure, The Pearl of Great Price (which ended up being taped under the chair of the camp director)!

For the first time, Camp Chattahoochee had the oversight of the entire kitchen, led by Chef Lewis Bryant and his wife, Annette, of the Nashville, Tennessee, congregation. It was a nice change to be able to plan our own menus and purchase our own food. And the food was delicious. Certainly no one left the dining hall hungry!

The Christian Living classes were led by ministers Dave Evans (the “other Mr. Evans”), Ron Kelley and camp director Eric Evans. It was truly a delight to have the opportunity to teach such a young group of children about something so precious. To remind them of this year’s theme, the children and staff were all given a special gift of a single pearl in a zippered pouch with the CYC emblem and the words “The Pearl of Great Price … Find It and Keep It!”

There were a few afternoon thunderstorms (normal for the area), but only one of the activities was cancelled in the three-day schedule—a true blessing! God provided His safety and protection to all of our campers and staff, something that we never want to take for granted.

An evening presentation for the parents concluded the camp program, with most of the dorms contributing songs, skits and dance presentations. The staff gave the final presentation with a short version of “Happy Trails,” as we wished these wonderful campers God’s blessings throughout the coming year ’til we meet again!

Eric Evans, director