This year has been a lot quieter compared to last year! There are a few new things you’ll see up on the Ridge to help make it even better!
First we have a Staff Cabin that will be for the Catawba, Choctaw and Cherokee Village Directors along with other Central Staff! They’ll be right in the middle of the action up there. The cabin is located in between Cherokee Hill and the Archery Range.
You’ll also see a couple new staircases! One is located in between Cherokee Hill and the Giant Swing.
And the other is located by the Pool House!
It won’t be long til you’re here with us again! We can’t wait to see you all!
During our travels in Florida, we were reminded of this gem by many of our campers and parents. Did you happen to make this recipe when you got home? Who knew butter could taste so good!
1. When you see other girls at school with Chacos, you automatically assume that they are a camp girl.
2. Your room decorations include camp friend pictures, crafts you’ve made in crafts skill, and a Crestridge sweatshirt blanket.
3. Building a campfire for your family night isn’t just as simple as building a fire. There is a technique: brumble briar, bridge, tepee, etc.
4. You have a collection of photos of your counselors from every summer hung up either on your refrigerator or desk.
5. When you see your camp friends outside of camp, it’s better than a Christmas present!
6. When you’re singing happy birthday to a friend or family member, you always insert “in the lake”, despite not having access to any lake close by.
7. Your favorite Christmas present was your Eno hammock, and you can’t wait for the day when you find your personal Eno spot somewhere on your village hill.
8. You frequently feel the need to stand on your chair during meals and sing your village cheer.
9. When you see someone out in public who is wearing a white shirt and green shorts, you wonder why they are dressed for Council of Progress on a Saturday.
10. Your daily wardrobe usually always consists of either a camp t-shirt, camp shorts, camp sweatpants, or a camp hat.
11. You have a countdown of days until camp going on your phone or in your planner from the time you left camp.
While we were away (in Florida)…
How great is that!!? We love sharing the seasons we get up here with you! They each bring a different purpose and beauty! Just like our lives with Christ.
The vibrant colors of fall lead to the bare trees, that, for a time, seem bare and dead. But inevitably they set the scene for beautiful views of snow covered mountains. Every year we enjoy the winter but it often feels like the cold and bare trees will never have warmth and life again. And every year, just a few weeks before you all come, so do the bright green buds and flowers and leaves of Spring. And it’s not long before the whole mountain is alive again and thick with color and the smell of the fresh crisp mountain air (and each of YOU)!!!!!!
God tells us in the bible that life is a lot like the seasons. In Ecclesiasties He says that there is a season for everything…”For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There are ups and downs every day. But along with the expectation of seasons God gives His children two other very good promises…”I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5) AND, He will help us and use it all for good, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:26-28.
So what? Do you know Jesus as your Savior and Father? Look around at life where you are right now, ask God to help you see the beautiful part of the season you are in. Thank Him for it. And also be encouraged that He will never leave you and that He has plans for you and for His glory that can’t compare to your best dreams! What He promises for His children in Heaven can’t even compare to the greatest day at camp! How nuts is that! It’s gonna be great!
If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and Father this is what He says to you! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17 “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,” -Acts 16:31
We are so thankful for you all and will make you a snow angel the next time the ground gets covered!!!
See you all soon!
My grandfather (Kermit Schmidt) was a Baptist preacher at First Baptist Church, in Tulsa, OK. In 1959, he and my grandmother put my mother on a train bound for Ridgecrest, NC. She attended Crestridge for two or three years as a Choctaw and Cherokee, and loves to tell stories about how fearsome Miss Bell was, how they would slide down Choctaw Hill when it rained (because there were no stairs at that time), and how they would sunbathe on the roof of the bathhouse.
Following my mother’s time at Crestridge, I had two other aunts attend, although my grandparents never visited Crestridge. They had served as Baptist missionaries in Brazil, and had spent some time at the conference center. I suppose they felt that Crestridge was a safe place for their children, and had a strong faith that Jesus would be a shepherd and watch over all. Those were certainly different times!
One of my aunts, Peggy Schmidt, became a Belle during her time at Crestridge. When her younger sister followed her footsteps to attend CC4G, Peggy felt it was so important for someone to be there at closing program, that she herself caught the bus from Oklahoma to North Carolina, to support her younger sister.
Many years later, ironically, I was convinced by a twelve year old friend of mine at my church to try out the camp she had been attending. Thanks to Cara Pollard, I started at Crestridge in 1984 as a Chickasaw. I enjoyed my years at camp so much that I returned as a Cherokee counselor in 1992, with Nancy Clare Morgan. It was one of the best summers of my LIFE! I still have my four goals in my Bible from various camp years, as to how I wanted to grow Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically, and Mentally.
Yet another generation later, in 2007, my mother and I dropped off my seven year old for Starter camp, having no idea what kind of an impact Crestridge would make in her life. All of Morgan’s best friends are Crestridgers, and they keep in touch throughout the year on Instagram, text messages, email, Snapchat, and any other type of social media. One New Year’s Eve a few years ago I asked her who she was texting? It turns out she was texting with her Chickasaw counselor. What an amazing impression these staffers make on our children.
In addition to Morgan’s experience at Crestridge, my son, Logan, has become a big fan of Camp Ridgecrest. He looks forward to his time there every summer. In addition, the fantastic marketing that the camps do on Instagram, Facebook, and snail mail keeps the kids energized and excited all year long. They participate in various online competitions, look forward to seeing posts about returning counselors, view silly videos that the staff put together during the off-season, read blogs/online Bible studies, and love individualized notes that they receive.
For all of the memories that I hold dear, for those that my children hold dear, for the future memories my children are making at Crestridge and Ridgecrest, and for the part these camps are playing in the Spiritual growth of my children, I am so proud to be able to be a part of the Camp Crestridge Alumnae and Friends Board. Thank you for this opportunity. With my feet on the ground and my heart attuned, Crestridge has taught me to always reach for the stars!
– Anne-Britton Arnett
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Dear Crestridge family,
Thirty four years ago when I arrived at Camp Crestridge, I had no idea what God’s plan was for me then. All I knew was that this place is where I was supposed to be. I did not know in 1981 when I drove into camp and met another girl named Marva Rawlings that God’s plan was for me and for her to be a huge part of this “holy ground” for 34 years. I am blessed that I have been allowed to be a servant for Him. My sweet mom, Lucille, always told me that it was the greatest mission field that anyone could have the honor to serve in. I agree totally.
So, I write this to share that a hard and prayerful decision has been made that I need to do as Marva has done and let go of my duties at Camp Crestridge. I knew this day would inevitably come. Camp has been my security and my love. I have met thousands of campers, parents, and staff. Each one of you has made a difference in my life. The part He wrote for me led me down a path of service, sacrifice, sweet and special moments and people that I will cherish forever. The connections that I have made because of Camp Crestridge and Camp Ridgecrest have affected every part of my life. The Godly women and men that were part of His plan for me have become lifelong friends and family.
There are so many of you that if I start naming names, then I will forget someone. Each of you knows who you are and I will cherish you always. I hope we can still have those moments. I am still here, just not at camp. I will name Johnnie Armstrong, Judye MacMillan, and Marva Rawlings. I have learned so much from each of you…lessons that I have used in the “real world” of my life. You were and are great friends, mentors, and role models that will never be duplicated. And, for all of those wonderful Chehoapek opportunities, thank you! I wish all of you many more.
Please be in touch. I am still here. I have also discovered that God’s plan for me does not stop at camp. There are new adventures and opportunities that have been presented and offered to me. I am excited to see His continued plan. Thank you God for such an incredible part that you have written and continue to write for me.
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,
We have finally broken ground at Crestridge! If you did not know, we are undergoing some big and exciting changes here at Camp Crestridge in order to accommodate more campers and impact even more lives for God’s glory. The first major project is the Dining Hall. After almost two weeks of work, the back porch has been completely removed and most of the trees have been cleared to make room for the additions on to the Dining Hall. We are so excited to see the changes begin and will continue to keep you all updated on the progress.
Below is a picture of the wall from the Drama Den closet. Can you find your name?