AUTHOR ARCHIVES: Sharon
Posted on March 3, 2018 by Sharon
I came to camp the day after I graduated from High School as a JET (Jr. Counselor). I remember earlier in my Senior year of High School I was trying to figure out what I wanted to study in college and where I wanted to go. I had two strong desires. One was to be a Marine Mammal Biologist. I seriously wanted to go to school on the beach somewhere and study marine mammals, like manatees, dolphins, whales, etc. As I was looking at schools, I realized that’s not the direction the Lord wanted me to go. My other desire was to work in camping ministry. I loved volunteering with my youth group and I loved the mountains and the outdoors. I had one problem though. I had never worked at a summer camp. So I started googling my options. I knew I wanted to be close to Greenville, SC, my home. Asheville seemed like the best location. I applied to The Cove Camp because of a connection there but they had already filled their positions. Then I found Camp Crestridge. I eventually was hired and made the trek up to camp after graduation.
What some of you don’t know is that this was COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone. I had never left home and gone to a place where I knew almost no one. I had never spent that much time away from home in a place I had never been to. I was very nervous. I was shy, I had a hard time putting myself out there and meeting new people. But thankfully the camp staff saw beyond that and gave me a chance. Something else you probably don’t know about me is that as I was growing up, if I left my parents for more than a couple days, I would literally make myself sick because I missed them. I wanted to be in the safety of my own home. So going to camp my first summer was a HUGE step for me. It was the best thing to prepare me for college and the rest of my life. The Lord knew what He was doing!
That was a life-changing summer. I worked with the Choctaw campers. We had some fun times in Choctaw 4, lots of laughter, times to talk about Jesus, dance parties, etc. I also worked with an amazing group of staff. We supported and loved each other and wanted to lead our campers well. Thankfully, the Lord allowed me to be fully present and not focus on missing home!
I’ve always thought, “What would I have been like as a camper? Would I have been able to handle it? Would I have enjoyed it?” I do think I would have struggled with missing home. I think I would have been visiting the Infirmary quite a bit saying I didn’t feel well and needed to go home. I would have tried to say I came down with a stomach bug. But I would have loved all the activities. I would have loved making new friends from places I had never been before. I would have loved having counselors who wanted to spend time with me and loved me.
Campers are brave! It takes a lot of courage to come to camp. But those who make that decision probably don’t realize the incredible impact it will have on their future. They may not see how it’s instilling confidence and independence. They may not see how it’s allowing them to try new things, to see if they like a hobby that could turn into a future career. They may not see how much growth comes from pushing themselves to complete a challenge. It would have been very hard for me to stay at camp, away from my family, but I wonder how it would have shaped me. Thankfully the Lord used other experiences to grow me into the woman I am today. He used and is using my time on staff to continue to draw me closer to Him and impact lives for His glory. I’m thankful that God has placed me at such a special place called Camp Crestridge!
Posted on January 5, 2018 by Sharon
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Now’s the time to do so. It’s always a challenge to keep up with them throughout the year but it’s a good way to challenge yourself to do something new or different! Here are 8 resolution ideas to get you ready for camp this summer!
1. Walk up and down at least one staircase a day to get your legs ready for the hikes and climbs around camp.
2. Learn how to build a fire with wet wood so you can be prepared for those rainy Tuesday night cookouts!
3. Sit outside for two hours every afternoon with your Chacos on so you can get a good Chaco tan!
4. Stretch for 10 minutes every Sunday night so you can maximize your dance moves for Singspiration.
5. Find a trampoline and learn how to do the “flying squirrel” so you can do it off the diving board.
6. Work up to running 20mph so you can keep up with Scout.
7. Drink 64 oz of water a day so you can stay hydrated this summer.
8. Do this for 20 minutes a day to build up your arm strength the endless hours of 4-square.
Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions!
Posted on November 24, 2017 by Sharon
Hey Camp Family!
Our Fall Bear Tracks Newsletter was just mailed out! For those who were not at camp this past summer, we wanted to give you an opportunity to see it! We’re bringing the Cherokee Wilderness program back this coming summer so be sure to read more about it! You’ll also want to check out our upcoming Sockwar Challenge! We’re almost to the halfway point to summer. It’ll be here before we know it!
Posted on October 27, 2017 by Sharon
I had the opportunity to go back to Haiti last week with my church here in Asheville. We served in the same community that we went to back in March. It was so great to continue building relationships with the families and Haitian staff there. Here are a few highlights from the trip:
I got to meet the family of the little boy I sponsor through Poverty Resolutions. I had met him back in March but this time I got to go to his house and meet his family. That was by far one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced! I am so thankful that God provides the funds to give to that family! I got to see how the sponsorship allowed him to be in their program (which involves many things) and receive a hearty meal each day.
I got to serve alongside a fellow Crestridger, Sarah Knowles! Sarah and I helped with the medical clinic, played with the kids, helped with the Child Development Program and Preschool. We were given the opportunity to teach around 50 kids a new song in English. We decided a camp song would be great! We chose “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart” because we thought it would be relatively easy. Turns out it was very challenging but we think they got it! I think they like sticking to songs in their native language (Haitian Creole). I don’t blame them!
I’m so thankful for the time I was able to spend with these people! Their joy and love for the Lord is inspiring!
Posted on September 15, 2017 by Sharon
Our summer doesn’t end with Starter Camp. At the end of August and beginning of September we had close to 700 people come to Crestridge and Ridgecrest! We had our Mother & Daughter Camp at Crestridge and Father & Son Camp at Ridgecrest, then Family Camp over Labor Day Weekend.
These two weekends allow families the opportunity to come experience our camps but also grow deeper in their relationship with Christ and each other. They have the opportunity to get messy, go swimming, sit around a campfire, go off the blob or Giant Swing together and so much more. They create memories that will remind them of what God did in their life while at camp! We love being apart of this and creating a place for these memories to happen!
Here is what some of our parents had to say about our weekend camps:
“We had sweet time away, just the two of us. It was nice to adventure and have fun and laugh together! I think we made special memories, just the two of us. We have 4 children, so it is hard to have such concentrated individual time with one child. Our motto is ‘More of Jesus, less of me’.”
“We loved going on an adventure together and focusing on God’s nature surrounded by other mothers/daughters. It definitely lifted us up as a team going into hard work during the school year and just the challenges we both face whether a 6 year old or 35 year old!”
“Sharing camp together. Safe, distraction-free space to have “deeper” conversations. Trying new adventures. Personally, the weekend was refreshing and refocusing toward the task at hand and the Lord’s blessing of being a father.”
“This weekend solidified our bond as a family. We appreciated each other for who we are as individuals with no distractions. We were delighted with the wonderful family memories we made.”
Consider joining us for a weekend camp in 2018! Our Father & Son and Mother & Daughter Camp will be August 24-26. Family Camp will be August 31-Sept. 3. For more info, click HERE to visit our weekend camps website! You’re never too old to be a camper!
Posted on June 1, 2017 by Sharon
While we will miss Katie and know that God is leading her to teach in Mississippi, God is also leading someone else here to Crestridge.
We are excited to announce that Ashley “Sutherland” Genoble has accepted the Assistant Director position and will be starting in July! Ashley grew up in Greenville, SC and graduated from Clemson University. She served as a Cherokee counselor in 2009-2010 and Cherokee Village Director in 2011-2012. After her last summer at camp, she participated in a year long discipleship program in Memphis, TN then moved back to SC. She worked on staff with the youth ministry at First Baptist Simpsonville and most recently with First Baptist Spartanburg. Her time at both of those church involved discipling the girls in the youth ministries. Her mission is to disciple and see people fall more in love with the Lord! Ashley married Josh Genoble just over a year ago and Josh is currently working at First Baptist Spartanburg as well. We are so excited to have Ashley back at camp serving in this position and to see how God will use her to continue His work here at Crestridge!
Here’s a note from Ashley…
“It all started in the spring of 2009 when I was a sophomore at Clemson University. I had grown up going to summer camps and knew one day I wanted to be a counselor. I began searching for the right camp to apply to when my roommate introduced me to Camp Crestridge. It was love at first sight. I spent the next four summers at camp and loved every minute. However, each summer I had to reevaluate if going back was the right decision. And each time the Lord gave a resounding YES! But then the day came when I needed full-time, year round employment and I had to say “see ya later” to camp. Fast forward to the spring of 2017. I can hardly contain my excitement with the opportunity to be back at camp full-time. It honestly feels like a dream come true. Even though I did not grow up as a camper at Crestridge, I genuinely feel like part of the camp family. I have seen how Crestridge has changed not only my life but hundreds of others over the years. To think that the Lord would be so sweet and gracious to allow me to come back is incredible. And to top it all off, I now get to introduce camp to my wonderful husband. I can’t wait to reconnect with families I knew in the past, get to know more families in the future, and meet all the incredible summer staff that make camp possible. I without a doubt have huge shoes to fill but am excited about this new adventure. I firmly believe the Lord has huge plans for Camp Crestridge and I am so thankful that I get to be a part of it!” – Ashley
Welcome back, Ashley!
Posted on May 31, 2017 by Sharon
Crestridge has meant many things to many people over the years. It’s amazing to see how God has used this place and the staff here to impact many lives for His glory! I love seeing the friendships that are formed between our campers and staff and how those friendships continue through the years! One of those people that many staff and kids remember and love seeing each year is Katie Greenwell!
Posted on March 24, 2017 by Sharon
I (Sharon) had the opportunity to join a team from my church to spend a week in Arcahaie, Haiti. We just got back and it has been quite the adjustment! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be there and serve alongside the people there. We joined 2 other teams to work with an organization called Poverty Resolutions. Poverty Resolutions has a compound in Arcahaie that helps equip the Haitians to learn valuable skills such as construction, agriculture, business, etc. They also are developing relationships with the families in the community around them to help provide clothes, food and schooling for the kids whose parents cannot provide the funds for those things. Many Haitians live off $1 a day. Think about that! Can you live off a $1 a day? I don’t know that I could. We got to see poverty in it’s truest form. It was a hard thing to see and grasp.
While there, our teams built 2 roofs, started a garden, hosted 4 medical clinics in 3 different communities, visited an orphanage, children’s hospital and provided encouragement to the Poverty Resolutions staff who live on the compound. I mostly helped with the medical clinics but was able to help a little in the other areas as well. I loved playing with the kids in the community and watching them play soccer. The main language there is Creole. I have never spoken Creole before so the language barrier provided it’s own set of challenges. On the last full day, we spent a couple hours at Mother Teresa’s Children’s Hospital in Port au Prince. These children rarely had visitors. They were extremely malnourished and had illnesses that will be hard to recover from. Our goal while we were there was to hold as many of the babies and toddlers as possible. They don’t get the physical touch and attention they need so they were literally crying out for it. Several of us were in tears because we wanted to spend more time there to be able to give more attention to the kids. That was the hardest day, emotionally, to see those kids cry out for attention but also to see those sweet ladies who have given their life to take care of hundreds of kids.
Things I’m still processing:
1. Our younger generations are losing the ability to be creative. These kids have no toys, no electronics, nothing and they laughed, played with each other and love life!
2. I have so much stuff that I don’t need-clothing, books, electronics, kitchen utensils, living space, etc. It makes me appreciate what I have but I also question what I actually need to live.
3 (and the most important). JESUS IS ALL I NEED! If all I had was Jesus and His death and resurrection, I need to be ok with that. That’s all that matters! Silly arguments and disagreements, comparing myself to others, wanting more of something…all that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I accept the gift of Jesus that God has given me and live a life that serves God. Am I using the gifts and abilities He’s given me for His glory or my own? I pray that it will be for His glory!
Another thing I learned is that it’s not realistic for me to come back and expect to sell everything I have and move back to Haiti. Or try to live off a $1 a day here in America. The U.S. is different than Haiti. But I do need to look for opportunities to serve those around me each day and live a life of humility.
I am so thankful for the week I spent there and I hope and pray that I’ll be able to go back! Here are a few pictures from the trip!
When we were in the church service, they sang a campfire song! Can you tell which one it is?!
Posted on February 24, 2017 by Sharon
For the past 4 years, Ridgecrest Summer Camps has sponsored the WillPower 5K race. The race was started to raise awareness for HHT. One of our very own camp family members, Will NeSmith, discovered he had this genetic condition by suffering from a spontaneous brain hemorrhage. Here’s a little more about Will’s story (which can also be found at www.willpower5k.com)…
Posted on January 27, 2017 by Sharon
One of the great things about our job is that we get to dream about summer all year long. We get to think of new activities, new skills, how to improve our current activities, look for incredible staff, keep in touch with our camp family and much more! One of the most exciting things we get to do is travel around and visit our camp family and tell their friends about camp. Our most recent excursion has been in Florida. We are on our last day of a two week trip. Our travels have taken us to Orlando, Jupiter, Miami, Bradenton, Tampa, Gainesville, Tallahassee and Jacksonville. We have seen lots and lots of campers and staff! We even got to see two of our camp staff get married! Seeing our camp family is encouraging and just good for the soul! We love hearing from our campers and staff about what God has been teaching them over the year and how they are applying that in their lives. It’s a good motivator to get back to camp and continue getting ready for the summer. We have lots to do but we are excited to see campers running around camp again and growing deeper in their relationship with Christ! Summer 2017, here we come!
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