As a new feature here on the Delanco Camp blog, we thought it would be cool to track down some old friends we haven’t seen in a while and see what’s happening in their lives. The first we caught up with is Ivy Lasley, who we remember as a camper and staff member from Port Republic named Ivy Sterling.
Tell us a little bit about your connection to Delanco. When did you start attending, how did you first hear about it, etc.?
I first heard about Delanco at St. Paul’s UMC in Port Republic, or Port Church. I think I was going into 7th Grade the first year I went. I begged my mom to let me go — she didn’t think we could afford it, but the church provided a scholarship. It was a pretty big thing for me because I was really shy and didn’t have any friends from Port going too. But I quickly made new friends (many of whom I’m still good friends with, such as Wendy Kappeler Coy and Andrea Logan LaMotte) and went as often as I could from that point on.
What do you remember most about your days as a camper and staff member at Delanco?
What I love and remember most about my days at Delanco is the atmosphere — how you can so easily sense the presence of Christ. I loved the instant and close bond I had with kids my age who shared my faith, and being able to be myself around them, singing silly songs about not-so-silly things (stomping on Satan’s “ugly looking face,” leaning a little too heavily on a friend’s non-“everlasting arms,” scratching our armpits as we asked “Who is the King of the Jungle?”).
As a staff member, I loved knowing that campers were looking up to me, and hopefully having an impact on their spiritual lives. (And nothing beats getting a wedding invitation from two campers you introduced when they were too young to even think about such things! Bobby Peoples and Amanda Nichols tied the knot June 14, 2008.) I loved the closeness of the permanent staff — all the late nights (despite the early mornings — how did we do it?) of Rook, neck and back massages, deep conversations, star gazing on the soccer field, and inside jokes (Kirsten Cheeseman’s Sietepus — err, a seven-legged octopus).
When was the last time you were on the grounds? What was it like for you going back there?
Sadly, the last time I visited Delanco was the summer of 2000, so it hadn’t been too long from the time before that. For one reason or another, my family and I haven’t been able to make it out to camp on one of our few visits to New Jersey. Eight years is way too long to not go to Delanco! I’d love to take some family vacations there, walk around Agape Lake with my husband, Corey, kneel together at the altar where I’ve cried my heart out to Jesus so many times, play tether ball with our kids, and imagine them as future campers.
You are quite busy in your life these days with a family. Tell us about your family and how your faith impacts you as a mother and a wife.
I knew almost from my first online conversation with Corey that we were going to get married, but I never imagined how fast we’d grow into a family of six. I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising that a couple who gets engaged the first weekend they meet in person would have four kids in five years. I suppose we’re the domestic version of living life in the fast lane. While Corey works long hours developing software, in addition to running a side web development business and working toward a degree in theology, I’m at home chasing around two toddlers (Natalie, 3 in December, and Noah, 17 months), taking care of an infant (Micah, 6 months), homeschooling our 5-year-old son, Caleb, and trying to start a photo restoration business (resurrectionphotos.com). People always ask me how I do it; I usually just say, “I don’t know,” or “I take it one day at a time,” or “You adjust to what you have.” But the truth is, I’m a mess. I just learned at my last MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting that just about every mom is a mess, and it’s OK to admit that. Phew! I thought it was just me! But just as I’m continuously sweeping up the endless Cheerios and Goldfish crumbs and picking up my kids when they fall, God is right behind me, His infinite grace washing away my failures and carrying me through the day.
Tell us about the community you live in and any church/ministries you are involved in there.
Although I’m not a huge fan of the metro Detroit area, I absolutely love my neighborhood! I live on a quiet cul-de-sac in Westland, MI, where I’m blessed with wonderful neighbors with kids around the same ages as mine. And, I have a huge support system for homeschooling and my walk with Christ in the house two doors down. I couldn’t have asked for better neighbors!
My family and I attend New Hope Church, a small Free Methodist church in Canton, MI, where I’m in charge of the nursery and Corey plays the drums. I was attending the women’s small group for several years, but Corey and I plan to attend a new group for 30’s/40’s (can’t believe we’re that old!) this fall. We love being a part of a church that feels like — no, is — family and offers opportunities for spiritual growth.
What would you say has been the lasting impact on Delanco Camp in your life?
I’d have to say that Delanco Camp has had a lasting impact on my relationships — most importantly my relationship with Jesus, but I also walked away with many lifelong friendships, my brothers and sisters in Christ. And, thanks to the internet, I have also become friends with fellow Delancans who I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting at camp, such as Stacey Aspenberg. Even though we never met in person, having that Delanco Camp bond really makes it seem like we have. There aren’t too many places that can create a bond like that!