The mid-states camping program is alive and well in 2014!
The first camp in the mid-states is Epworth Forest for our junior high age youth. The Rev. Jason Andersen will lead this year’s program, titled “Whom Shall I Fear?”
Tar Hollow Sr/Post High camp will be July 20-26. The 2014 Tar Hollow program, “Who’s Got Your Back?” will be led by Aaron and Tiffany Felty. The following week, July 28-August 1, will be Illiana camp for grades 2-5, led by the Rev. Christine Johnson.
The final camping experience in the mid-states for the summer of 2014 will be Camp Bethany for grades 3-5 campers in Ohio. Their program, “Christ’s Cavalry,” will be led by Emily Mock, Nate Conkle and Jocelyn Edie.
Now that you know a little about the midstates camping programs for 2014, I would like to share with you a story about how the camping ministry has influenced a young couple and their family since their camping days began back in 1987.
Adair and Erika Aumock were program leaders at Epworth Forest last year. When children, Adair was from Unionville, Mich. and Erika from West Salem, Ill. Their paths crossed when they met at Tar Hollow as campers in 1987. For the years they attended Tar Hollow they were in the same friendship circles that grew throughout their years there. The year following their last year as Tar Hollow campers their lives intersected again as they were both counselors at Epworth Forest. It was there that the “magic” happened, a “camp crush” turned into the “love of a lifetime.” They were married a year later and were blessed with two beautiful children.
At age 37, Erika was diagnosed with breast cancer and at 39 diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer. She and Adair fought this terrible monster together but not alone. You see, through their years together, starting as Tar Hollow campers, they had been making friends, reaching people, talking to them and bringing them into their lives. They had a network of Christian friends that now supported them, along with their strong and evident faith, as they battled against this terrible disease.
The summer of 2013 was a time of making memories for this young family. Erika had a “bucket list” of things she wanted to do. One of those things was to attend a presentation of “Trumpet in the Land” in the Tuscarawas Valley of Ohio. The weekend they planned to attend was also the weekend that the steel drum band from Grace Moravian in Queens, New York was performing along with steel drum bands from the Ohio Valley schools at Kent State University.
The Trumpet in the Land performance was cancelled due to rain but they were still able to meet the cast members and hear some of the story lines up close and personal with the cast members. Both at Trumpet in the Land and the drum performance Erika, Adair and the family were able to see many of their old camping friends. Some were friends they had remained in contact with and others whom they hadn’t seen in over a decade. They were amazed at how they reconnected and picked up their relationships as though they had stayed in regular contact all those years.
Thanks in part to the wonder of social media as well as old fashioned cards and notes this family received so much support and love not only from their blood families but also their “camp family,” as they battled cancer together.
Erika and Adair never lost faith! They knew God was in control and trusted Him to see them through. On March 1st, 2014, at the young age of 40 Erika lost her battle with cancer but won her eternal crown of glory.
I realize that the camping program isn’t the same for everyone. Not everyone finds their “life mate” there and not everyone even develops close friendships with other Christian people but I do know for some people it happens and can affect your life forever!
Jo Keller is a member of Hope Moravian Church in Hope, Indiana.