TUESDAY TESTIMONY | CHAD BLATHERWICK

Today we continue our weekly Tuesday Testimony post where we are having campers, staff and parents share their story about how God used Delanco this summer in their lives. If you would like to share your story email dan.ulrich@delanco.org.

Hello, my name is Chad Blatherwick. I am the Assistant Pastor and Youth Pastor at Sicklerville United Methodist Church. I have been attending Sicklerville UMC for the past 12 years and have been on staff the past 2 years. Six years ago I was asked to help out at Delanco Camp for Middler Camp. I was not too familiar with camp and was unsure of what to expect. The moment I set foot on the camp grounds I could truly feel God’s love and presence all around me in a unique and special way. Needless to say, I was absolutely blown away and I have been serving at Middler camp every year since then. I have made lifelong friends at camp and have met some of the most wonderful people in the world.

I have so many fond memories of camp and the impact it has made on my life. I started that first year as a counselor and have made the transition to teacher, dean of men, and most recently, the evangelist. Each and every year I think it can’t get better, yet it always seems to. On a personal note, my favorite memory was when my wife told me four years ago at the chapel in the pines that we were going to be having our fourth child, Annika. It was a very special moment that was made even more special being at camp.

Perhaps the moment that stands out to me the most happened this past year. After our evening service and altar call, some of our campers stayed to pray while most were dismissed to go get dressed for night games. One of our guy counselors came back into the tabernacle with tears in his eyes and said he couldn’t believe what he just saw. Apparently the boys, yes the boys, had gone back to the dorm and formed a circle and were praying very deeply for one another. They did this on their own, with no prompting. But that shouldn’t be a surprise, God works at Delanco Camp. When I used to hear people say their life was changed at Delanco Camp I didn’t understand the full impact, until I experienced it. Delanco Camp has, and will continue to, change and transform lives through the love of Jesus!

TUESDAY TESTIMONY | CHLOE SWIFT

We continue our weekly Tuesday Testimony post where we are having campers, staff and parents share their story about how God used Delanco this summer in their lives. If you would like to share your story email dan.ulrich@delanco.org. 

Hello, my name is Chloe Swift. I am fourteen years old and a sophomore at Cumberland County Technical Education Center. I have attended First United Methodist Church in Millville, New Jersey as long as I can remember, and I would not be happy anywhere else. I started attending Delanco Camp in the summer of 2014, and I have not stopped since. The story of how I got to Delanco that summer is a little funny. I have a serious anxiety disorder and that summer my symptoms and panic attacks were worse than normal. My parents and I agreed that sending me away without contact to my family for a week was not a good idea; hence I did not register. My brother, going into fourth grade at the time, somehow broke the age rule, and was signed up for middler camp. I came to Delanco for the first time with my family to drop Parker off and I was instantly called to stay. Mrs. Nina Crain offered to let me go home for the night, pack up, and return in the morning. Somehow, my eleven-year old self agreed, went to a 24 hour Walmart for supplies, and returned the next morning with suitcase in hand. By something I can only call a miracle by God, I did not have one anxiety flare up that entire week, and the things God did in me in that one week have changed my life since.

When I left Delanco, little seventh grade me knew I wanted to pursue a relationship with God for the rest of my life. After that summer, I changed the way I thought about anxiety. I looked for God’s wisdom and guidance when I was having a panic attack, and through something else I can only call a miracle, almost all of my symptoms of my anxiety disorder have ceased, and anxiety no longer controls my life. Anxiety is no longer a curse, it was something given to me to show God’s love and grace for me. I have since attended eight Delanco retreats and camps over the past four years, and God has worked in my life every single time. The counselors, staff, and campers at Delanco have changed my life for the better in ways I cannot express. I cannot wait to be able to help others as a counselor someday in the near future. Thank you for hearing my story, have an amazing day, and may God bless you in every way.

TUESDAY TESTIMONY | JACK BROOMELL

Today we continue our weekly Tuesday Testimony post where we are having campers, staff and parents share their story about how God used Delanco this summer in their lives. If you would like to share your story email dan.ulrich@delanco.org.

To say Delanco has changed my life would be an understatement. Even before I got involved with the week-long camps and retreats, I first went to Delanco on a Men’s Retreat with my church. This was my first time visiting and that same weekend is when I committed myself to following God.

Now looking to this past summer this was my third Teen Camp and second Junior High 1. So I have been involved for a few years but this past summer and fall retreat were extremely life changing for myself. Junior High 1 is always a week where I can just hit pause and focus on my life with God. I love being out there with a lot of my best friends, and the deans, Dan and Julie Ulrich, always put a great week together. The theme this year was “No One Is an Island” and it was just something I needed to hear. I felt disconnected from God and a lot of my friends the past year. Then we get to Teen Camp with the theme of “Holistic” where we talk about how every part of you can give back and thank God. Both of these weeks combined helped me reset and get in tune with God.

Following the end of summer and start of Fall we just hosted our Fall Retreat. This was my second time being a dean with one of my best friends, Zach Richman. On top of that, I am lucky to have a girlfriend who also has a servants heart and was there to support me every step of the way (She is my better half). I was also blessed with the opportunity to speak again at camp. That weekend all we really did was just read 1 Peter and learn what Peter had to tell us and man was it refreshing. I felt like it was my rugby coach giving me a pep-talk at half time. My favorite verse we read that weekend had to be 1 Peter 2:9 where it says “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”. Just reading that verse and seeing that God called me out into the chosen people, into a royal priest hood, is just so refreshing. That weekend we just talked about how God has called us to a daily challenge of living by His word everyday.

As someone who grew up without actually believing in God, to be personally called into his royal priesthood is one of the most encouraging promises he could give me. One of my biggest regrets in life was not attending Delanco as a camper (although it gives me a great “Never Have I Ever” during ice-breaker night). Delanco is special; a camp full of God-loving and people-loving individuals. It is a place that even though it took me 20 years to get involved, I feel as though I have been apart of this community for my whole life.