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My 2012 Carol Joy Holling Camp Experience

As we gathered at church to get ready to go to my very first summer camp, I could not remember much about what was going on.  I was about to explode with so much excitement.  It seemed like everybody was taking too long to get ready and get started.  I wanted to get there as quickly as possible so that I can start having fun.

The last thing I remember doing before leaving was Pastor Merle praying for our safe trip to and from Carol Joy Holling Camp.  The trip was 3 hours each way.  To while up time during our long drive, we watched an episode of “Firelight” on DVD.

On Sunday, June 17th when we got to Carol Joy Holling Camp, we got settled in our cabins.  They gave us each a cupee and a bed!  To my surprise, our cabins had air conditioning!  Then we gathered in our villages and did some name games.  Then we had to think of our village name.  At first, everybody was quiet and shy, but after we got to know each other’s names we were worked together very well.  We selected our village name of Spiritual Smokin’ Smores!  After 2 days everybody forgot about the smokin’ part.  Our counselor’s name was Caitlin and she was very, very nice and always had a smile.  We had worship in the morning and in the evening.  On the first day, w attended an opening concert before dinner.  We sang a lot of very nice songs and here is one of my favorites; “Behold he comes riding, on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call.  So lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee, out of Zion’s hills salvation comes!!”

On Monday, June 18th we went horse-back riding.  Before getting on the horse we had to put on our gear which included; jeans, boots and a helmet. My horses name was Rocko and he did not take my directions very well and he was stubborn at times but otherwise, he was a good ride.

On Tuesday June 19th my village, the Spiritual Smokin’ Smores worked on a project for kids against hunger.  We packed a lot of food into boxes.  Too bad it lasted a short time because it was a lot of fun!  

On Wednesday June 20th we went on a horse trail.  What fun it was!  We did a practice trail course before going on the real trail.  Right after getting on the trail, some horses started trotting including mine!  After a little while, all the horses started following each other just like they were supposed to.  That night at worship my village did a skit about Gods kingdom being all around us.  In the skit, I played the part of an informer who told everybody that God’s kingdom is always around us no matter where we are.

On Thursday June 21st we did the high ropes and it was a lot scarier than I thought.  The first thing we had to do was put on a heavy harness and a helmet for safety.  After careful inspection of the heavy harness by the helper, it was time to climb up the ladder to the first stage and then climb up the pegs to the higher platform.  From there, we attached our harness to a metal cable and made our way carefully across while holding onto the harness, wood and ropes.  Finally, to get down we did the zip line to the helper who caught us and got us to the ladder.  From there we climbed down the ladder to the ground.  And life was good again on solid ground!!!   That night at worship we had smores.  MMM MMM MMM.  YUMMY IN MY TUMMY.  Also, that night we had to sleep outside.  There was a train station right by the camp.  All night long, there were trains going by and they whistled so loud that I could not sleep much.

Friday June 22nd was a very sad day for me.  I really did not want to leave because I wanted to stay and have more fun with my new camp friends.  I would love to go back to Carol Joy Holling Camp with PM and my conformation group anytime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you Pastor Merle for my first wonderful camp trip.

Shamiso Martha Siyakwazi

In 2012 we stayed close to home and got “down home” at Ranch Camp at Camp Carol Joy Holling in Ashland Nebraska.   Check out a camper’s experiences below in the essay by Shamiso.

In 2013 Confirmation Camp will return to High Adventure, but going to Sky Ranch Lutheran Bible Camp from June 8th to the 16th.    Sky Ranch is located at 9200 ft in the Roosevelt National Forest, just north of Rocky Mountain National Park.   It is a gorgeous setting to discover the love of God in the midst of creation.

For more information about Sky Ranch check out  The cost for Confirmation Camp is $340.00 if we get registrations in early.