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.

Tuesday Testimony | Mikayla Phillips

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.

If I had to name a specific date or event in which I began my journey in faith, it would definitely be my first summer at Delanco Camp. Many of my friends share a similar story of how camp  changed their lives in such amazing ways.

I remember being a camper for the first time at Middler Camp. I was so eager to explore and get to know everyone in my dorm. I couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to spend a whole week at this amazing camp growing closer to God.

That was four years ago and every year since then has been magical. Someone I know even described it as a “little piece of heaven.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. This past year had been difficult for me. I was deciding on whether or not I should quit my job and on top of that trying to find the motivation to read my bible. One night I was praying to God about it. While praying about my job situation, I got a text from my youth pastor Chad asking if I’d like to be a camp counselor at Middler Camp. I immediately knew what God wanted me to do so I put in my two weeks and said I absolutely would love to.

Initially I was nervous because I didn’t really know anybody else that was going to be on staff besides Chad, but the moment we started our first counselors meeting I felt so incredibly welcome.

Middler Camp is such a special place because it’s the transition between being a kid and becoming a teen. Nobody is in such a huge rush to grow up yet. We still get to put on skits and dance around to songs like Jesus Is My Superhero (which was our theme song for the week). This particular group at Middler Camp was so incredibly wonderful. Everybody on staff seemed to agree that this had to be one of the best years ever. Everyone was so willing to help out in any way needed. It almost seemed like the whole entire camp was one unit, everyone included and cared about everyone else.

 I could go on and on about every single thing that happened that week but that would take so long. Some of the best parts (in my opinion) was the color war dodgeball, getting all the kids to dance to various songs, the superhero baby food game, canoe races and of course Chad’s message. The best thing was seeing relationships being built, not just with God but with each other. It’s evident that these students genuinely cared about each others’ souls. Something that touched my heart was a story I heard one night after an altar call from some of the guy counselors. They told us that all the boys went back to their dorm to get changed for night games and among themselves they decided that they should have a prayer circle. Everyone was just crying out to God and praying for each other. It’s stuff like that, which makes camp such a magical place.

I am so grateful for the opportunity God provided. I am thankful for the relationships I made with my campers and the rest of my staff. It is an amazing sight to see the way God’s vision unfolds. I am so glad I was able to help plant seeds in these kids hearts, and to see seeds being planted. I can’t wait for next year so I can see how else this camp changes kids lives, just like it has mine and will continue to.

Tuesday Testimony | Brooke Shaw

 

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.

 

“Dear God, DO IT, Amen.” That prayer said by our evangelist, Tim DePorter, always gave me that this-is-going-to-be-good feeling before every evening chapel. Hi, I’m Brooke Shaw and I go to First United Methodist Church in Millville, NJ. I’ve been going to camp since I was going into 7th grade in 2011 and I just spent my last summer at camp as a camper this past August, but no worries, Delanco Camp hasn’t seen the last of me. Not only was I a camper this year at Teen Camp but I was a counselor the week before for Middler for the first time!

Every year I am deeply impacted by God’s glory and the way He is able to shine His light through the campers and staff all week long. I want to say the summer of 2016 at Teen Camp, was when I was able to give myself fully to God and know that it’s truly what I wanted, but this year was especially different for me now that I was fully with the Lord. As I said before, I was a counselor at Middler Camp for my 7 sweet and VERY hyper girls in up-right for the first time alongside my new friend Mikayla! I was extremely nervous because I knew that I was going to be the one that these girls were going to look up to all week, but I knew God had a plan for me and I knew it was going to be great. Throughout the week, I felt God shine his light onto me to help these girls not only strengthen their relationship with God but to even start a relationship with Him. We were able to not only learn and talk about how amazing our Lord is, but have a lot of fun while doing it! Before bed these girls would pile onto my bed and we would sit there all night (well until lights out of course!) talking about life back home and how to maintain a relationship with God after camp. Those moments made me realize how lucky I was to be able to impact these lovely ladies lives in such a positive way. Being able to show young people the greatness God has to offer is such a blessing!

This year at Teen Camp it was extremely different… Our Millville squad usually rolls in with around 10 girls deep each year at Teen Camp. This year there was only 4 us. We also had the “littles” with us; which were the younger siblings and friends of us 4. For the first time in my Delanco years we were all together in good ol’ Olga Brown. Although it was different, it was still a year to remember. Tim preached about being holistically for God, and how to deal with our baggage, our influences, and our identity. In all of his sermons I always left knowing that the depth of God’s love for me was ocean deep and it was incredible being confident in that. Going home after camp is always difficult to mend with. As long as you don’t surround yourself with negative people, but instead with people who love God and make your heart happy as well, it’ll be okay. It gets hard at times, but without Delanco Camp, especially Teen Camp, I wouldn’t be the Christian I am today. In life it comes naturally that you don’t need anyone else but God helps us to overcome the hardest of obstacles. But from words of Tim Deporter, “lonely righteousness is better than wicked companionship.” From deep “pillow talks” every night to wawaman during planned rec, I wouldn’t change a thing about any of my weeks at Delanco Camp. I’ll end this with a verse… “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13.