From Sunday, July 9 through Wednesday, July 12, 190 of us gathered as one big family at the beautiful country setting of Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Southern Minnesota. A group of 101 preteens (which included 12 mini dorm campers ages 2-5 and five little ones under the age of 2), 20 teens and 69 adults enjoyed four days of living, playing and working together “God’s way.” God blessed the camp with His protection for campers and staff as well as absolutely beautiful weather for most of camp.
This was the biggest camp we have had in the 23 years we’ve had Camp Ironwood. It was attended by preteens and teen staff from Texas, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, North and South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and even Canada!
One of our camp goals was to enrich the children’s lives by giving them opportunities to build relationships with other children who share common beliefs, experience a variety of challenging activities and deepen their relationships with God by teaching them more about their loving Father through daily Christian living and music classes. The theme of this year’s camp was “God’s Family.” The theme was emphasized throughout the day in Christian living classes, activities and, in their evening wrap-up, dorm time. Campers enjoyed the new Jelly video and immediately started trying to memorize all the words to Mark Graham’s new Jelly song: “God is Growing a Family.”
Camp Ironwood is a family camp and we certainly became a close camp family, all working together to make positive and meaningful memories for God’s precious children. This year we had a wonderful group of teens who served as assistant counselors and activity assistants and were the big brothers and big sisters to the campers. Adult staff, which included many dedicated and hard-working parents serving as activity coordinators, counselors, dorm parents and support staff, enjoyed the opportunities to interact with their children during the day.
It was a busy fun-filled four days with a variety of activities including: horseback riding, swimming, tubing down a steep hill, arts and crafts, field games, climbing wall, archery, creek walk, team challenge, campus improvement, sling shot and a visit to the animal farm. Evening activities included a sing-a-long/campfire, carnival, novelty Olympics, treasure hunt and a new favorite—dancing with Jelly.
Jamie Schreiber made a short video which can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV5UA1jbGCI
We are very thankful and blessed to have the love and support from UCG members who give financial contributions and daily prayers for God’s blessings on His preteen and teen camps. We praise God and thank Him for another successful year at Camp Ironwood!