Happy 50th, Chestnut Ridge!
It's our Golden Anniversary...my first! In 1959, Chestnut Ridge opened it's gates to the very first summer campers. They stayed in covered wagons called hogans and cooked out every meal on a campfire at their site. They hiked and explored, sang songs and played games. And, although our accommodations have changed, much of the original vision of Chestnut Ridge remains.
Worship continues to tie us together - summer to summer, year after year - songs of praise lifted by the lakeside to the tune of a guitar, prayers sung boisterously at meal times, and lives transformed by the love of Jesus Christ.
Activities remain primarily human-powered. In a world where technology (like writing blogs!) and entertainment (I just watched the new Harry Potter movie) dominate much of our lives, camp remains a place where people provide the primary energy for activities - just ask the campers after an evening of capture the flag or an afternoon on the lake toys! Rather than expecting to be entertained, we learn to entertain ourselves. People power our entertainment at the weekly talent show and at joke time. Our activities focus on getting outdoors, rather than staying in. Camp is about forming the inside, outside. By living and playing together, people connect with each other and build strong relationships based on shared experience.
Our goal remains the same as our predecessors: to know and love God. I pray that in our Golden Age, we grow as a place of hospitality, we continue practicing thoughtful care for creation, and we provide meaningful fellowship in such a way that God's love is visible to the world. That kind of visible love transforms lives and gives real hope to all. A toast: "To the next 50 years!"