Discovering Echo Ranch highlights from 2008

Posted: Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Christmas season has come and gone and now the calendar draws us closer to 2009. In case you missed past Discovering Echo Ranch articles, I wanted to share with you some highlights.

Happy to be at Echo Ranch

March 14, 2008

This section of the paper is titled Neighbors and that is exactly what Echo Ranch Bible Camp wants to be. We want to be the kind of neighbor that would shovel your driveway or fix a meal when someone is sick. Echo Ranch is the neighbor who will watch the kids for a week and make sure to get them home in one piece. Echo Ranch has a huge backyard with plenty of room for games and activities. We want to be the neighbor who says "the door is always open if you ever need a break." And if you let us know you are coming in advance, we'll even try to prepare hot meal for you.

My intent for these articles is to help give you a better understanding of what Echo Ranch Bible Camp is all about. In the future, I hope to bring you more insight into Echo Ranch and ways that you can get involved. On behalf of the Echo Ranch staff, I would like to say thank you for letting us be apart of your community. If you ever need a place to come and get away from it all, we'll be right here waiting for your arrival.

Can faith and fun go together?

April 25, 2008

If all we did was play games then Echo Ranch would be like any other summer camp. But when you add the element of faith, now kids are being asked to think about the larger questions of life. Balance is the key. I believe that activities like chapel and allowing kids to ask questions about God is important. But I also know that not all of our campers come from faith backgrounds. We have to be sensitive to everyone's needs.

Studies have shown that kids who have an element of faith in their daily activities deal with life's situations better. One example can be found in the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In youth, ages 12-17, who agreed that religious beliefs are a very important part of life, their past month illicit drug use was reported as 7.6 percent, compared with 17.1 percent among those who disagreed with that statement. It is clear that drug use is a problem in America but there was a difference in the youth who felt that religious beliefs were a very important part of life.

The message of Echo Ranch is that faith in God through Jesus Christ can help people in all aspects of their lives. Following Christ isn't about feeling sorry for yourself but experiencing life the way God intended it. Echo Ranch is simply a place where faith and fun combine together to create a memorable experience.

Colt Camp: A crash course

in parenting

July 11, 2008

It is not until all the 7- to 9-year-old campers are assigned to a cabin that the real parenting process begins. Learning the name of all 11 campers is the first step. Next is making sure they can find the nearest restroom. In order to not miss all the fun of camp, kids will delay going to the bathroom. To prevent any "accidents" it's important they know where they can run to in case of emergency. It has been my experience that "accidents" do happen.

Meals are another parent proving ground. As a counselor you really don't have time to sit and enjoy your meal. All of your campers eat differently and you have to make sure they all eat something. Phrases like "finish all your vegetables" and "take one more bite and then you can have dessert" are now flowing out of your mouth. At the end of colt camp week I appreciate my parents a whole lot more.

I look forward to the next camping season and seeing those smiling faces walking around Echo Cove. May God bless you in the coming year!

• Jon-Michael Gwinnell is a staff member at Echo Ranch Bible Camp. He can be reached at

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