Posted on October 6, 2017 by Ashley Genoble
On the road again is a phrase we’ve heard a lot over the past week. We have been traveling the southeast since Sunday visiting and recruiting for next summer.
The trip started Sunday morning with the first stop being in Greenville, SC where Scout started his vacation at his grandparents’ house. The rest of the crew then made our way to Birmingham, AL to meet up with former staff at Samford University. We had an incredible time catching up with former staff and meeting their friends who might be interested in working at camp next summer. We also had the chance to meet some potential new camp families at a home show while in Birmingham.
Next stop was a quick hug at the University of Alabama before continuing on to Starkville, MS. In Starkville we got to see former Assistant Director Katie Greenwell and a host of other former staff. We got to meet middle and high school students who are both interested in coming to camp as campers and also keeping us in mind once they graduate. We had the privilege of attending chapel at Starkville Christian School where Katie, Rachel Witbeck (former discipleship director), and Hayley Martin (former videographer) all teach. Elise had the opportunity to share with the students a powerful word on failure and how the Lord can use it in our lives.
After Starkville we made our way to Oxford, MS and the University of Mississippi. Ole Miss was another great experience of catching up with former staff and meeting potential new ones. It is exciting to think that some of the girls we have had the pleasure of meeting over the last week could spend the entire summer with us.
And that brings us to our current location, Linden, TN, where we will spend a couple of nights with our friends on the Camp Crestridge Alumnae and Friends board.
So what about you? Where are you at this week and who are you sharing your love for Camp Crestridge with? Camper registration and staff applications are in full swing! Join us as we continue to share the place we love with so many we come in contact with. We can’t wait to see who the Lord brings to camp this summer!
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 February 17, 2017 by Amanda Rymer
I go to a church in Swannanoa, Valley Hope, and am a part of a small group there. Right now we are going through Ephesians, and every time we meet, we study the chapter for that week and ask ourselves, “What does this say about God? What does this say about me? And what does this say about our community/church?” Last week, we were studying Ephesians 3 and particularly looked at verses 17-19, “…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST THAT SURPASSES KNOWLEDGE, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
We then discussed the three main questions I mentioned and the woman leading discussion followed up by asking us, “When is the last time you were so overwhelmed by God’s love for you, you just couldn’t believe it?” For the past week I have been thinking about this question. When was that time for me? I mean, if I open my eyes I can see the works of his love all around me constantly – in the good and the tough times. But when was the last time I was overwhelmed by His love for me
I’ve reflected back on times in middle school, high school, and college where the Lord’s love overwhelmed me. I’ve thought of times even in the past 6 months where I can identify His overwhelming love for me. But every time, I keep coming back to my summers at Crestridge. When I was a Cheyenne and found my life-long best friend. When I was a Choctaw going through an identity crisis, my counselor revealed the truth of Christ’s identity and love for me. When I was a Cherokee and was humbled greatly when my fire didn’t light in the Belle Test (Read Luke 10:38-42). When I was a SALT and learne
d how to worship and lead through service… But most of all, being on staff for 3 summers and getting to look girls in the eye who are in the very place I once was and tell them, “You are loved, you are beautiful, and you are worth knowing by your Creator.” I got to atch my amazing staff of 12 counselors love their girls. In all their brokenness, Christ made himself complete and loved their campers through them.
It’s crazy to me that the Creator of the Universe chooses to know us and love us. His love is not based on our works or His need for us. He simply loves us because we are His. Dive into His arms today, and know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. Christ has come to give you life to the full. It’s time for a beautiful adventure
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!
Posted in Girls, News | Tagged Animal Kingdom, Bradenton, Camp family, Campers, Chick-fil-a, Disney, Florida, FSU, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Jupiter, Magic Kingdom, Miami, Orlando, Staff, Tallahassee, Tampa, UF, UNF, Wedding | Leave a reply
Posted on March 4, 2016 by kgreenwell
This week has been full of reminders of how much God has done through this crazy, wonderful, beautiful place called Crestridge. This is a stretch for me to sort of be personal in the wide open for every one to see kind of a way so bear with me and I hope you see that the best part of this is that it is all about who GOD is and what HE has done through a place we all have grown to love and appreciate. I’m sure you could all write a blog of your own with similar or different things (hey, if you want to share as well please do, we love love love hearing what God has done at Crestridge through Jesus love and provision for you!!!). And if I loose your interest, I hope ya get at least a little bit of Jesus 🙂
For all of you bullet point readers here is the nutshell version of:
“Real Life Lessons with Crestridge: To Him be the Glory”…
Since I’ve been here full time, I’ve seen more of Him. Through the growing of camp, I’ve seen Him literally take down some PAST things (pretty hard to watch), and build up CURRENT things so that He can continue to do the SAME thing for the campers that He wants to know about Him! He’s taught me about how He is the God of “above and beyond” for His own Glory! He pushed us beyond what we could have imagined in the past two years, seeing camp grow physically and deeper in sharing Jesus. What was impossible for us was not impossible for God. I’ve learned that trusting and obeying Him is always better than being afraid or trusting my self. I’ve learned that when He takes away some things, He gives better things to show us more of Himself. I’ve learned how life is not a one man show, He has created the WHOLE body of Christ to work together beautifully with its different personalities and gifts and experiences. I’ve learned that His grace is greater than my sin and weakness. And I’ve also learned that Sharon is, in real life, just as cool and as good a friend as I was thinking and hoping she would be (Scouts pretty cool too)!
If you want the whole story, you’ll need a few minutes and somewhere comfy to sit 😉 God is faithful let me tell you. Enjoy…
Here’s my “Real Life Lessons with Crestridge: To Him be the Glory” story…
How I came to Crestridge? Miss Laurie Cox (the cutest, most coordinated, fun loving PE coach and Music Director there ever was). We worked together in Tallahassee, Fl, and we both tried for several years to get each other to work at each other’s camps. For that season God figured it would be best for us to be at our two different camps, and I wouldn’t have changed those years. But then several years later God was rocking the boat a bit in my heart and life and Laurie won! I applied to Crestridge and was offered the OAP Climbing Instructor Position!! Woah! Nervous? Yes! But after getting in late, missing our first staff get together, walking into a dining hall of super cool staffers that I didn’t know, and then standing in line with Debbye Skaggs (and getting one of those big ole bear hugs), I knew I was home. God poured out so much love on me that summer. And I needed it. The past few years had been pretty tough on my heart. I had felt pretty alone, hurt, confused, worn out, directionless, and not worthy of God or His love. But every morning in Chapel, Allie (the Discipleship Director) wouldn’t stop talking about how much our Father loves us. It was like a strong but persistent waterfall that wouldn’t stop.. He loves me, HE loves me, He LOVES me, He loves ME! I am HIS! It’s a done deal. Jesus died on the cross to FORGIVE my sins (which I was so aware of). He came to adopt me. He is not mad at me or disappointed in me. JESUS was and is everything to me. The theme that summer was “I Am With You”. And God used the people (the list would be too long to list but Marva, Debbye, Choctaws, Ryann Andrews, Katie Correll-just know that God used you and a bunch of others in big ways), His word, His spirit, and my time at this beautiful place to be 100% convinced of His love for me! I would have loved to have been convinced of it sooner in life but in His wisdom and because of His plan, THIS was the perfect time. I can’t tell you how many times, every day, the next year, that I thought about “I am with You”. It was a tough year but He was with me and I knew it!
The morning after I got home from that summer, I woke up and it all hit me like I don’t even know what like. I could probably count on my hands the times I’ve cried that hard. I was so overwhelmed with how sweet God had just been and how much I was gonna miss all the staff and campers and just being at camp (anyone feel me on this one??). It was a good thing my sister Kimberly had just left the room or else I’m sure she’d have thought I’d lost it! I’ve never made a decision to come back to a place so fast in my life (after praying just to make sure God was ok with it;-).
So, the next summer, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than the last year, it did! That summer the theme was “The Well”. So God added lessons onto the “I Am With You”. Not only was He with me, He has everything He has created me to need! That year He put more and more of a love for what God was doing in and through Crestridge and for YOU in my heart. He showed me more and more how much He loves you as I got to spend time in skills, all around camp, and in cabins at night just hanging out. I even still have a car mirror craft Sara Milgrom made me, its pretty much the best. I think one of the sweetest things that year was getting to watch and appreciate Marva and her love for you all too! She reminds me a lot of my dad and Jesus in that. There was never a moment that there was not a dog and a Chippewa by her side. I’m pretty sure that if people had dogs as pets back then and in the Middle East that Jesus would have had one too. I was blessed, encouraged, and challenged by her in that. Also, it was my secret mission in life to get to know, and be besties with Super Sharon someday. She’s a busy girl ya know, so ya gotta look for those perfect moments, or just make them happen :-). So that year I left with an incredible excitement to see how Jesus was going to be my “Well” the next year at home, at work, and at church. I can’t tell you how many times during the year hard things came up and how many times God used illustrations, or verses, or other things God taught me that summer at Crestridge to keep me encouraged and hopeful that year. I even had (and still have) “post it” notes on my desk at work with the theme logo to remind me!
And that is the beautiful thing about Jesus. When you are His child, He doesn’t just go to camp with you. He comes home with you. It doesn’t always feel the same, and it certainly doesn’t look the same. No nibblenook, no singspiration, no camp buddies in the bunk next to you, no mountains (if you live in FL), lots of hard real life things you want to run away from, no crazy games and endless laugher, no going up to the store and just getting what you want (you gotta pay for it :-(), no late night talks with the people that know you the best. It’s just kind of different. But what IS NOT DIFFERENT is that JESUS is THERE and HE PROVIDES. And I learned that it’s in those HARD times that you get to know JESUS in a way you couldn’t if life was all nibblenook icecream and village activities.
That being said, the next summer I didn’t know quite as fast if I was going to be able to come back, but God knew all along and just took a little longer in filling me in on it;-). Going into the summer I was feeling super unworthy of being able to know Him and share Him with others. I knew He loved me but I was doubting some of the things He was telling me. But right before the summer He worked in my heart through my Pastors wife back in Tally, and said, “Hey Katie, if I say it, its true! You may not get it, but just trust that its true, I’ll fill you in on understanding if and when you need it! I love you and will do the work through you.” So, that’s just what He did! I got to be the Discipleship Director that summer, and I’ve never seen God work and answer so many needs in our camp life. Right before my VERY EYES! He taught me so much through time in His word and getting to share that with you girls. He worked on so many of your hearts even just in a few short minutes that we got to talk and in all of the rest of you that we didn’t get to talk! The theme was “Not My Own”, and boy did we learn a lot. The only thing that is all mine is my sin! To know God we need a righteousness that is “Not Our Own”and JESUS has it!! And then when we know Him as our Savior, Father, Friend we are called to live a life that is “Not Our Own”, we are HIS because HE bought us!! That summer God used camp to teach me those things and to give me several friendships that have been used to change my life and add a whole lotta love. I don’t know if you guys know this 😉 but I love getting to work with and know kids! A long long time ago I remember telling some friends that I was going to have 12 kids. Well, that hasn’t happened, but that summer I was at the overlook and God made me realize that in a way I have more kids than I can even count. I became more and more thankful for you all. I don’t ever get to spend as much one on one time with each of you as I’d like but let me tell you, if Jesus loves you more than I do, then you are VERY VERY VERY loved! And HE CAN spend one on one time with you! And one on one time with Jesus is way better than one on one time with me any day! So know that I’ve prayed for you, but also know that Jesus has prayed for you, and I’d say that He trumps me:-) You are loved.
Also, my mission of getting to know Super Sharon was on the move! She asked me to be the intern! ALL YEAR with my friend SHARON ELIZABETH AYLESTOCK, what a blast! I learned and keep learning so much from her and with her. I also fell more and more in love with what God was doing in and through Crestridge for HIS glory and y’alls good! On the camp side of things we were hard at work praying about the future of camp and what He was wanting to do in making room for more and more of YOU!!! That was exciting to watch. So many details had to be planned and sorted out and God did them all. Because it would show off His greatness and show His love specifically for each of you! During that year, personally, I had some much needed rest that God sweetly gave. He also taught me a whole lot about loving when its hard and when you love so much that it hurts. Some very close and sweet friends of mine had a pretty hard year. It was really hard to not be right with them. It was hard to not know what to say or when to say it or how to show it. But God reminded me that even though I loved these friends so much, they were “Not My Own”. They are His and His love for them and wisdom in their lives is completely enough. He was walking WITH them in the hard places. He was giving them what they needed, even if it didn’t always feel like it or look like it to us. And He promises that He would use these hard times in their lives for their good. So that year I learned that God loves the ones I love even more than I do. For you moms reading this, God gave me the heart of a mother during this year (to clarify I don’t have any children by birth but God has given me several “heart Daughters”). I’ve never felt so much for someone in my life some of those friends became daughters and sisters. I’ve never cared so much. “I” didn’t matter any more. My family was my heart and they mattered more than me in everything. I’ve never sensed the urge to step in and take over for God the role of loving and protecting them so much. But I learned that the Lord is their perfect Father. He loves perfectly, His wisdom and power in their lives is real and His ways and timing is perfect. The peace that came from realizing that and seeing Him be a better father to my sisters and girls were far greater than a superficial temporary peace I would have received if I had taken over for God. It was a painful ride but it has been beautiful to see the fruit of His faithfulness to His girls. So, Moms, you are being prayed for. Cast your hearts (aka, your girls and family on Him), He cares for you.
The following summer I got to live day and and day out with my first family of Village Directors. It was incredible to walk alongside a group of ladies that God had put the same love for their campers as I had in their hearts. I saw the intentionality of God through them. They wanted to lead their staff, plan activities, point the hearts of the staff and campers to Jesus, take care of their safety, and give them the time of their lives! It was also fun to go deeper and deeper with camper and staff friendship that had already been formed as well as ones that were being formed. There is just something about living life on life with people, talking about Jesus, running around and having more fun in one summer than many get in a lifetime, and did I mention talking about Jesus. God gives us TIME at camp to step away from the business (which I’ve learned can sometimes be avoided by a simple “no” to just one more thing to do, oh so hard) of life to just be, and sit, and think, and talk, and let things soak in. “Be still and know that I am God”, it’s a real thing:-) Also, that summer, Ron and Sharon gave me a card, and in that card were two boxes “yes” or “no”. The question was, “Would you please join us year round to be a part of the Ridgecrest Camps Team?” Typical Katie, took a day to pray about it, and then said, “YES, YES, YES!”
With that “Yes” came a lot of official goodbyes back in Tally. I was so excited but at the same time sad and a bit worried about leaving behind a lot of folks I had grown to love. From “my” students, to “my” players, to my friends and family and church. Sometimes I forget that things that are “mine” are really “Not My Own”. I was going to miss out on big things. Those relationships would change. Who was going to take care of and love them if I wasn’t there? Am I quitting something God had called me to? Part of those fears and questions came from love and others just from fear. The answer He gave was “I love them more, trust and follow me Katie. I will lead you and guide you, and I will continue to care for and work in the place and in the people you love. It was ME working in and through you anyways, so I can work in and through others as well.” The lesson there for me was that it is the same with Crestridge. He works in and through Crestridge but He will and does also work in and through so many other places, people, and organizations. God was not just with me when I was in Tally and He is not just here with me now that I live and work at Camp, He is with His children where ever they are. Boy am I thankful for that. I pray you know that too.
Since I’ve been here full time, I’ve seen more of Him. Through the growing of camp, I’ve seen Him literally take down some PAST things (not bad things), and build up CURRENT things so that He can continue to do the SAME thing for the campers that He wants to know about Him! He’s taught me about how He is the God of “above and beyond” for His own Glory! He pushed us beyond what we could have imagined in the past two years, seeing camp grow physically and deeper in sharing Jesus. What was impossible for us was not impossible for God. I’ve learned that trusting and obeying Him is always better than being afraid or trusting my self. I’ve learned that when He takes away some things, He gives better things to show us more of Himself. I’ve learned how life is not a one man show, He has created the WHOLE body of Christ to work together beautifully with its different personalities and gifts and experiences. I’ve walked alongside and learned from some of the most incredible college aged and young women in all the land (” “)! I’ve learned that His grace is greater than my sin and weakness. And I’ve also learned that Sharon is, in real life, just as cool and as good a friend as I was thinking and hoping she would be (Scouts pretty cool too)!
All that being said, if you are still reading this I hope you’ve seen Jesus and how He works in real life. Because my friends, although camp is just the summer for most of you all, it has been WHERE my life with Jesus has taken place for the past 6 years. Life with Jesus keeps on keeping on and some are highs here at camp and as you’ve seen there are real life with Jesus lows that come with it, no matter where you are. BUT one thing never changes…He is with me. He is the Well flowing with everything I need. I am not my own but I AM HIS! And He will continue to be all of those things no matter where I am, no matter who is or isn’t in my life, and what ever the circumstances around me look like. His Spirit, working through His word, and His people here at Crestridge and other places have shown me more and more of who HE is. And I’m growing to know more and more that “Jesus + Nothing” is indeed more real than the “real” I feel.
This is just one story, from one person at one place. Think about all the stories of all the people at all the places around the world. The stories Jesus is writing to show more and more people who HE is and what HE has done!
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! …
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Romans 11:33, 36
Feel free to share your God stories from home or while you’ve been at camp!!! We really do love to hear them. You can post them here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Also, if there is every anything we can be praying for you we’d love to know and pray with you!
Posted on January 15, 2016 by Sharon
As you may know, the infamous Marvelous Marva will not be returning to camp this summer. We are all going to miss her SO much but we know that God will continue to do incredible things at camp and use Marva in different ways for His glory. Here in the office, we’ve been reminiscing on the good ole times and our favorite memories with Marva. What are your favorite memories with/of Marva?
“The first time I felt like I really got to know Marva was when I got to help her write the skit for the Chronicles of Narnia themed Sockwar. There were several of us in her office and we stayed up late into the night laughing, goofing off and finishing the story. I will never forget that moment!” – Sharon
“Every time Marva and Hobo were sitting on the porch curing homesickness one camper at a time.” – Katie
“Marva means so much to me, especially last summer as I transitioned into a completely new position as her assistant. Marva is absolutely hilarious and I think we maybe laughed more with each other than we talked. I remember on one of our Chippewa adventures together when we went into downtown Black Mountain with around 30 Chippewas to play in the water fountain and it started pouring rain. Marva did not let that “rain on her parade”. We played in the fountain with those Chippewas like it was sunny and 100 degrees outside.” – Maddie
“Since her birthday is during the summer, one time about 8 of us took cardboard boxes and turned them into birthday presents. Before she came down to the Bear Trap on her birthday, we hid in her office so we could surprise her. I’m not sure what she thought but those were probably the biggest presents she ever received!” – Sharon
“The times when Marva would come to staff meeting with her clip board and encourage the staff with all of the great things we were doing and challenge us in the things we could do better. ” – Katie
“I think Marva had a thing with water…specifically in making me get soaking wet. Another time in Chippewa adventure all the girls got on teams and made forts that they had to protect from water balloons, Marva made me make my own fort, and then proceeded to encourage all the Chippewas to attack only my fort. Needless to say, I went into lunch a little soggy that day.” – Maddie
“The many mornings you picked up trash outside of the Dining Hall and cleaned up around the benches. You took time to serve camp and were so humble about it.” – Sharon
“The time when Marva came on stage to do the Trekker/Belle Ceremony and her face was covered in war paint because she had just fearlessly lead the Chippewas on a wonderful adventure!” – Katie
“Marva and I had this fake spider that we used to hide in each others stuff. I hid it in Marva’s desk and she found it, so the ball was in her court. I didn’t see it for a while so I forgot about it. I found it in my water bottle. It had been in there for 3 days without me noticing.” – Maddie
“We were at her house for a planning weekend one Spring and we took the dogs on a walk in the woods around her house. I can’t remember every detail we talked about but just hiking with our dogs is a great memory!” – Sharon
“Every morning when she would introduce another sweet camper and lead prayer and a verse at breakfast.” – Katie
“The times (all of them) during Night of Chaos when Marva had me jump in the mud, dive into a freezing cold pool of water, and the hardest of all…not laugh when campers are being silly 2 inches from my face.” – Katie
“The time when Marva used to pick out all my outfits for me for camp wide activities.” – Maddie
Posted on January 8, 2016 by Sharon
Mark your calendars for Saturday, Jan. 23rd…we’re going to Disney World! Katie, Karah, Maddie and Sharon will be waiting inside the gate at Magic Kingdom from 9AM-9:15AM for those of you who would like join us in the park. At 9:15AM, we’ll start our journey in the 2nd happiest place on earth (Crestridge being the 1st, of course!). If you have questions or need to get in touch with us on the day we are in the park, please email email@example.com.
Very Important, PLEASE READ:
We want to be clear in what our plans are for the day. We will not be supervising campers. We would love to see campers, spend time with them and go on rides with them, but we cannot be responsible for them and keeping track of them throughout the day. If a camper is dropped off at the park, we cannot be held responsible for any injured or missing campers. This is not an officially sponsored Camp Crestridge event. Those who come will be responsible for transportation to and from home, covering the cost of their own ticket along with meals while they are in the park. We are so excited to enjoy the park and we hope to see you there!
Posted on May 8, 2013 by Ragan
We love our campers! You are what makes camp, well, camp. Here are some of our favorite moments of staff hanging out with campers during the summer!
Posted on April 1, 2013 by Ragan
There is nothing better on a hot summer day than to spend a little time at the Crestridge lake!
Posted on January 7, 2013 by Ragan
Crestridge is a camp full of talented people. You can find everything from animal noises to crazy tongue tricks. We think that awesome talents deserve to be seen so here is a video of some Crestridgers showcasing their amazing talents.