One of the best parts of being in the SOWER Ministry is the diversity of locations each month. Although last month we were also in the Austin (TX) area, we were pretty remote and had a 15 minute drive to even hit a main road. And then it was another 15-20 minutes (either way) to the grocery store or the beloved Lowes. Here at Twin Oaks we are just 10 minutes from the Interstate and all kinds of civilization. But the really sweet part of this camp is that it still feels like you’re out in sticks.
It’s a relatively small campus and is geared more towards retreats than full-blown wild and crazy summer camp. But that doesn’t mean it’s not packed full of good things to do. Pool, zip lines, GaGa Ball courts, archery, obstacle course, massive fire pit –
You know, all that good stuff. And they also have a lovely waterfront along the Onion Creek.
Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, rope swing – and did you see the hammock!! Like I said, all the good stuff.
There’s a beautiful chapel
overlooking the waterfront –
Isn’t it lovely?
You can see in this Google map screen shot that there is a neighborhood on north side of the campus. (The blue dot is actually where we are parked, and yes – we do look out the front to a housing development.
But the neighbors on the other side (down by the creek) are pretty interesting –
Yep, it’s an emu. Go figure!
So this is a very sweet camp. One of its distinctive is that it a “perfect space for you and your group to spend time together with God and each other.” And it’s less than 30 minutes from Austin! Pretty much a win-win!
And did I mention the sunsets?
Wow – We had such a good month at Camp Bighorn. In our 12 years as SOWERS, we’ve worked at dozens of Christian Camps across this country. We’ve worked at big camps and small camps, mountain camps and desert camps, lakeside camps and oceanside camps. And all those camps, regardless of their size, or activities or facilities, have one purpose in mind. To share the Good News of Jesus Christ and disciple young (and old) people. This camp has the same goal, but they go about it in a way different from any of the other camps that we’ve experienced. One of their taglines is “Adventure with Purpose”. And the purpose is to “steward environments where questions arise and hope is shared.”
At Camp Bighorn you won’t see the typical morning and evening worship/chapel schedule. (Although each day starts with a personal devotion time and ends with a group gathering.) Instead, they use the great outdoors as their chapel, and one-on-one interaction with counselors and staff during and after “adventures” as venues for discipleship. We were here for three very different camping sessions: Achieve Camp – a program for kids and adults with disabilities (inspirational to say the least), Youth Adventure Camp (many kids coming from the foster care programs in the area), and finally Family Camp. As always, it was great to see this camp in action –
(Truth in journalism – I got this picture off of Facebook. The action we enjoyed was mostly during meals and watching kids leave for rafting or paddle boarding or kayaking or high ropes, etc. After all – we were working, right? But even though we didn’t see THIS type of action – we knew it was going on! And you could tell the kids LOVED it!)
So while the camp’s action plan is a bit different that others that we’ve worked at, our SOWER work was right in line! Like all camps, big or small, they all need help! The ladies, with a fair bit of help from the men, continued on where the last group left off – cleaning and recovering 225 +/- chairs. What started out looking like this –
ended up looking like this –
(Pay no attention to the summer staff (and Gary) standing on our beautiful chairs. It’s a camp, right? They were just welcoming the campers to lunch.)
Here are a couple of “Hard at Work” pictures of the Chair Rehab Station –
(Look – they let me play with the staple gun! Happy to report no fingers were stapled in the production of these chair covers.)
While there were three couples working this month, one couple had worked through the break, so they were only there for the first week. I don’t think we could have finished up those chairs, though, if it hadn’t been for their faithful contribution (and the fact that by the time we got there they had figured out a good system.) While Gary came and helped occasionally, he was mostly working from his own list. Like A/C checking and ice machine adjusting, and electrical-type stuff. He’s handy to have around for those things. Plus he was busy building a concrete base for a generator that was being installed after we left.
Here is our group, posing in our “Album” cover look.
This was a very memorable month, from our rafting start
to our fancy dinner-out finish –
and all of the crazy camp moments in between!
We continue to be thankful for the opportunities we have to see Christ in action, working in the lives of staff, and campers, and yes – even us old SOWERS! To HIM be all the Glory and Honor!