Camp Hye Sierra in Central California began with energy and excitement. First there were the arrivals—97 campers, 93 staff, and nine junior campers sharing hugs and smiles, surrounded by cheers and squeals from happy reunions. There were the practical and administrative events: first to check-in, then registration, and moving gear into the dorms. And there was that first meet-and-greet, which included the reappearing camp chant: “Hye!...Sierra! Hye! Hye! Sierra!” Camp Hye Sierra 2015 was off to a great start.
In drought-stricken California, we had to meet some challenges. With the drought came the loss of the waterfront; there was only enough water for kayaking. New activities had to be advanced, and schedule modifications made. There was the weather: The facility caretaker noted, before opening day, that Camp Hye Sierra would face some of the hottest temperatures to be experienced in years. And there was the challenge to simply enjoy the week’s opportunities while showing God’s way works! Happily, all challenges were met.
Our Father quickly demonstrated His enjoyment for camp by providing a daily overcast that dropped campus temperatures by 20 degrees compared to the surrounding areas. The camp was even enlivened by a thunderstorm that gave much-needed rain. Added to the camp schedule was the introduction of a new camp favorite, bubble soccer, where campers would wear giant airbags, adding a bouncing dimension to the field of soccer.
The success of camp centers on everyone’s attitude. The attitudes of camper and staff alike centered on how to “Be Like Our Heavenly Father,” this year’s camp theme. Care and cooperation were hallmarks of each day. Many hands were fast to help set up each activity, to clean up and to be encouraging, helping and sharing.
After breakfast, each day began with compass check, the presentation of a single point to ponder during the day and emphasized at each activity. While each camper learned new skills and honed others, they also learned to give. Camp Hye Sierra is 100 percent self-sustained—kitchen and janitorial services are staffed by volunteers. Their tireless and unsung service is augmented daily by each dorm performing dish and dining room clean-up, janitorial and sanitation detail.
Camp Hye Sierra once again proved to be a hotbed of friendships, encouragement, camaraderie, energy, and trust; lifelong relationships were developed. Camp Hye Sierra also proved, once again, that God’s way does work!