A letter from Marva

Posted by Sharon

Each year, as the opening of Camp Crestridge has approached, I’ve written a letter to the incoming summer staff introducing myself. Over the years, those introductory letters have helped to ground me before I entered the gates of camp.  This year, I write a different letter. After much prayer and consideration, I recently met with my friend and supervisor, Ron Springs, to let him know that it was time for me to step down as the Summer Director of Camp Crestridge.

As it says in Ecclesiastes 3,
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:
​​a time to be born and a time to die,
​a time to plant and a time to uproot,
​​a time to kill and a time to heal,
​a time to tear down and a time to build,
​​a time to weep and a time to laugh,
​a time to mourn and a time to dance.

A dear friend of mine upon hearing of my decision sent me the following note:
“Odd isn’t it, how important decisions in our lives are unheralded, no trumpets sounding, just the ordinary, familiar cadence of minutes passing.”

She also perfectly described how I felt each year as I arrived at camp:
“I could exhale coming through the gates, knowing that the same faces would greet me, same arms would embrace me, same authority figures would hold me accountable, same Jesus would meet me in that familiar space and place.” 

I will forever love and cherish memories of my time at camp and will be indebted to Coach Peggy Birmingham for introducing me to Camp Crestridge, and to Johnnie Armstrong for mentoring me once I got there.  These women laid the ground work for my 32 life changing summers at Crestridge.

And as Hobo said in one of those introductory letters,
“See you soon and let’s go on a hike”.

With a thankful heart,


Posted in Girls, News | Tagged , , ,

10 thoughts on “A letter from Marva”

  1. Dear Marva,
    Thank you for your years of service to our Lord and our girls. You’ve placed your hands on their shoulders and touched our hearts. We wish you nothing but the best moving forward as you continue on life’s journey.
    You are always in our thoughts and prayers. May God continue to bless you and keep you.
    Kenny, Erin and Livi Kingsland

  2. It is with a heavy heart that I just read this. You have meant so much to our daughter and we are sad to see you go. I know you have to listen to God’s voice and not man’s but I’d love for you to stay. This past Sunday we had similar news at our church. I cried my eyes out upon hearing that our preacher of 17 yrs was leaving because God has called him to the mission field.
    I hate sad goodbyes but I trust God in all this even though I cry through these times.

  3. Marva, this past summer was my first year at camp, and you made me feel so welcoming when you gave me a big hug on opening day. You made my camp experience that much more memorable. I wish I got to spend more time with you, but I trust your decision. Thank you for helping to make camp an amazing experience. I will never forget you.
    ~Mackenzie Rackliff

  4. Thank you for all you have given to Crestridge and the girls that walked, played and learned while you were involved. I had so hoped that my granddaughter, Miss Gabby would be one of those girls but I believe she will miss you by a season.

    I am thankful that she and her parents attended Family Camp over Labor Day and hope that she too will have as many good memories of Crestridge as you do. Much love & luck to a special lady!

  5. Marva- Thank you for your incredible leadership. Seven summers at camp under your care and the care of everyone there shapes me to be the person that I am today. All the best wishes to you as you move into a new season but will always have camp with you just like all of us!
    Cathryn Thomas

  6. Wow! Just as you probably couldn’thave imagined camp without Johnnie at one time, I can’t imagine camp with Marva!;). Seriously, I had so much fun during my years at camp with you, but you also were such an amazing example to me of servant leadership, always working hard, always caring for others, and most impotantly always putting the campers first. So thankful I had the opportunity to serve at Camp Crestridge under your strong and creative leadership!

  7. God’s timing is always perfect! You may leave Crestridge but Crestridge will never leave you and you will always be a part of all who have been there, past, present, and future. Thanks for 32 great years! I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for you in the years to come! Blessings!

  8. Marva, Marva, Marva, No matter how many times I say Marva, I always think of that young lady that answered God’s call to leadership, not knowing the cost or the effort it would take, but trusting in Him to provide everything you would need. Thank you Marva for being who you are and WHO you stand for. I remember so many times seeing you provide the leadership and love needed at just the right time and moment. Several times I could hear your knees knocking, but that sound was covered over by the sound of your heart following God’s direction. Marva, Sallie and I love you. We are brothers and sisters for eternity thru His Blood and Love. May the SON and the sun shine on your every moment.

  9. Marva, you will be missed greatly but we will always love you! You were the best director anyone could ask for!

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