By JB Brayfindley
Enthusiasm was high at Shasta Family Camp, held July 20-26 in Mt. Shasta, according to Trust Hilton, camp director for the last five years – this despite the fact that total attendance, at 30+, was lower than in previous years.
“The flow of the program was great – from serious worship moments to being complete goofballs during campfire time!” says Hilton, who grew up attending the camp from the age of 12.
There were new songbooks this year, so the campers enjoyed lots of singing as well as hiking, swimming in area lakes, stargazing, baseball, a talent show, and movie night.
Attendees represented a wide spectrum of ages, from retirees in their 80s to elementary school-aged children: The age difference often the most inspirational aspect of the family camp.
“My favorite part was the moment playing baseball when I lost track of what was happening and turned to a young camper, who explained everything. It was humbling and awesome to see this young person, who became the most knowledgeable at that point. Anybody at any age can participate in camp here,” Hilton explains.
Alison Maki, who serves as pastor at Fall River Mills Community United Methodist Church, took time away from her duties to attend the family camp with her daughter, Goldie.
“The place is full of beauty and surprise, and I love watching my daughter discover the God secrets that are only revealed in nature. It is a place where children can become a little bit wild, free to dream and roam and connect with the One who created us all. You cannot be at Shasta Camp without feeling God's very real presence, whether on a trail, at the creek, or near the campfire,” she says.
Maki says her daughter looks forward to the camp all year long. “This was our 9th consecutive year at camp. It has been so beautiful to watch her grow up a little bit each summer at camp.”
And, reflecting on her own transformation at the camp over the years, she adds, “Shasta Camp was the first place where I, as a young teen, felt God's very real presence with me. That moment, that magic, has stayed with me my entire life and every time I go back, I am refreshed and restored, given exactly the gifts that I need. Community? Solace? Adventure? Repose? Yes, all of that is what I find in this place, and the relaxed camp rhythms allow for the spontaneity of experiences that generally feel tailor-made for me, by God.”
The next summer camp will be July 18-24, 2020.
Contact Shari Sandoval at email@example.com or 916-374-1528 to find out about registration and payment.