Seeds of Christ’s Love Sown at Summer Camp
Story by Edward Marton
All effective ministries are relational and have a foundation of mentoring and discipleship. Summer camp is one of the most effective ministries in reaching children, youth and young adults—an effective way for churches to grow young. Summer camp is where children, youth, young adults and adults come together for the purpose of drawing closer to Jesus through nature activities. At summer camp, one can see an intergenerational ministry of mentoring and discipleship.
At Tween Camp in 2016, Matthew Taulbee and Zachary Macomber were two amazing counselors at Camp Mohaven in Danville. They ran daily activities, shared the love of Jesus through Scripture, music, skits and genuine care for their campers. The six campers in their cabin saw Christ in Taulbee and Macomber, and longed to be like them when they grew older. That is exactly what happened, as five out of six campers worked at Camp Mohaven in 2020—held in a COVID-19 compliant “bubble,” per state guidelines.
Charles Ames was a counselor, canoe director and lifeguard. He loves being at Camp Mohaven, impacting the lives of campers for Jesus. Andrew Jones worked for Mohaven manager Carrie Brown, ensuring all campers had a beautiful, functional camp to learn about Jesus. Joshua Fahey was a counselor and lifeguard who made sure campers were safe in the pool, while helping campers learn more about Jesus. Mark Ames, the younger brother of Charles, was a lifeguard and a staff-in-training. His hard work and enthusiasm was contagious and a great witness for campers. As sports director and counselor, Jed Williamson’s love for sports and praising and living for Christ are powerful exam- ples that there are young adults who love Jesus and live joyful lives.
This is why summer camp ministry is so effective. Young adult counselors are mentored to share Jesus through the gifts God has given them. They use those gifts to touch the lives of campers. Campers see Jesus when their counselors sing enthusiastically, pray with them, have cabin devotions or lead out in activities. These young campers look up to their young adult counselors and make decisions to follow Jesus.
During that summer in 2016, counselors Taulbee and Macomber touched the lives of those five young men. And this summer, these five touched the lives of many campers for Christ. The seeds of Christ’s love they sow will truly bear fruit. Ohio Conference staff can’t wait to see how many campers will follow in their footsteps working at Camp Mohaven, touching the lives of new generations of campers.
Photo caption: In 2016, (back row) Matthew Taulbee, Charles Ames, Andrew Jones, Joshua Fahey, Zachary Macomber, (front row) Mark Ames, Logen Bailey and Jed Williamson learn about Jesus together.