When I first showed up to the gates of Camp Crestridge for Girls after 5th grade, I had no idea what I was about to experience. Little did I know how much two weeks at this summer camp would forever change my life.
My grandmother went to Camp Crestridge when she was a teenager, and my dad and brother went to the boys' version of the camp, Camp Ridgecrest when they were growing up. Each of us holds a special place in our heart for Ridgecrest Summer Camps for our own personal reasons.
Ridgecrest Summer Camps is the place I accepted Christ and learned what it meant to truly live a life as a disciple. It is the place where I first felt like I didn't need to look a certain way to be accepted. It is the place where I fell in love with hiking and mountain biking. It is the place where I could be goofy and not worried about being judged. It is the place that gave me friendships that last a lifetime, my future bridesmaids, and also I was able to meet some great examples of men of God. It is a place where I learned that the same artist of the blue ridged mountains surrounding camp, created you and me, and loves me more than I can comprehend.
Ridgecrest Summer Camps is where I had the best job of my life. It is where I got to hold seven of my campers' hands who accepted Christ for the first time with me by their side. It is where I lead teenagers up a mountain and watched their eyes open with joy when they saw the view. It is where campers challenged me with tough questions, and I continued to learn that growing in relationship with God is never done. It is were my campers covered me in mud, paint, and dressed me up daily. It is where I was surrounded by a staff of other college students similar to me, who were doing their best to live a life according to Christ's word. It was where I laughed, cried, danced, and grew closer to God while experiencing adventure.
I learned what friendship looked like through my camp friends. I learned what a community felt like through Ridgecrest Summer Camps. I learned how much I'm worth.
I remember in high school one day a girl in my homeroom asked me, "Grace, why are you so different?"
I knew she asked this confused at my actions. For me I wasn't different. I was following the example of my counselors, who poured their love and friendship into my life all year. They were my role models. I had them to look up to when other girls in my school were looking up to false idols. I can't thank my parents and grandmother enough for sending me to camp and allowing me to meet my counselors while hearing the gospel, and having fun. I can't thank my counselors enough for being my role models and loving me in my darkest moments.
As a counselor, I realized it was mine turn to be that example. I had camper call me two weeks after camp my first summer as staff about a boy breaking up with her. I had a camper text me asking for a bible verse I told her in a one-on-one talk. I had the chance to continue doing life with my campers and watch them grow into women seeking Christ's face daily.
Ridgecrest Camps has a different story for everyone. It can be apart of your story or your child's story as well.
If you have any questions about Ridgecrest Camps and applying to be apart of the team or if you have any questions about sending your child to Ridgecrest Summer camps feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Impacting lives for God's glory through discipleship and adventure."-Ridgecrest Summer Camps