There were 52 young campers (ages 5–12 and mini dorm campers ages 2–4) who enjoyed four days and three nights of fun, adventure, and challenges at preteen camp at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch near Stewartville, Minnesota. Also attending were 21 enthusiastic teen staff members, who volunteered to serve as staff, and 43 amazing and exceptionally talented and caring adults. This year’s staff, both teens and adults, were outstanding and the teamwork and enthusiasm was at an all time high.
Children enjoyed a variety of camp experiences including horseback riding, swimming, field games, climbing wall, zip line, team challenge activities, archery, arts and crafts, nature and exploring, as well as “campus improvement” (a way for campers to give back to Camp Ironwood for the tremendous blessing of allowing us to use the camp for 13 years). Evening activities included: game night, campfire with a sing-along, novelty Olympics, a carnival, treasure hunt and wagon rides.
Each day started with Christian living classes for the campers, teens and the adult staff. The theme for this year’s camp was “The Two Great Commandments: Loving God and Loving Neighbor.” Each counselor and activity coordinator was encouraged to work these two commandments into their daily camp schedule and lesson plans to reinforce the theme throughout the camp. The dorm parents (and our three official camp grandparents: Delores Hudson, Karen Allwine and Lyman Busch) helped round out the camp family atmosphere and share words of encouragement each day with the campers and teen staff.
After a full day of activities and service to the campers, the teen staff gathered for some fun and recreational time with each other. The teens not only helped make this years camp a memorable experience for the campers, but they were excellent role models and great examples of God’s way of life.
The friendships, camaraderie, nurturing family environment and living, working and playing together according to God’s laws, is an experience that those who attended Camp Ironwood this summer will not soon forget.
The dates for next year’s preteen Camp Ironwood will be July 12-15, 2015.