Dear Broflex & Woods Staff,
We wanted to let you know what a fantastic first year at camp we had. What started out as a tough week within our family relationships was redeemed as we let God soften our hearts and speak to us through the stillness that camp fosters. The HYPE overwhelmed the mom, but grabbed the kids' attention as they were shuttled from activity to activity, and through it all, Jesus was lifted high. The spiritual analogies and applications that our kids learned were amazing. In non–camp life, parents don't always have the strength, patience or opportunity to seize every little God moment. Safety or time concerns can trump the moment. At camp, Pine Cove staff were able to take up the slack for us. The large number of staffers allowed a seemingly infinite number of you to come alongside and fill in the gaps that parents don't have enough resources to fill on a normal basis. The physical safety protocols in place at camp are a blessing, and the training you've had to seek out teachable moments in order to speak truth over the kids is a welcome washing of the Word over our children.
We experienced Pine Cove's expression of God's love working on behalf of families when our children had the following experiences:
Our 8 year old son was able to stretch his wings of independence as he was allowed to run back to our cabin for extra bait or visit the camp store on his own. His respect increased towards his family and the start of a new calm has come to his easily rattled spirit simply because Pine Cove is a safe environment where his parents could give him extra space to be a boy. Chaco Bell and Swiss invested hugely in our son by looking him in the eye, listening and responding to him with respect, and showing him that it's cool to be a man who seeks Jesus. Chaco even took him out in a canoe for guy time one afternoon and all he could talk about was the camper/counselor “rescue” they spearheaded. His sense of self–worth sky rocketed that day. He felt cared for and trusted and important. Post–camp impact is his new ability to recognize wrongdoing in himself, confess and ask forgiveness. His heart walls are being melted, and this mama's heart stands amazed.
Our 7 year–old son was able to overcome many challenges during Family Camp. Fear of water greatly limited his pool play. Experiences like K–Fore not leaving his side during a fretful swim test and Flowstopper's ease of playing “little people pool games” (without fear of his manhood being threatened) or loving our little stinker even when he was being a toot, spoke very loudly to our son's sensitive heart. As we encountered snags or fears of his during the week, he actually used you guys as an example of the never–ending, never–leaving love of Christ.
Examples of God–seeking counselors throughout the week spurred him to swim to his scared little sister and remain by her side for a nervous handful of seconds until parents could reach her after the family dumped off of the water rocket. He forgot his fear because love was stronger. The week after camp, he persevered at a not–favorite activity to the point of now being able to pass a swim test across our neighborhood pool! He feels so successful and even verbalized to his dad, “Thank you for telling me I was not listening to truth when I said I could not swim.” Fear is weekly becoming a thing of this kid's past as he finds God's strength to be an overcomer.
Our pre–school daughter felt the pleasure of doing the adventurous activities her little heart yearns for but is hesitant to do on her own. She had so much fun that she cried when we got to our driveway Saturday evening and refused to get out of the car, literally sobbing, “I MISS PINE COVE!!!! I WANT TO BE AT PINE COVE!!!” Every day, she unfolds for us tales of the Wild Kids great adventures, and of zooming down the zip line and loving the wind in her hair even though she was nervous.
You made an impact whether you were picking up a child or a piece of trash. If you knew the years I have prayed for breakthroughs for very difficult personality dynamics in our family, you'd either create a new Pine Cove ‘dance of joy' for us or join me in an ugly cry as my heart expresses deep thanks to our Heavenly Father for the new work he has begun in our previously stuck and angry family. Do you hear me when I say that you ALL are investing in the perfection of God's glory in our little patch of earth?
Thank you, Staff, for your diligence. Thank you for pressing through, for denying yourself, for looking for God under every tree, bush and chair, for being bold and allowing yourself to be stretched this summer. Thank you for continuing to wake up, to move, to jump, scream and holler on our behalf this summer. We think you are crazy, but we have seen the glory of the Living God in each of you, and we will never be the same.
Praying the best for you wherever God plants you this fall,
Wendy from Houston