A lot has changed since a group of Methodist ministers got together to start a camp meeting in the town of Delanco in the late 1800s and while Delanco Camp is no longer in the town of its origin and the program looks very different from the initial focus on adult and family camp meeting programs, one thing remains the same: thousands of lives have been changed because of the time spent communing with God in nature at camp.
The same can be same for thousands of other Christian camps across the country and the world.
Removing ourselves from daily routines, distractions and habits has a way of clearing our heads and softening our hearts to the call of God on our lives. God is ever-present no matter where we turn but it’s in nature that we can often hear him in profound and life-changing ways. That’s what we as a camp and the other members of the Christian Camp and Conference Association are getting at when we talk about “the power of camp.” It’s more than just a catchy marketing slogan; it’s the reason so many of us dedicate so much of our time to this ministry and count down the days, particularly the snowy ones we’ve had this winter, until we are reunited with our camp family at 191 Powell Place Road.
I myself heard the distinct call of God on my life as a seventh grader torn between following the instantly gratifying worldly agenda of my middle school and the way of Christ I had been told was in my best interest since I was young. Answering a call to commit my life to The Way, I laid down the fleeting pursuit of my own will to surrender to our creator. The course of everything that has transpired since then is a result of that decision I made that night and in subsequent visits to the same spot of that worn altar with the red knee cushions.
Countless others have a similar story and in addition to identifying the exact date and spot on the altar they prayed can point to a number of other ways camp has enriched their lives, from lifelong friendships forged and spouses met to hobbies learned and vocational callings, the power of camp is evident in the lives of the people it has changed.
“I first came to love Delanco Camp in the summer of 2005. My life hasn’t been the same since. I’ve come to cherish my time and the memories made at Delanco.” – Kevin Wolf
“I discovered God’s love for me, heard Him calling me into full time ministry, and found my spouse all at Delanco Camp.Camp helped establish my foundation in Christ.” -Dan Ulrich
“Camp has been my heart’s home since I started going there in the early ’80s. Camp immediately brings me back to the Amy Grant song ‘Arms of Love.’ As soon as I set my feet on camp property I feel His presence and feel safety in his Arms. It’s like going home!” -Tammy Carrell Staub (via Facebook)
“Camps are unbelievable powerful! I attended different Christian camps growing up and each one helped me grow in huge ways in my walk with God. Now that I am able to serve as a leader at Delanco, I love watching the kids who come hear from God, grow in their passion for His Kingdom, and create strong and lasting relationships with each other.” -Kelly Goddard
“Heaven on Earth! Can’t think of a place that holds more memories and yet has so many more to be made!” -Nina Crain (via Facebook)
How has “the power of camp” impacted your life?