On October 20, 2012 we celebrated twenty years of riding the zip-line, swimming, cabin devotionals, fire-ring and amphitheater singing, playing sports, having great Bible classes, team building, forever-friend making, goal setting, life changing, baptizing and so much more! The challenges have been great but the rewards are exponential. I am so blessed for having been here and for having experienced so many people dedicating their lives to God. If you have been involved in making the last twenty years possible I want you to know that you have blessed many lives and I pray a blessing on your life today. Let us be thankful in prayer to God for all that he has done and let us also be prayerful that he will grant us many more years to come in His service here at Camp Caudle.
I know we all want camp to be great. We want our camp to be the BEST. We have reasons we love camp and have been coming for years and some of us have dreams for the future. Whether they be nicer cabins, horse back riding, a full time kitchen staff, a Dr Pepper fountain in the middle of camp or simply tearing out the moisture damaged floor in the wooden bath house there is always something to be done, desired or necessary, to improve this place. We realize that camp is about God working through people to change lives. We realize that at the end of a week here you don’t remember the functionality of the serving line but the relationships built and your life-changing experience. Still we recognize what goes on behind the scenes and how God is working in this physical world allowing us the opportunity to reap such a spiritual blessing through these relationships and experiences.
When I was a boy I would I came to camp many times on Saturdays for work days. There were always several people here working very hard and I had a blast being here. While sitting around the picnic tables at lunch eating Vienna sausages and crackers and listening to the older men talk I realized that these guys didn’t just show up here every once in a while but they were here all of the time. This place meant something to them. They talked about the projects they’d completed and those planned for the future. I remember in the early days only half of the buildings being functional and watching as men and women worked to get everything operational. For two summers in the 90’s I lived here at the camp with my dad. The work that went into running this place was insurmountable. Plumbing, Electric, Food, Maintenance, People, People and more People. At a young age I saw that for this place to run it took a lot of work.
When we go to a place we see the presented product and often times don’t realize the work and money it took to get it to that level. It wasn’t until 5 years ago, when I came to work full time here at the camp, that I saw and began to understand how much money it took to run a facility like this. I had known the work. I knew what it meant to take care of the chores and I quickly learned a new set of skills to manage the camp. As in most grass roots organizations that I know of, it was obvious that money and volunteers are the limiting factor in preservation and growth.
I am reminded of this parable:
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
God has given you and I responsibility to use what we have! We can affect the future. Sure, we cannot predict the future but we can, through God’s grace, impact it greatly.
In the parable above the thing that strikes me most is the risk the men took with the money the master left for them to manage. If I am honest, most of the time I fall in with the “wicked and lazy servant.” My mentality is to hold on to what I have and be safe. Even if you have never personally invested your money you probably still understand the principle. You understand that it can often times be risky.
We have accomplished so much but as we look forward we realize the necessities and opportunities that await. We have accomplished so much but we must realize that it was people who believed in doing God’s work through camp that got involved, worked hard and gave of their money.
If we want our camp to be amazing then we must get underneath it and support it.
Thank you to all of those who have given of your time and money to our mission of mentoring and teaching kids, teenagers and young adults! If you have yet to get involved with what is going on out here then I hope that today you will decide to join our efforts. Your donations make a big difference!