Festival of the Arts Highlights Camper Creativity

October 12, 2015 | David Yeagley

Fifty campers participated in the first-ever Festival of the Arts at Sunset Lake Camp in Wilkeson, Wash. For the week of Aug. 9–15, the camp was filled with the sights and sounds of creativity, including drawing, painting, sculpting, string ensemble, choir, music production, photography, advanced horsemanship and mime. This new camp was designed to affirm and celebrate the artistic gifts God has given to His children.

Campers were able to choose from a number of major areas of study in either the visual or performing arts. They could also choose an elective class that allowed them to broaden their artistic experience. The festival featured guest performers, artists and instructors from across the country: Wesley Brainard, a mime from Tulsa, Okla.; Werner Carrasco, a music producer from Nashville, Tenn., and his daughter, Charmaine, a Christian contemporary artist; John Neumann, former choir director at Auburn Adventist Academy; and Holly Carpenter, a string teacher from the Walla Walla area.

From the first day of the festival, it was clear God had brought together a very special group of students. The string ensemble formed a double quartet and tackled the music of Mozart. Photography students explored Mount Rainier National Park with cameras in hand. Campers and staff came together to create a 40-voice choir. And the music production class wrote, recorded and produced its own music video.

Sitting on the back of a horse one afternoon, a longtime camper flashed a huge smile. “This has been the best week I have ever had at Sunset Lake,” she exclaimed.

The festival concluded on Sabbath with an afternoon of performances by the guest artists, baptisms, a gallery displaying the work of the visual art students and an evening performance by student musicians. “Better keep this camp around,” one parent remarked. “My daughter plans on coming back next year.”

To experience the talent of these campers, watch the music production class' original music video on YouTube.

God's love and grace was illuminated this summer at Sunset Lake Camp. By the numbers:

  • 26,840 meals served
  • $26,699 raised for camper scholarships
  • 670 campers
  • 206 decisions for baptism
  • 155 first-time decisions for Christ
  • 150 campers attended because of scholarships
  • 93 hours of banana-boat rides
  • 84 pages memorized in one week for the evening drama
  • 80 awesome staff
  • 49 campers attended the first-ever Festival of the Arts
  • 12 baptisms at camp this summer
  • 7 epic performances of Illuminate, an originial camp play
  • 6 confirmed sightings of Jerry the Bear
  • 1 incredible summer
  • 0 campers turned away because they couldn't afford camp
  • 1,000,000 "Your glory fills the sky, a great and holy light, shining like a million stars, I'm amazed by who You are!"