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Drew Timmer
Director of ministries

Our Summer Staff are some of the greatest people I know! They give up their entire summer, to come bunk in cabins, stay up way too late, eat a lot of the same food all summer, play the same games, and sing the same songs each week -- just to joyfully and enthusiastically spread the Good News of Jesus to these young people each and every day.

Sometimes when I tell people what we do here, they respond with "I don't know how you guys do it!" -- and it's kinda true. It takes a special person to give what my staff do! What a commendable group of kingdom-minded high school and college age kids. It's pretty wild that I get to lead this team, and I can assure you, we're all giving our very best to create an excellent experience for these campers. So many of the kids say they love tubing on the lake, shouting out loud in worship, and many of our crazy camp games. We even have campers who are so upset to leave camp at the end of the week that they convince their parents to send them for a second one!!

WE LOVE THAT!

There are so many amazing things that happen here. God is working! And we LOVE that we get to be a part of the legacy of the faith He has been building at this awesome little 40-acre slice of heaven that is SON-LIFE CAMP!

Anyways, you gotta hear it all from the staff! They have the best stories, they were right on the front lines during an amazing God moment, and they get to see some of the powerful things He is doing in the campers' lives here.

Please continue to pray for us! I remind my staff always that the days are long, but the weeks go SO fast! So, we have to make the most of our limited time with these younsters -- helping them grow, trying out new things, and discovering more about Jesus and the incredible works He has done! And we can't do this successfully without communing with God who gives us the strength and endurance to make each day incredible for these kids!

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BEN BARTELS
OVERNIGHT CAMP PROGRAM ASSISTANT

SON-Life Camp is a very unique ministry. It isn’t the biggest camp around, and might not have top of the line equipment, but we have the best staff! Even better, Christ is so clearly at work here that campers consistently are saying their favorite part of camp was worship, personal connections, In The Word time, or Prayer Walk!

So much of it has to do with the commitment and intentionality our team takes in making this a very personal experience for our campers to meet with God.

No camper leaves SON-Life unknown!

And we cannot take the credit for this, it all comes back to God’s faithfulness to us. Every staff member has a raw, specific story of God’s great work in our lives, and it’s our main priority here for our campers to see Christ (and have fun in the process!).

God is at work at SON-Life Camp & Retreat Center!

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Allie Bartels
Co-COUNSELOR/Photographer

Hello! I’m Allie Bartels, a co-counselor/photographer at SON-Life Camp. This is my third summer working here. Last summer I purchased a journaling Bible. I’ve challenged myself to write on every page. I pulled it out at waterfront in front of my day campers. I was asked so many questions. Their curiosity and childlike faith made my heart so happy.

This summer is already way different than any other. I’m on the teaching team, and I was given the opportunity to lead a message. Focusing on Awe and Wonder, each week I can remind the campers of their value and purpose. I finish it with the phrase. “Always remember who you are and whose you are.” This has been a constant reminder I’ve needed, and I’m so glad I get to share it.

God is truly working here. Not only through the campers, but as well as us staff members. Prayer for our ministry and encouragement is always appreciated. I love SON-Life, and you will too!

 
 
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SETH VERBURG
COUNSELOR

Hi, my name is Seth Verburg and I am a counselor this summer at SON-Life Camp. This Summer already has been such a blessing. I have had three of my campers come up to me and my fellow staff members and accept Christ into their lives for the first time.

There have been so many new and returning campers this year that have experienced the love of Jesus through this camp and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

Please pray that God will continue to pour into the staff so we can pour into the campers here, and pray that their hearts turn to Him.

 
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EMILY VLIETSTRA
C.I.T.

This Summer I was given the opportunity to be a part of the staff here as a Counselor-In-Training. I started coming here since Day Camp and the environment here is always so welcoming. That was part of the reason I wanted to work here. The other reason was that I wanted to have the kind of relationship I had with my previous counselors, this year.

One of the major God moments I’ve had this Summer so far was having my first one-on-one Personal Connection. I was very nervous that I would mess up, but it went very smoothly and I got to grow closer to one of my campers.

I’m very grateful that I got to take hold of an opportunity like this to make my Summer feel worthwhile.

 
 
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EMILY GORMAN
SENIOR COUNSELOR

My favorite moment from this summer happened during Junior Escape II. We were at prayer walk and Ben had just opened the floor for campers to accept Jesus into their lives.

One of my campers came up to me and told me about how she had been angry with God for allowing bad things to happen to her family. After going through Prayer Walk, she didn’t feel mad anymore.

This camper re-accepted Christ into her life, and it was one of the best nights of my life.

 
 
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JOHNATHAN CLARK
COUNSELOR IN TRAINING

One of the cool things SON-Life is up to is how we treat our kids. We treat them with positive attitudes so they have fun and want to come back again next year.

One God moment I saw this Summer was how much fun these campers have. There was one camper that said she went to another camp and they treated her horribly, then she came to SON-Life and said we treated her awesomely.

I think one thing you guys can do is just pray that these kids have fun and that they come back again next year!