Mike Cope's blog

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hey, friends. Great drink recipes. Sorry I am such a slacker this summer with my blogs. I will return to regular blogging in a few weeks. For right now, I'm just trying to touch base once in a while. Here are my favorite summer things from my growing up years: water skiing on Table Rock lake, 4th of July fireworks provided by my Granddad, baseball, Green Valley Bible Camp (near Bentonville), trips to Biloxi, hanging out at the pool (until I was older and worked), the visit of my cousins from Florida, riding bikes with my cousin Jeff, and roaming around the neighborhood with my brother. By the way, what are the best summer camp experiences out there?


  • Well, the ultimate justification of summer camp is the fact that I met my wife there at Camp Blue Haven. There are some great memories of that place. I got a concussion mud wrestling, commandeered a horse and went for wild ride, sang a lot, got shot with a BB gun... Good times. Good times.

    By the way, I went to Camp Green Valley near Bentonville once. I just remember there was a kid there who would eat anything for a few dollars.

    Finally, Camp Skyridge is a great memory because I can remember my mom and it does not involve a hospital.

    By Blogger Val, at 7/11/2005 02:44:00 PM  

  • I never seemed to be able to go to summer camp without connecting with some girl and falling madly in love. That is until I got back home and the letters became less and less as time passed by. Blue Haven was notorious for trying to squash the whole summer romance thing, but it never worked. There was someone every summer. Teens, hormones, DANGER!

    By Blogger Kyle, at 7/11/2005 03:07:00 PM  

  • Camp changed my life, and continues to do so. If I had to pick between what I learned about God and faith at Silver Maple Camp and what I learned getting a ministry degree in college, I'd pick camp. Plus I met a girl. We were friends as children, we dated as teenagers, and five years ago we got married at camp, standing in the exact same spot where I laid eyes on her for the very first time years before. That was the best camp experience ever.

    By Blogger Neal W., at 7/11/2005 03:07:00 PM  

  • uh...promise trip last year...that was so much fun.

    you dont want to know half the stuff we did, though.

    By Blogger katy taylor, at 7/11/2005 05:18:00 PM  

  • i've spent a few vacations on Table Rock Lake, and my kids learned (or tried to learn) to water ski there. nice place.

    By Blogger ed, at 7/11/2005 07:44:00 PM  

  • I had several great weeks of Summer at Camp Wiregrass. Someday, get Matt Elliott to tell you about the time he almost got the whole place shut down by the health department. I lost my date to the banquet over that bath house raid but it was worth it. She still kissed me good bye! Ah 7th grade love!

    The best summer camp week ever though was the one where I met my wife. We are a A camp romance that worked

    By Blogger Steve Duer, at 7/11/2005 10:48:00 PM  

  • Church camp in Henderson Tennessee, 6 years old, top bunk, floor, lost front teeth (permanent teeth). Oh what memories.

    By Blogger Tommy, at 7/12/2005 03:55:00 AM  

  • Does a Youth Group trip to Colorado count as such?

    By Blogger Hoots Musings, at 7/12/2005 04:57:00 AM  

  • While I'm sure there are many many of you who have GREAT camp experiences and say it changed your life, etc...I'll just say that I hated camp. I went to Camp Wyldewood one summer...ha, I say one summer, but I ended up only making it for 4 1/2 days. I'm just not the woodsy, one-with-nature kinda gal. My mom picked me up early and we decided that we were "Hotel and Shopping" people and not-so-much "Camping and hiking" people.

    To each his own...

    By Blogger Sarah, at 7/12/2005 05:39:00 AM  

  • This Sarah, on the other hand, would have just loved it, but that was for rich kids. The closest i got was when we went to upstate New York a couple of times to visit all my relatives, and Camp Hunt is on land adjacent to my Uncle Norm's farm. (Cousin Kerry lives across the road now) We were allowed to go to a devo once, and bought something at the canteen.
    Now that I can do whatever I want to, a whole day alone at our local state park is my choice.

    By Blogger Sarah_RN, at 7/12/2005 06:03:00 AM  

  • Green Valley Bible Camp is alive and well, Mike. I'll be there in about two weeks to help direct a session. People always tell me they appreciate it that I go and give my time for camp. But I go because it is a spiritual lift for me. What a great place! Have a great summer, Mike!

    By Blogger drjimwhite, at 7/12/2005 06:53:00 AM  

  • My dad would come over to Wyldewood
    to preach when I was pre-school, and I would come with him. Then as I got older, I came as a camper.
    We always came 2nd session, when all the Searcy crowd was there also. So guess who I met at Wyldewood as a 5th grader? Yep, my bride of 28 years! In later years, I also was blessed to be able to baptize my best friend, Mike Mitchell. Coach Groover did a GREAT job at Wyldewood, and we still miss him around here.

    Thanks for getting the nostalgic juices flowing, cause now I will be thinking about Bee Rock, Sadie Hawkins Day, the Sugar Shack, Ping Pong, canoeing on the Little Red, Craigmont soft drinks, scopiing out the old pool when all the chicks were swimming........for the rest of today! Does anybody out there remember the year, late 60's, when "O For a Closer Walk" was the theme? To this day, every time I sing that song I think of being at Camp. I stand by my theory we should have been learning scripture through song from the get-go. Music stays with us. Ooops......sorry for the stump speech.

    Thanks Mike, and GO CARDS! :)

    By Blogger David U, at 7/12/2005 06:53:00 AM  

  • My camp was good 'ole Camp Wiregrass in Southeastern Alabama. The best night was always Thursday banquet night when prepubescent boys would try to woo girls to hold their hand as they walked into the mess hall together. From the moment we arrived at Camp on Sunday afternoon we were already scoping out possible banquet dates. Pretty much every activity before Thursday was directed in this manner, and the activities after Thursday centered on how we would stay in contact with our banquet date, whom we now deeply and eternally loved, when we were forced to go home. And then, of course, there's always the "stand-next-to-each-other-outside-the cabin-until-curfew-trying-to-muster-up the-nerve-to-betray-your-Christian-virtues and-steal-a-second-long-kiss-so-you-can have-something-to-brag-about-when-you-go-back to-the-cabin" thing. Ah, Christian Summer Camp.

    By Blogger Travis, at 7/12/2005 07:34:00 AM  

  • Men's Cabin 5, Camp Deer Run, Winnsboro TX, 1985. I still smile when I think of all the near-death adventures that summer. Now that's what I call spiritual formation!

    By Blogger R Debenport, at 7/12/2005 09:48:00 AM  

  • I don't know if this qualifies as my "best" summer camp experience, but it is certainly one of the more memorable...Camp Ch-Yo-Ca in Louisiana...being chased around the lake by yellowjackets after some fellow campers disturbed their nest...kids was screaming and running every which way...I got stung on my pinky finger...the insects followed us all the way back to camp and into the nurse's office. Ah, memories.

    By Blogger Jana, at 7/12/2005 10:02:00 AM  

  • As a kid, it was Mid South Youth Camp for 5 years. As an adult, it has been Gulf Coast Bible Camp for the past 17 years. Raised my children there. Would not trade those memories for anything. - Bill

    By Blogger Bill, at 7/12/2005 10:14:00 AM  

  • I was about 12 when my friends up the street were going to camp for two weeks and I lamented that I had no where to go. My grandmother got some information on Ohio Valley Christian Youth Camp and a few weeks later sent me packing to Waterford, Ohio. Ron Laughery was my Bible Class teacher and our friendship continues to this day – 33 years later. I looked forward to OVCYC every summer until I went off to college.

    While in college I was a counselor at OVCYC and at West Virginia Christian Youth Camp. Then life came full circle when I was asked to be a bible class teacher at OVCYC in 1985.

    When I moved to New England in 1986 I fell in with the crowd from Ganderbrook, first as a teacher and then as a board member. Spending a week or two every summer in Maine with some great kids is really the life. Who can forget: the stars on a summer night in Maine, the northern lights, toasted Maine crabmeat rolls at Cole Farms and their chocolate cream pie late at night after lights out, L.L Bean, Raymond Pond, and Cecil?

    Several years later I would get my own old cabin on a pond in Vermont. I know that it was due, in part; to the profound influence camp has had on my life. I love being outdoors and close to the rest of creation.

    By Blogger J A Pierpont, at 7/12/2005 10:30:00 AM  

  • Circle C Camp in Estes Park, Colorado was my favorite camp experience. Dr. Don Boston directed the camp. The beauty of it was that there were always unchurched teenagers and young adults that went, and many came to Christ during the week. What a "Rocky Mountain High!"

    By Blogger David Michael, at 7/12/2005 11:26:00 AM  

  • Flaming Pine Youth Camp in Northern Minnesota. Lightning, thunder, high winds - And a teen age girl wants to get baptized. Against the director's better judgment, he let it go on that night.

    He walked with her into the water of the lake at the beach , waves crashing, wind whipping. We all gathered hoping that the rain would hold off. The lightning was terrifying and the thunder fierce. The wind was as loud as anything.

    We didn't hear the question, "Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?" and we didn't hear her answer, but we knew the script.

    Then he leaned her back into the water, and I would not believe it had I not been there myself, but when she came up out of the water, the wind stopped, the thunder stopped, and there was calm. Only the waves still made some sound. It was beautiful and very eerie.

    She came to the shore and got the usual mobbing of hugs. Then the wind whipped up and the thunder pounded and we took cover as a really big storm gave us a wallop.

    By Blogger Fajita, at 7/12/2005 11:42:00 AM  

  • I'm surprised no one from St Louis has mentioned Camp Neotez. I never went there, but my wife was a regular - even going back as a graduate student to work as a counselor. St Louisans are OBSESSED with Camp Neotez. I've never seen anything like it.

    By Blogger Malibu Librarian, at 7/12/2005 11:55:00 AM  

  • I LIVED at camps during the summer! My mom did crafts at Camp Hensel, so I was there every year since I was 5! Then I started going to Foundation School of Music there too-so that was 3 weeks out of summer.

    By Blogger songbirdintl, at 7/12/2005 12:27:00 PM  

  • I LIVED at camps in the summer!! My mom did the crafts at Camp Hensel for the Marble Falls session so I was there every year from the time I was 5! Then I started going to Foundation School of Music at Hensel too-that was 3 weeks out of the summer! In high school I somehow fit in Camp Blue Haven, Drum Major camp and Debate camp. One Summer I was only home 2 nights and both of those were spent staying up all night washing clothes to leave the next morning for the next camp! Those are GREAT memories! I could write a book of memories! Being at Singing School with Reuel Lemmons, Holland Boring Sr and Jr, and Tom Chapin, Cecil Price, Bob Connel. They really encouraged my passion for music. And then there was "get your elbows off the table" at Camp Blue Haven and the year my cabin-nicknamed JellyBeans found and organized our own camp site at Blue Haven, and mud football-that was a blast! I thank God for the spiritual mentors and teachers that he provided in each of these camp experiences-they helped shape and form a good part of my faith foundation.

    By Blogger songbirdintl, at 7/12/2005 12:37:00 PM  

  • I LIVED at camps during the summer! My mom did crafts at Camp Hensel, so I was there every year since I was 5! Then I started going to Foundation School of Music there too-so that was 3 weeks out of summer.

    By Blogger songbirdintl, at 7/12/2005 12:38:00 PM  

  • Uplift- I never did camp out in the woods... Sarah, when I was a child I wasn't the one with nature kinda boy. Now I love camping, tent camping, cabins are worthless.

    But Uplift at Harding has always connected with me, the intense dialogue, the high-tech atmosphere, air conditioning, video screens, drama skis with professional light shows and top notch sound... That's what summer camp was to me.

    I learned so much in a one week intense time-

    By Blogger Drew Battistelli, at 7/12/2005 02:01:00 PM  

  • www.northernfrontier.org
    Northern Frontier Camp (a Christian Service Brigade camp) in the Adirondack mountains of upstate NY is where I, and thousands of other boys and young men were introduced to God in a REALLY big way. I wouldn't even know where to begin to choose only ONE great camp story.

    By Blogger kenny, at 7/12/2005 02:17:00 PM  

  • Ah, the joys of summer camp. My 11 years at Green Valley Bible Camp near Rogers, Ark., were some of the best and memorable experiences in my life. The thrill of secretly holding hands with that special girl that you see only one time a year; getting chosen to play in the traditional Camper All-Stars vs. Camp Staff softball game; showing off for the girls your ability to drink a bottle of pop in one gulp; acting like at fool on camper talent night; putting rocks in the counselor's bed (remember Mike?); and singing the Hungry Little Skeletons song before eating lunch. What joyous and wonderful times they were. I wouldn't trade those 11 weeks for anything.

    By Blogger Buzz, at 7/12/2005 02:46:00 PM  

  • Camp LuJo KISMIF (LuJo for the kind lady that donated the land, and KISMIF for Keep It Simple, Make It Fun). West of Lawton, OK. I was a country boy from a small school with no sports but baseball and basketball. We had a .5 mile race with Lawton boys on the cross country team. i won. We slept in recycled army barricks. There was a looooong invitation every night. Very hot. Food, well at 15 you'll eat anything and lots of it. Not a great place..but i wouldn't change any of it. It changed me forever.

    By Blogger Bobach, at 7/12/2005 03:07:00 PM  

  • Well, anyone else every frequent Mountain View Christian Camp at Johnson Bible College over in East Tennessee? It was really roughing it, let me tell you. We stayed in college dorms! It was loads of fun and lots of great memories.

    By Blogger Rhonda, at 7/12/2005 07:26:00 PM  

  • My parents used to tell me I should live at camp-since I went so much! ;) I grew up going to Iron Springs Christian Camp in Whitney, Texas since I was 7 and I still would get goosebumps if I drove down that long dusty road into camp...man, we really roughed it there with our air conditioning!!

    I was also a counselor at Encounter at LCU for 6 years and every one of those years was incredible-I also was a traveling camp counselor for LCU one summer where we served at several camps throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona & California...and I would have to say that was one of the my favorite summers EVER!!

    ...And in 4 days I will be leaving to go to the mountains of New Mexico with my Broadway kids from Lubbock to good 'ol Pine Springs!

    I am 26 years old, and there has not been one single year that has gone by since I was 7 that I have not been to at least one camp during the summer, usually two...wow...maybe I really SHOULD live at summer camp...oh well for now, I'll just move into a dorm and be their counselor for awhile ;)

    By Blogger Katherine, at 7/12/2005 07:59:00 PM  

  • I'm with David U - good ole Camp Wylewood. I think I had more fun as a counselor for group 1 (1977,78) than I did as a camper. Coach Groover, hearing David Martin singing "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" under the burning of the cross at Bee Rock on closing night, devos in center field late at night - all meant the world to me. I was baptized as a camper by Phil Watkins. Great memories.

    By Blogger Randy, at 7/12/2005 09:10:00 PM  

  • Now THAT'S what I'm talking about, Andrew...Uplift was great! That was my kinda camp. Terry Davis leading "Mansion, Robe & Crown" (20 times!), Jeff Walling's & Don McLaughlin's great lessons, Gil Eagles doing his hypnotist act, Acappella concerts, hanging out in the Heritage playing cards, our first "dorm experiences"...I went to Uplift for 3 or 4 summers and got more out of that than I could've at camp (a personal thing). It was a great opportunity to learn more about my faith and witness many friends come to the Lord. Loved it.

    By Blogger Sarah, at 7/13/2005 06:23:00 AM  

  • I have heard about this burning of the cross at camp Wylewood and other camps - this was not a practice of the camps I was associated with. It always seemed strange to me that camps would adopt a symbol so completely associated with the racist KKK. Friends who have been there say that it's powerful. Can anyone explain how it came about?

    By Blogger J A Pierpont, at 7/13/2005 06:25:00 AM  

  • It isn't as flashy as some of the camps and summer experiences in the Bible Belt, but God uses it to touch hearts of young people nonetheless. Tidal River Christian Camp has been a haven for Christian young people in the New England area for almost 50 years, and it was one of the more formative experiences of my life. You won't find better hearts than those who established and maintain TRCC.

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 7/13/2005 07:12:00 AM  

  • Illinois Christian Camp in Decatur, IL is where I spent 8 summers both as a camper and counselor. A unique thing about this camp from some of the others that have been mentioned is getting to dodge the occassional tornado that would come through central Illinois during camp. Nothing like sitting in a cabin while the rain, lighting, and wind get stirred up into a frenzy. I'm quite sure a number of us felt very close to God during these storms!!

    By Blogger Paul W, at 7/13/2005 07:41:00 AM  

  • I can't explain the history of the burning of the cross - but I can tell you = when the chorus of counselors sang at the bottom of bottom of Bee Rock - when the fireball would come across and hit the cross - my life was changed. I'll ask some and see if I can learn of its history and pass it on.

    By Blogger Randy, at 7/13/2005 08:39:00 AM  

  • Camp or camping? Surely you josh!!

    I'm with Sarah. My idea of a perfect camp or camping experience is a 5-star hotel at Big Sur, with an afternoon walk through the glorious coastal conifers and then back to my own room, my own shower and 3-forks restaurants. :)

    As a kid we never went to kids' summer camp but the whole family, along with 3 or 4 other families, would drive up into the high Sierras, pitch our tents, cook over an outdoor fire. It was in this scenario that I met physical pain at the tender age of 8.

    Boiling water spilled on young feet causes 2nd and 3rd degree burns, causing a very sedentary summer while the other kids ran and played. Grrrr! Show me the way to Big Sur anytime!!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 7/13/2005 08:52:00 AM  

  • Skit Night at Spring Mill Bible Camp near Bedford, Indiana.

    Either the skit my first year where we donned towels and sheets and acted out the crossing of the Red Sea (with two guys in blue sleeping bags standing up like walls of water on either side, then crashing down on the "Egyptians") ... or the one in later years when I got to play the "Snake" and had only one line: "Hiss, hiss; rattle, rattle."

    By Blogger Keith Brenton, at 7/13/2005 09:33:00 AM  

  • Yes, I went to Blue Haven a few times and at the time it was fun, but it solidified the fact that I'm not really a camper. SO, our family will head down south to New Braunfels area in a couple of weeks to TBarM Family Camp again. I say "camp" so loosely! Let me explain: each family stays in a nice hotel; two college students are assigned to each family to be your personal helpers/mentors for your stay; great Bible teaching in air conditioned conference rooms in the mornings for adults and Bible teaching for kids broken up by ages; food fit for a cruise liner (picture a big guy with a tall white hat and a carving knife!). Tons of free time for any imaginable outdoor activity in the afternoons and awesome praise time in the evenings! Oh, I forgot to mention the milk and cookies sitting out on picnic tables as you go back to the hotel to bed! NOW... THAT'S MY IDEA OF CAMP!!!!

    By Blogger Amy Boone, at 7/13/2005 12:46:00 PM  

  • When I was a kid my dad took me with him to Circle C camp in Colorado. I was only about 6 or 7, and it was the most amazing thing for me to be with all the "big kids" in the mountians praising God. I'll never forget my first hike up Longs Peak with my dad during that week.
    Last week I took my 5-yr-old daughter up her first hike in Colorado during a week of camp at Whitewater Ranch, a camp in Colorado that I now help direct each year. Kids meeting with God in the mountains---it just doesn't get much better than that.

    By Blogger Brad, at 7/13/2005 12:57:00 PM  

  • Now i've figured it out--we're in the wrong generation's blog. Kathy #1, that's us in the wrong generation for camping. Camp Hunt was founded in the late 50's, I believe, and it is the oldest Christian camp (CofC) in the U.S. It was the only one I'd heard of until I was too old to go, and it was too far away for me to go up to N.Y. alone when I was 10. This whole thing came too late for me.


    By Blogger Sarah_RN, at 7/14/2005 05:24:00 AM  

  • Hey, has anyone heard of Short Mountain Camp in Woodbury, TN? That's where I got my taste for Christian camping. It's also where I had my first kiss (as a 9-year old! Yes, it was a girl!); my first cave experience, my first carbide lantern; my first opportunity to lead singing; my first really scarey ghost stories; my first summer "crush;" and more.

    By Blogger MarkS, at 7/14/2005 03:43:00 PM  

  • Camp WaMaVa in Virginia! How can one place serve as the setting for one's coming of age in so many dimensions? Mike's post and the comments above prompted me to go back and post to my blog a piece I wrote after I learned of the death of my one time camp counselor and frequent father in the faith, Mac Jacobs, in 2003. Warning: long post at Coming of Age at Camp WaMaVa

    By Blogger kendanley, at 7/14/2005 09:15:00 PM  

  • For me, Palmetto Bible Camp in Greenville, SC. I'm still repaying the debt to PBC. Since I was 6 years old (I'm 42 now) I've only missed 2 years that the camp was open for business. Great memories, lifelong friends, blessing after blessing. We just had another SuperWeek in June. I love that place - in fact, my wife's instructions are to sprinkle my ashes at a waterfall at camp when that time comes!

    By Blogger MichaelPolutta, at 7/15/2005 09:47:00 AM  

  • Yes MarkS, I have also been to Short Mountain. Gayle and Pat Raines are great people! For those of you who are interested, there is a great organization made up of primarily cofc camps. It is the National Association of Christian Camps. http://4dw.net/naccamps/ This group meets once a year in the spring at a different camp each year. If you are into Christian Camping, you owe it to yourself to check out their camping workshop. The next workshop will be April 2-6, 2006 at Fort Hill Christian Youth Camp in Ohio. The 2007 workshop will be at Central Florida Bible Camp. Great people, Great workshop, Great sharing of ideas.

    By Blogger Bill, at 7/15/2005 10:04:00 AM  

  • Kadesh 2002: Seeing Myself Through God's Eyes

    I had the best group leaders ever...three years later, we are still great friends.

    I think that was the first time I truly saw myself through God's eyes.

    Praise the Lord for ACU Leadership Camps!! That's my camp experience.

    By Blogger Heather A, at 7/15/2005 03:31:00 PM  

  • OK, I see that my first camp hasn't gotten a mention, nor my second one!

    My first camp experience was at Smiling Acres Christian Camp near Baton Rouge, LA. Ray Morris was an elder at South Baton Rouge Church and he was the director. He and his wife Sam, and their kids "became" my family in some unexplainable way for a week. I haven't seen them in decades and I love them still.

    Sardis Lake Christian Camp in North Mississippi is where I spent a decade doing camp stuff... directing, counseling. I first went with John Pigg, then graduated up until pal Danny Dodd (Gateway CoC, Pensacola now) and I were co-directors. Glory days.

    Now I've been working at Gulf Coast Bible Camp (www.gcbc.us) with Uncle Bill (Hey bill!) for the past dozen years.

    Christian Camping is mission work in our own back yard. I love what happens there ... I love what has happened to me...and I love the brothers and sisters of an earlier generation who established those camps.

    By Blogger JD, at 7/18/2005 01:17:00 PM  

  • camp ne-o-tez is the best ever! it is so much fun! skit nights are hilariuos!

    By Blogger anonymous, at 8/28/2005 08:22:00 PM  

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