Category Archives: 2008 Camps

A different kind of summer

By Mel Herring

I have been going to Delanco for the past eight years and each year God does something different. No matter if I was a camper or on staff God has always used Delanco to change me and give me guidance and direction.

This summer at camp was different that other years of camp for many reasons. It was the first summer since I graduated high school that I was not on permanent staff, which was hard to adjust to at first. However this summer I got to serve on weekly staff for four weeks, alternating between being a counselor and a teacher. The other changes that took place were more internal than external. This summer God really worked inside of me and changed my heart in different areas.

This summer was the first time in a while that I got to be with the kids and focus in on getting to know them and being Jesus in their lives. I can honestly say that was the best part of the summer. My love for the campers grew as the weeks passed and it reignited a passion to really know the kids that I was working with week after week. I got to spend time with some really great kids and I got to see a side of them that truly wants to love and serve the Lord. I found myself seeing the campers in a different light. I could see the potential in each of them to live radically and passionately for God. I could see the light and joy that each one of them gave to the world in their own way. It must be similar to the way that God looks at each of us.

God also used camp to help me work through some things going on in my own life. This summer at the beginning of Teen Camp 2 my grandmother passed away. I was scheduled to be a counselor that week and I did keep my commitment to be there. It was a difficult week and I went through a lot of different emotions, but God really held my heart and was close to me during that week. My prayer is that despite where my heart was at that week God used me to reach the campers. There was a verse that was used in the prayer walk that week, and its a verse that really helped me cling to the promise that God can always heal and restore us.

“And the God of grace, who called you to his eternal glory in christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10

This past summer was a great time to get to serve God and also be changed. God reminded me why it is that Delanco has been such a big part of my life and why it continues to be a place that is held dear in so many hearts. God reminded me why it is that I am doing youth ministry and he reminded me what it’s like to be in middle school and high school and the compassion and love that is needed to reach kids at those ages. This coming May, I am graduating from college and it’s because of God and the way that he uses Delanco that I feel the calling of doing camp ministry through the rest of my life. No matter where I end up Delanco will always be where my heart is and I will continue to serve there and allow God to use me in whatever way he wants. I’m so thankful for Delanco and I am thankful for this past summer.

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Such a beautiful surrender

By Becky Clendaniel (Originally posted on Becky’s Blog)

There’s something so authentic about retreats. Of course you’re not in a real-world setting; you’re not with your parents, your dog, your sisters and brothers (sometimes). But you’re with some of your best friends and God. I think that’s pretty much all you need, actually.

I was the “worship leader” at a retreat at Delanco Camp in Jersey this weekend. I came into it terrified and excited at the same time, but I didn’t think it would affect me that much. I just wanted to see the kids grow.

But something different happened. I made friends (thank goodness for Facebook cause they all live in Jersey) and I strengthened other friendships and I made a fool out of myself at both volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee. But I think one of the coolest things is that I got to see the “retreat experience” from the other side.

I got to see just how passionate these leaders are for kids and for God. I saw how much this weekend mattered to them. They work, they have jobs, but they were so willing to help out. I saw just how much work it takes to make weekends like this one run as smoothly as it did. I was honored to be considered a leader with them; they were incredibly friendly and loving and accepting of me, this girl who had never even been to Delanco before.

I think I grew as a leader too. I’ve led worship at home a number of times and even at retreats (when I was a student). But I think it makes a difference when you don’t know any of the kids. I think it was better, more authentic, more real. I got some reassurance that I can lead when someone (in this case, Steve) steps back. I can stumble my way through praying without too much trouble. I can get the kids engaged. In no way am I anywhere close to being able to do something like that weekly. But it’s nice to know that I can.

The thing I hated the most about retreats when I was in youth group was the feeling I got when I came home. That deep feeling in the pit of your stomach that tells you “you’re home, it’s life back to normal, back to school and homework and all that crap”. I certainly didn’t expect to feel that today, after being a leader. But I do. I guess it’s God showing me that I’m still not too old to learn something from these retreats, to grow in my faith, to get a little closer to Him every time. I’m glad for it.

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Brandon Merriell Jr. High 1 Re-cap

Junior High 1 was awesome. The theme of the week was Trapates (Setapart). The reason Setapart was chosen for the camp theme is because as Christians we should try to be different from the crowd and not let ourselves be ruled by the latest fads. Instead we should let God rule our lives and not be afraid to show it. If we live a setapart life then when people ask us why we are different we can tell them that we are different because Jesus Christ is our Savoir.

This message of being setapart from those who don’t know God has really inspired me to try to not be like everyone else. Being setapart isn’t always easy when the world is telling you to go with the crowd. Although it would be easy to go with the crowd, just remember that there are other people in the world that are also trying to live setapart lives for God.

To go along with the theme, we did everything backwards on Yadsendew (Wednesday). We also had the Gladiator Games for most of the afternoon. My favorite Gladiator Game was jousting. As usual the food at Delanco was great. We all had a great time praising the Lord and making new friends at Junior High 1.

If you weren’t there you missed out on a really fun week. 

Brandon Merriell lives in Woodbury and attends Kemble Memorial UMC. Long before he was a camper at Delanco, Brandon became famous for his signature line “wrapped in duct tape” and for his wrestling. 

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The last week of camp

It’s the last week of Delanco Camp, everyone’s least favorite time of year.

With the summer camp season fading away in a couple days, it’s time to look back at the past couple of months. What memories did you form this summer that will stay with you for years to come? In what areas of your life were you challenged the most? What friendships did you form that will strengthen you in your walk with Christ? Where do we go from here?

These are all good questions to ask yourself as the summer comes to a close and school starts back up again.

Photo courtesy of permanent staffer Leah Palamaro.

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Teen camp re-cap

Tucker camp, as most of you know it, was a great time for all who went, or at least for me.

There was volleyball, basketball, pirates, gotcha, and of course Duck Duck Wham. But also just spending time with God in an amazing prayer walk.

The food is always good, as well as the people there with you. But camp would be nothing without the extremely dedicated staff. From counselors, to kitchen, to lifeguards, to worship leaders, and to all, I wanna say thanks.

Jamie Damm’s messages were truly powerful and impacting. The theme of the week was “I AM” and he talked on what we are in God’s eyes, and being rebels for Christ. How we should stand out and be different in the world, but to be different with a cause. Julio’s morning messages were great as well.

I know I had an amazing time and truly felt God work, and I hope all who went did as well.

-Sarah Herman

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Teen 2 wrap

Friday night Jamie wrapped up talking about where do we go from here.  He told us that we all need mentors, a like-minded friend, and someone to pour into.  He told us those people are in his life and he also gave us biblical reference to them.  Friday night we played the first installation of “the sandlot”, I’ll admit the game wasn’t as good as the skit, it was find the characters and find the ball, but what can I say we were getting tired by Friday.  The skit was great.  It stared Courtney and Devon Sizemore and 7 or 8 campers.  They pulled it off so well, which was impressive because we were throwing the skit together in the back of the dining hall during snack.  I think the campers who helped out this week in the night games had a new found appreciation for what goes into getting the night games together, especially the ones who helped Friday.

Saturday we sent the kids off with a benediction from ?, darn I can’t find it right now, I’ll edit and add it later.

To sum things up we had a great week at teen 2.  It was especially exciting to have so many campers come back for their 4th and final teen camp, which also happens to be the 4 years that Jen and I have been doing camp.  I’ll admit to getting a little emotional while praying for these young adults during the Saturday post camp meeting.  They’ve been here every year we have and next year they won’t.  We hope they will stay strong in the faith and transition into the leadership of the camp.  For those of you who are that age, remember that you are now elidgible for Memorial day camp.  It was also great to have many others back again as well as many new faces.  I hope they all stay in touch with each other and with us.

I want to give huge cudos to the staff for making this week great.  Our staff this year truely got that it was all about the campers.  We had a small staff which called some people into double duty but they were fanominal.  

Here are the pictures from the week.  Enjoy.  If you post any of your own pictures somewhere please let me know and I’ll put a link up here as well.  Hopefully Jon can get some of the video up soon.

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