RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP)–Lake Ridgecrest shimmered under the morning sunlight as campers woke to the sound of revelry and the smell of breakfast. It’s the start of a new day filled with activities and fun for the boys of Camp Ridgecrest.
Across the road, the girls of Camp Crestridge are rising and shining too. Shouting good morning in unison and singing songs while standing in chairs, these girls were getting ready for a day of fun.
The camps, operated by Ridgecrest, a LifeWay Conference Center, are located in the eastern mountains of North Carolina and offer girls and boys a chance to learn new skills, make new friends and live away from home for a few weeks. Campers can attend for two, four or eight weeks.
Ron Springs, camp director, said by the end of the summer 1,200 campers will have stayed at the camps this year.
The campers choose skill activities to participate in throughout their stay. Activities include riflery, archery, horseback riding, tennis, soccer, basketball, canoeing, swimming and arts and crafts.
The boys can also choose from rocketry, where they build a rocket and send it off, weight lifting, Indian lore and mountain biking. The girls can take gymnastics, choir, drama, Tae Bo, water trampoline and aerobics.
New activities available to both camps are a climbing wall and a low ropes course. The campers also do age group activities such as water balloon and sock wars and capture the flag.
Springs said campers hail from up to 30 different states, two-thirds of them from Florida and Georgia, and some foreign countries. They range in age from 7 to 16. The campers are led by a group of counselors who were either former campers or were recruited from colleges and Baptist Student Unions.
Parents can relieve any stress they might have about their traveling children by logging onto an Internet site powered by a company called iluvcamp. Armed with a user name and password, parents can check into their children’s daily camp activities and even see photographs of what they have been doing.
The camps also are using the Internet as a recruiting tool. Three years ago five campers came as a result of the Internet, Springs said, that number was about 150 this year. The big draw for the campers is seeing friends from last year’s camp. The parents cite other benefits such as learning to be on their own and increasing their self-esteem.
Springs said several campers have made decisions to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior or to surrender to the ministry during their weeks at Camp Ridgecrest or Crestridge.
For more information about LifeWay camps, visit: http://ridgecrestcamps.com/ or call 1-800-968-1630.
Ridgecrest is owned and operated by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.sbcbaptistpress.org. Photo title: CAMP RIDGECREST.