Sunset Lake Focuses On Camper's Spiritual Growth

Seventy-five staff members at Sunset Lake Camp (near Wilkeson, Wash.) had one purpose this summer: to help young people find Jesus.

"What sets Sunset Lake apart is the way we minister to and provide long-term spiritual care and support for our campers and their families," says David Yeagley, Washington Conference youth director.

Sunset Lake supports this commitment through preparing campers spiritually for their week of camp, providing a spiritual director to oversee the evangelistic impact of the week, providing long-term support for parents to deepen the impact of the week and partnering with churches for effective follow-up.

In addition to regular God-focused recreational programming, campers also had the opportunity to sign up for a voluntary rest period Bible study led by Jacob Serns, camp spiritual director. During tween camp, for ages 12–13, more than 100 campers joined the study.

The camp gives Bibles to campers who do not have a Bible available at home. "I saw one child carrying his new Bible all over camp," Yeagley says. "I asked him if he was reading it, and he told me he was already halfway through Genesis and loving it."

During eight weeks of summer ministry to 1,048 campers, 154 campers made decisions for baptism and 11 campers were baptized on site. "Each week we are seeing lives changed because of what churches and individuals are doing to partner with the ministry of Sunset Lake," Yeagley says.

One young man, who attended camp, loves playing football. As he participated in the program at Sunset Lake, he made an important choice. "My child has made the decision to worship on the Sabbath and follow God's word," his mother says in a letter to camp staff. "He has chosen to learn more about God and not play football. Now I must do my part and continue to keep him interested in what he has learned."

October 01, 2009 / Washington Conference
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Heidi Martella, Washington Conference associate communication director