Friday, December 15, 2017

Camping Christmas Gift Guide

If you're still looking for gifts for your family and friends who love to camp, we've got you covered! Whether you're shopping for experienced campers, or those just starting out, we've put together a list of gift ideas that are sure to inspire!

Bonus: Using the links below to shop will help to support the ministry of SBC!

1.     KAVU RopeSling Bag: Sling bags are all very popular right now! They allow you to carry a substancial amount of things without the shoulder pain a regular backpack can bring. The KAVU sling bag also unclips at the bottom of the strap, allowing it to be easy to put on and take off. They are also available in a variety of different sizes!

2.     Yes4AllLightweight Camping Hammock: A camping trip is not complete without a slew of colorful hammocks strung across the trees. However, many hammocks are very expensive. But this durable and less expensive hammock not only comes in many different colors, but it has the option of buying it in the single or a double. It also comes with it’s own straps! It is small, lightweight, and compact. Take your camping experience to the next level with a ready-to-go hammock that will bring some color and adventure to your campsite!
3.     VictorinoxSwiss Army Tinker Pocket Knife: This gadget allows for the luxury of many unique tools in one sleek design. This knife comes in an array of different colors and three different sizes allowing you to be able to customize to your needs! It is stainless steal and has 12 different functions to tackle all your camping needs.
4.     CORE 9Person Instant Cabin Tent: This tent allows for up to 9 people to enjoy a camping experience! Although this is one of the more expensive items on the list, the average rating on this tent is 4.5 stars, making it one of the highest rated tents on Amazon! This tent can fit two queen air mattresses and comes with a room divider, adjustable ground vent, wall storage pockets, rain fly, and electrical cord access port! This sent comes with all the necessities that you will need when tent camping!

5.     AmazonBasics Pop-Up Canopy Tent: This 10 x 10 foot tent canopy is an Amazon Best Seller! If you are looking for a canopy to keep you out of the sun or the rain, this is the product for you! It is built with a steal frame with a high ceiling for maximum headroom and many other features to make your outdoor camping experience pleasant!
6.     SoundAsleepDream Air Mattress: For those of you who love glamping, or love camping but have trouble sleeping on the ground, this product is for you! This queen size air mattress is not only durable and allows for full back support, but it includes an internal air pump! So there is no more hassling with bulky air pumps! This air mattress is also water proof and comes with a carry bag!

7.     Abco TechSleeping Bag: This inexpensive sleeping bag allows for a comfortable and warm camping experience for all 4 seasons! This sleeping bag allows for maximum comfort with its wide shoulder space and narrow leg space. This sleeping bag makes sleeping in temperatures as cold as 20 degrees Fahrenheit a pleasant experience. This is also a lightweight sleeping bag, avoiding extra weight in your suitcase or backpack!

8.     MultimatCamper II Mat: For those who don’t quite need an air mattress, but want some back support, sleeping mats are an essential! This mat has a thick foam core, allowing for maximum comfort! It also includes a stuff sack for sleek and easy travel!

9.     Hikenture4-1 Camping Utensil: This small and useful item can be a great stocking stuffer! This is a 4-1 tool which includes a knife, fork, spoon, and bottle opener, these are all detachable! It is stainless steel and very durable. It also comes in 6 different colors with a storage case!
10.  LED Tactical Flashlight: This 2-pack flashlight set is unique. It comes with many different settings! You can adjust the beam from wide to narrow and 5 adaptable settings (high, medium, low, strobe, SOS). This aluminum design allows for the flashlights to be both shock resistant and water resistant. These flashlights are not only sleek and practical, but is built with many unique functions.

11.  3 or 1 Pack Merino Wool Hiking Socks: These unisex hiking socks come in a variety of different colors! You can also specify if you want 1 pair or 3 pairs. These socks are made with natural anti-bacterial properties to keep your feet warm and dry! They are durable and allow for maximum foot support. These socks are an essential for camping, anytime of the year!

12.  Hydro Flask Water Bottle: These 4.5 rated water bottles can keep hot liquids hot for up to 6 hours and cold liquids cold for up to 24 hours. Hydro Flasks are non-toxic and BPA free. They are stainless steel, has a double-wall vacuum, and has no-sweat technology. They can come in 14 different colors and can accommodate many different caps!

13.  Yodo Collapsible Soft Cooler Bag: This cooler bag is rated 4.5 stars. This cooler is built with a waterproof canvas and an interior aluminum lining. It also includes padded handles and a shoulder strap for easy convenience. It is 25L allowing you to pack everything you need for your trip. It finishes off with outer pockets to carry utensils or other essentials. It also comes in two different colored striped designs. 

14.  4 x COLEMAN Camping Outdoor Chairs: These camping chairs are perfect for your camping experience! They come with a built in 4 can cooler, a mesh cup holder, side pockets, and a cushioned seat/back. It is versatile and practical. These chairs come in a pack of four, allowing for your whole family to enjoy your camping experience to the next level. They come in a variety of 4 different colors.

15.  Amazon Essentials Men’s Long-Sleeve FlannelShirt: No camping experience is complete without wearing a flannel. Flannels are versatile, warm, and can go with any outfit. Even though this flannel is specifically a men’s flannel, the bigger and roomier fit can be extremely comfortable for women as well. So whether you are throwing it over a tee-shirt or tucking it into a pair of jeans, flannels are an essential when camping. And this flannel comes in 11 different colors and 5 different sizes!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

5 Things Your Child’s Camp Counselor Wants You To Know

We're finishing up staff training this week, and are excited for our campers to arrive! This article was written by SBC staffer Emily Burrill (pictured on the right). Emily is qualified to share what camp counselors want you to know, because . . . well, she is one. She is beginning her second summer as a counselor on our staff. She's a camper favorite, and after spending a few minutes with her, it's easy to see why!

1. "We are qualified."

Yes, the counselors look young. Some counselors even get mistaken for the campers. Even though they look young, they are very qualified.

Long before the campers come, the counselors are there. They move in and begin to bond with the staff, giving them the opportunity for spiritual and social balance and support throughout the summer. From there, they learn everything about camp and about campers. They learn every single activity inside and out. They have numerous training sessions involving the personal aspect of camp. They learn about the differences of age groups, how to lead bible studies, the importance of one-on-one conversations, and how to convey the heart of the Gospel to all age groups.

They are also trained to act in emergency situations. They are CPR certified, many of them carry around face masks in the happenstance of needing it for respiration purposes. They are trained on how to deal with blood and injury. They are trained on how to act if there is mention or suspicions of abuse or neglect. They know how to deal with even the tiniest of emergencies, boo-boos, bed wetting, and meltdowns. They are all trained in aquatic observa

tion and watch out for your children on the beachfront. On top of all that, many of them have either worked at camp before or have worked with children. They are familiar with the random situations they may come upon while working with kids.

So, the point. They may look young, but they are more than capable. If you have any concerns or questions when dropping off your child at camp about training or their qualifications, ask the counselors! They would love to fill you in.

2. "We LOVE Jesus."

These counselors LOVE JESUS. Many of the counselors are ministry majors, or want to work in ministry at some point in their life. This is not just a summer of "showing Jesus" to people. It's hands on experience for the rest of their lives.

One of the very cool things about camp counseling is the selfless attitude of all the counselors. These college kids give up their time, money, and summer to pour into kids and show them Jesus. They are in this job because they LOVE kids and they LOVE Jesus.

On the weekends, they may share their testimonies with each other. When they are overwhelmed during the week, they pray for each other. They study the word while in community. They sing out Christian music in the car while running into town for more camp supplies.

These counselors love Jesus. It's the reason they're are all at camp. They were called by Him, so they went. And at camp, they are continually blessed by Him. Their goal is to spread that love, blessing, and joy of Christ to your children. They want them to embrace the gift that He has given them so they can experience this life in His light.

Just as Jerry Jacoby states, "The Gospel Means Good News," and the counselors' passion is to show that, because they really, really, really love Jesus.


Last summer, the counselors would say a specific line to each other. With joy in their eyes and the brightest smile on their faces, they would proclaim, "We get paid for this!" They get paid to love on kids and to show them Jesus. That’s the dream. They love every part of the job. Many of the staff from last year returned because they not only loved the children and loved spreading the Gospel, but they loved the camp environment.

These counselors are basically oversized children. They love to wear crazy & bright clothes on wacky Wednesday. They love tubing & playing in the water just as much as the kids do. When they get to play Gold Rush or Crud Wars, it is never a burden, but the highlight of their week. They love to run around bare-foot, let the campers dress them up in weird clothes and do ridiculous skits during skit night, and clean up a bloody nose of a camper in the middle of the night.

These counselors LOVE their job and yes, they really do get paid to have fun all day, spread the word of God, and love on kids.

4. We are human.

These counselors are human. The counselors are very qualified, but sometimes they get tired. They get sick. They get too competitive during Gold Rush. Their patience wears thin. They get overcome with exhaustion. They have the urge to be selfish. They aren't perfect.

Fortunately, we have plenty of support staff to step in and help them when they need a break, advice or a helping hand. But . . . they still need your prayer.

They need prayer to support them in moments when they feel like giving up. They need the guidance of the Lord in situations that are tricky and over their heads. They need strength when they feel weak. They need energy on Wednesday afternoon when the exhaustion begins to set in. They need patience and gentleness to remember that Gold Rush is just a game and not an opportunity to win.

Yes, these counselors are human. They might mess up and not know what to do. But this is why they need prayer and support. They will be doing everything they can to be your child's superhero. And God will fill in all the gaps in which they fall short.

5. We LOVE your kids.

These counselors love your kids. They have such a huge passion for youth and children's ministry. They not only want to spread the wonderful news of Jesus to your kids coming to camp, but they want to love them, fiercely.

During the months and moments before the campers even arrive, the counselors are loving them. They are taking the time to be trained to know all the situations they might acquire when working with each specific age group. They are learning to connect with the campers. They are getting pumped up to meet their cabin. Some counselors spend the months before praying intensely, for not only the campers that they have had, but the campers that they will have. Why? Because they LOVE your kids. When camp finally arrives, the counselors go crazy. They are so excited (and nervous) to meet their campers. They begin to form intentional relationships with your kids, getting to know the person you've created. They marvel at their camper’s maturity, quirks, interests, and beautiful, God given traits. They hear heart wrenching stories and celebrate in the exciting, life-changing moments. The roller coaster that your child starts at the beginning of camp, gives them just as much a thrill and spiritual fullness to the counselor as the camper. They pour every single thing they have into your kids. Why? Because they LOVE your kids.

When camp ends, their lives are changed. Not only because of the movement of Christ throughout the summer, but because of your children. Some counselors have journals, filled with quotes, stories, and life-changing moments that they experienced through their campers. They hang up pictures with their campers on their walls and pray for them every night. They bring the memories and legacies of these campers everywhere they go, letting other people experience the joy and Christ-moments of their campers. Many people firmly believe that camp can change a camper’s life. However, what people don't tend to think about is that a camper can drastically change the life of a counselor.

Your kids may lack wifi, their own beds, and familiarity at camp, but they do not lack being loved.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Under Pressure

In October, our staff realized there was something amiss with the water pressure in the Cedar Center. An investigation revealed that the oldest well pump on the camp (the one that serves the Cedar Center and surrounding facilities) had given out.

Failed attempts to remove and replace the 50 plus year old pump, along with new DEQ regulations, made it clear that we needed a new well. When all was said and done, the cost of this project would be $14,000 . . . an expense we had not anticipated.

As news about this need spread, all but $400 of the funds necessary for the project were raised within a matter of days. We were once again in awe of how God provided through the faithful support of SBC friends.

The new high production well is almost 200 feet deep and delivers over 50 gallons per minute of water at 50 pounds of pressure.  The new well was drilled in the flower bed on the lake side of the Cedar Center.