There are a lot of places you could go this summer. You could travel to New York, the city that never sleeps, or to a quaint New England town. You could hop a plane to L.A. and hob nob with celebrities; hitch a ride to Omaha, Nebraska for a taste of Americana; or take a bus to Washington, D.C. and try to change the world.
May I offer an alternative for your consideration? Come to the top of the mountain at Laurel Ridge.
Now there aren’t any bright lights like the big city (unless you count the soft glow of a waning campfire or the dusky Milky Way visible among the millions of stars on a clear night); and there aren’t any celebrities (unless you consider some of the “lifers” who can still recall the days when Laurel Ridge was just a dream in some Moravians’ hearts). There isn’t a charming old general store (unless you amble over to the Canteen for a sweet treat on a hot summer day); and there are no politicians to lobby for change (only the change you will see in yourself and those around you as you experience the grace of God that is inexplicably ever-present at this magical place).
There is something for everyone here; two day camps for children completing first and second grade, week-long camps for youth who have completed grades 3-12, and an extended weekend retreat for college students. We rely on volunteers to counsel each of these camps, so there are plenty of opportunities for adults to get involved and enjoy a week on the mountain as well.
Eco Camp (grades 3-5) offers a special emphasis on the environment, where campers are introduced to the beauty of nature and joyfully taught that the ìEarth is the Lord’s, and everything in it!î Older campers have the chance to venture out into the high country and get their hands dirty at our new Eco Mission Camp (grades 6-12). Applying the lessons of Eco Camp, they will work with park rangers on various environmental care ventures.
Youth groups are welcome to attend our traditional Mission Camps (grades 6-12 with adult leaders). Groups are assigned project sites where they will work to repair decks and fences, build ramps, clean windows, and clear brush for some of our less fortunate neighbors in Ashe and Alleghany counties. The true construction occurs in participants’ hearts as they build relationships with the community and realize their potential as instruments of God’s love.
When all the work is said and done, there are new kayaks for the lake and an exciting addition of nine holes of disc golf that meander around the edge of summer camp, providing the opportunity to play with friends in new ways this summer.
Finally, we will conclude the camping season by inviting the whole family to return to Family Camp Weekend in September – an occasion to recall the memories that were made in the dog days of summer and recapture those feelings one last time before the leaves change.
There may be an endless list of places you could visit this summer but I urge you to put us at the top of your list; because while you can’t get to heaven across the Brooklyn Bridge, I heard you might just have a chance crossing the dam at Laurel Ridge. Visit Laurel Ridge online: www.laurelridge.org.