There are a lot of reasons our staff love working summers at Asbury Hills. Some say they love it because they make lots of new friends while others claim that the campers change their lives. A reason you may not hear very often is that our staffers love making Love Gifts. What is a Love Gift? I am so glad you asked.
**Curious about the crazy outfits? This year’s theme was 80s.**
At the beginning of staff training, when everyone is still super new and a little timid, we have each staff member draw a name from a hat. (More like draw a name from a helmet.) The most important part is for the staff to keep whosoever name they drew a secret until the end of the summer.
What draw names?
Why keep it a secret?
The names are drawn to keep it random, mix up the staff and to make sure everyone gets picked. On the very last day of camp, our staff gather for our closing Love Gift Ceremony.
If everyone succeeded at keeping the secret, then everyone gets a nice surprise during the ceremony when whoever had them gets up to present a one of a kind gift. Staffers are encouraged to really get to know whoever they draw and put together a handmade gift to present to them during the Lceremony.
As you can see, that is a lot of love! Our staff spend an entire summer pouring into campers and making sure those campers have the best summer of their lives. Not only are they exhausted physically but they are exhausted mentally and nothing cures mental exhaustion better than a heartfelt love gift ceremony. Our staff are so good at loving each other. If that isn’t obvious, take a look at the photos. Look into the expressions of not only the people receiving/giving their gift but the expressions of the staff in the background.
That is a lot of love!
Summer 2017 has officially come to a close. Of course, we are never happy to see summer end but we are thrilled with how well this summer went! Planning for this summer started over a year ago and hiring our summer staff began at the new year. So much goes into making sure each summer is better than the last.
This year, our campers explored what it meant to break the noise and listen to God. Each week, our camp pastors broke this meaning down in their own way while conveying the underlying meaning of breaking the noise. Young people today live with so many distractions and sometimes don’t even realize it. Our goal this summer was to open our campers’ eyes to what it means to really listen to God, hear what He is saying, obey what He is saying and speak it to others. While our campers are only with us for a week, our goal is to impact their lives endlessly! Here are a few things we got back from parents in our survey. If these don’t convey how powerful this summer was, read it again!
“My camper learned how to turn off the ‘noise’. He shared examples of putting down the phone, remote, and electronic games. He stated that in order to hear God, you need to listen.”
“My camper learned that it is important to take time to hear God’s voice. She also met many young women and men who have and will serve as role models for authentic Christian Faith.”
“My camper learned that with faith she can take on any challenge and God will take care of her.”
“My camper learned that sometimes you need to try to focus on God even when there is a lot going on in your life and you feel too busy.”
“God is with us and never leaves our side. Even the littlest things can make noise between me and God. I can ignore that noise.”
This year, we welcomed 1122 campers at Asbury Hills to share with them what it means to Break the Noise and listen to God. While this doesn’t make this summer our largest, it is definitely our second largest summer to date! Think about it; 1122 campers came on property, were welcomed by their counselor, tried something new, worshiped and made new friends. Still need help putting that into perspective? Keep reading.
- With $1122, you could buy 224 Unicorn Frappuccinos from Starbucks
- 1122 football fields equals over 60 miles
- With $1122, you could buy 93 tickets to watch the Greenville Drive play behind home plate
- With $1122, you could buy 1122 $1 sweet teas from McDonalds
- You could buy 2 iPad Airs with $1122
What did we do? We impacted 1122 camper’s lives.
As you can see, this summer was a huge success! Thanks to over 50 summer staffers, 8 camp pastors and a handful of volunteers for helping make Summer 2017 the best yet!
“My camper’s knowledge is deeper any time he can be involved in something like this, and I feel he can learn in a fun environment like. Camp learning is invaluable.”