Since I was going into first grade I have been going to a summer camp in Van, TX called Sky Ranch. This fact is not out of the ordinary, I used to live in Dallas and love sleep away camp. As I got older I continued going and even when I moved to Ohio I flew down to Texas to go to camp. This past year, my 10th year at camp, I was finally old enough to work at Sky Ranch as a lifeguard- hence my earlier posts about camp. The camp in Texas is for kids ages 6-16ish (they do it by grade not age, so ages can vary). Once you are an older camper at Sky Ranch they have what they call leadership camp which is for kids who want to go deeper in their relationship with Christ and be pushed further versus some of the other kids who are just learning about Christ for the first time. For kids in 6th-8th grade it's called Morph, for kids 9th-10th grade it's called Quest, and for kids 11th-12th grade it's called Sigma. Morph and Quest are still held at the camp in Texas, although that may change soon and the kids in Quest may also be in Colorado, but for the most part only Sigma gets to go to Colorado and camp is two weeks instead of the typical one week. Sigma is kind of a big deal at Sky Ranch; you have to be invited and it is the center of what Sky Ranch aims to do which is create well prepared and devoted Christians. We all meet at camp in Van and then take busses to Sky Ranch Ute Trail which is in Powderhorn, Colorado. From there the adventure begins.
I must say that even getting to go to Sigma was basically a miracle for me. Like I said, I worked in Texas at Sky Ranch for six weeks, and at the beginning of the summer I was still on a wait list to get into Sigma. There were so many kids that wanted to go and because I didn't preregister early enough, all the spots were full. So going was pretty much out of the question. Camp itself is really expensive, then I have to get a plane ticket, figure out a bunch of logistics, yada yada yada, and I was on the wait list so it just wasn't going to happen. On top of this earlier in the year like in March/April I applied to go to precollege at NYU. It would be a six week program that started right when I got back from lifeguarding. I applied and was accepted! My parents told me that if I got in I could go, and I had gotten in, so let's go! But then the harsh reality set in that during the whole process of applying to precollege I had gotten my acceptance letters to boarding school and with that we also received the financial aid decisions as well. I didn't receive any financial aid to the school that I wanted to go to, so paying another $7,000 for precollege wasn't looking too good. So they nixed that. But four weeks into working in Texas, I got off the waitlist for Sigma. Without questioning it or anything they signed me up. Even though I still went to the Journalism Conference (which was expensive and I wasn't going to go to if I went to precollege) they signed me up for camp, meaning, it all probably cost only a little less than what precollege was going to cost in the first place. Anyway, long story short, it was totally the Lord wanting me to be at Sigma. I know there will be people who read this and think I'm crazy, but I know my Lord and He wanted me to grow in a community of amazing Christians like there are at Sigma. So it all worked out, much better than could ever have been expected.
Sigma is a tight knit group of people, they take about 70 kids and we spend two weeks with each other, ensuring that everyone truly knows everyone. Some of the amazing things we got to do included kayaking in lakes surrounded by mountains, zip lining, climbing a mountain and spending the night on the top, and just getting to be in a really cool and different place. Aside from the fun activities that ensued, the main purpose of this is for us to grow closer in our relationship with Christ. Sigma is the cream of the crop as you could say when it comes to Sky Ranch. Most of us have gone to camp since we were really young and plan on staying involved in Sky Ranch by working there or at least being a strong advocate of its ministry. Being in Sigma our mission verse is 2 Timothy 2:4-6
"No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor's crown without competing by the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive his share of the crops."
From this we learn that we are soldiers, athletes, and famers of Christ. We do not become corrupted by the world and what those around us say, we persevere like soldiers to please only the Lord. We are not unlawful in the way we live life, abiding by the rules put forth around us like athletes. And we are hardworking like farmers, cultivating a crop of fellow Christians, and we will be first in the Kingdom of Heaven.
In Bible study we studied many more things than just this, but this is Sigma life verse you could say. Our daily Bible study was focused around learning the names of God, which at first could sound remedial to someone who goes to church and has been to a Christian school, but it was actually very interesting. We read a lot of scripture, there was never a moment where there wasn't scripture to confirm what our small group leader was teaching us, which was cool and also convicting because it isn't just some college student telling you these things, it is literally God screaming in your face with His word. Anyway, yeah, it was really great. I met so many amazing people and it was the perfect way to close the summer and leave Sky Ranch one last time before next year. As my usual blogging style goes, here are some pictures from camp.
|Made it to the TOP|
|At the top with my small group!|
|Hanging out at the lunch rest spot|
|5:00 A.M sunrise|
|Another moment at the top, during the sunrise|
|Our kayaking spot|
|A moment at the barn dance with my lifeguard coworker and amazing friend Victoria|