As we enter into November and a time of thankfulness I am reminded that it is still a hard time for many. We are coming up on the two year anniversary of losing my brother Chris. I know for many there are unwanted anniversaries coming up. The holiday season can also be a very difficult time for many even without an unwanted anniversary. Isn't that the life challenge, balancing the realities of the struggles many if not all go through but also knowing there is much to be grateful for in this life? At least, that defines me most days at this time of year.
It was six months ago we welcomed our first campers to Camp Christopher. What a journey we have experienced with this place and the people that it has connected us to. If you have a few hours I could share a multitude of stories and the overabundance of blessings we have received from the people connected to Camp Chris. We have done some physical things for sure like putting in a new shed, cleaning up the site, new firepit, picnic table, screened gazebo, electricity and lots of supplies in the shed to help everyone have a positive experience. Those are just physical things - the heart of this has been the people. I can honestly say every single person who has stayed there, volunteered there, donated, prayed and been a part of this journey have made a positive impact on the experiences of others. Esther and I have shed many tears sharing the stories that have been shared with us. Sometimes those are tears of joy and sometimes tears of sadness. All the tears have made us better people.
We want to say a heartfelt thank you to all. I'd love to list all the partners in this camp but I know I would miss someone and I'd hate to do that. So please, you know who you are, accept our thanks. You have become family for us. I find myself anxiously waiting for the next summer to arrive so we can continue to build these bonds. This place has a special feel, vibe, spirit, something to it. I believe that with all my heart and we experience it every time we get the opportunity to go there. Our cups are overflowing thanks to you. We have received far more than we can give and for that I am thankful.
Next year, yep, we're going to continue this next year. We plan on opening up reservations in January. There may be a new reservation system but that is yet to be seen. Either way we will get it taken care of somehow. We are planning on providing the option of letting those who reserve offer the opportunity to have another group stay at the camp as well at the same time. You can opt in for this or simply keep the reservation as is if you need the space for your own healing, hoping, growing. We are also hoping to get Hawthorne Rd and the driveway fixed up for a little less exciting entry into camp. Please let us know of other ideas you have to enhance the experience at Camp Christopher. We have loved the painted rock tributes and hope that continues to grow in the future. We will need firewood for the season so if you or someone you know could help us with that it would be greatly appreciated. While we are happy to pay, a donation would even be better! Keep your eyes open on the website and/or Facebook page for updates and please share your stories at those sites if you feel comfortable doing so. Look for an opening of camp picnic and cleanup date in April/May depending on what winter has in store for us.
Last, please take care of yourself. I'm going to put my phone number below if you need someone with a listening ear. I am not a counselor but can listen. I also have many resources to connect you to if needed. You are important, you are loved and you are worth being a part of our world. Please take that to heart and when in doubt, call a friend, call me, connect with someone to get you through those dark moments.