Chris Maddox | Camp Manager & President
It’s August and our season is wrapping up. Seven weeks have flown by. It feels like the summer just started and we just left the camp banquet just a hit ago. But here we are, at the end of our 2021 program.
A lot of things are different in our world now. A lot of our friends and family are scared and apprehensive about coming to camp. But we’ve also seen so many families this summer come to camp and grow in their relationship with Christ.
Our season started with only 7 high schoolers at Senior High Week. A bit of a disappointment. But the campers had a blast, enjoyed the week and grew together as they grew closer to God. It’s hard to see low numbers and not be a bit disappointed. But then we were reminded by a good friend that loves DCSC, “Jesus changed the world with 12 guys.” And another friend also reminded us that our camp is intimate and intentional. Hard to find in other areas.
We had a great Family Week, our revitalized adult preaching seminar. The deans did an amazing job putting on a successful program. And our programs aren’t successful because of large numbers or lots of giving. We rate success by a much more difficult metric, personal growth. It’s hard to quantify how many people grew closer to God through Family Week. But I can assure you that the preaching was encouraging, educational and edifying. This is the primary focus of the Apostles as they established the church. We count this week as a success and look forward to more growth through that arm of our program.
MAD week was another successful week this summer. Again not because we had great attendance from campers or at the show, or because we raised a lot of money. Those numbers are blessings and helpful to planning and execution in future years. But MAD week was successful because lives were changed and enriched through that program. It would be simple to say that only our students were affected by the MAD week program. But the staff also went through incredible growth and life changing experience during the week. We also had 70 people praying for the students, staff and program of MAD week. Something not previously tried. This was another area where God’s grace and love was abundant.
Last week was Junior week. There were multiple baptisms that were the result of a teen’s experience at camp. This is why we exist and why we do camp. Not to get kids to make an emotionally charged decision but to make a life altering one that they have prayed about and researched so they can count the cost.
This week is Beginner Week (3rd and 4th grade). Most of the staff are from across the bridge in the Severn area, and many of them have never served at DCSC. We are so excited to have them this week and to have them taking an active role in the camp. On one of the final nights of our season, we had a power outage, which doesn’t happen all that often. Our electric company is on top of it and is getting the situation resolved as I wrote this article. But the kids never lost their spirit of joy and fun even though they had to play Capture the Flag in the dark, the game has light up components to be played in the dark.
Sure things didn’t go smoothly all summer long. Yes, there were issues that arose or little hiccups here and there. But overall, this was a massively successful summer program. But it also all lies in how you define success. I walked into this year thinking we would fill every bunk and dunk a whole bunch of kids and families into Christ. And those are goals we hope to meet. But it is not failure when that goal isn’t reality. Our success is not defined by numbers but by experiences and growth.
Our hope is to continue to build on this year and improve not only the campground but also the program and our methods. We desire to make excellent what we have often settled for good enough. We desire to be a place that people come and experience Christ and then go home and tell their friends “come and see”. Our best advertising is testimony.
I am a changed life because of DCSC. I have drawn closer to God in my summer experiences than I have in most churches I’ve attended. I don’t mean to disparage any churches. But there is simply something different about being at camp and serving the Lord in the various capacities that I am allowed to serve. I hope your story is similar to mine and if you came to camp this season I hope you come back next season. But when you do, please tell your friends “come and see”.