Reflections on Family Camp 2017

Family Camp was held July 15 – 22 at Summit Grove Camp, New Freedom PA which is located near the Pennsylvania/Maryland border. Family Camp is a partnership between the Camp and the Eastern PA and Mid-Atlantic Districts of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The camp staff did a wonderful job of hosting and the programming provided by the District was exceptional.

Ira Towns - Assistant to the District Superintendent Mid-Atlantic District, Terry Smith- Eastern PA District Superintendent and Jerry Mapstone - Summit Grove Camp Executive Director

Summit Grove Camp senior management team: Tammie Grove – cook, Jerry Mapstone – Executive Director, Andy Brokopp – Director of Facilities, Erica Brokopp – Director of Hospitality, Earl Peace – Director of Church Relationships, Cletis Bentz – Assistant Director of Grounds

We opened on Saturday in a casual manner as we gathered to visit and enjoy free hot dogs and ice cream sundaes. The Penny Loafer quartet strolled through the grounds entertaining the crowd before finishing the evening with a mini-concert in the open air tabernacle. Over 20 classic cars were on display. The theme was “Looking Like Jesus” and to illustrate the theme, an image of Jesus was painted on 6 panels and then erected as we worshipped in song. Attendance averaged 241 in the evening service, 97 in the morning Bible hour, 86 Global seminars, 46 for the Teen Ministry and 42 in the Kids program.

The Penny Loafers on the right near the tree

“Being transformed into His image” 2 Cor. 3:18

Mid-Atlantic District Superintendent, Rev. Doug Conley, spoke in the Sunday morning service. Eastern PA District Superintendent, Terry Smith participated in the services throughout the week with assistants Duane Stine leading the Program Team and Alan Rathbun leading the services and conducting interviews.

Rev. Neil Breneman effectively shared practical truths in the morning Bible hour and Dr. John Soper clearly communicated the Word of God as the evening speaker. Both focused on the theme of Looking Like Jesus with Neil reviewing different aspects of Christ ministry and John looking at God’s grace, David’s heart and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Duane Stine, Terry Smith, and Alan Rathbun

Neil Breneman and John Soper

Global Focus seminars were presented by missionaries Don and Sarah Jones and Amy Nehlsen. Jeff King, President of International Christian Concern, discussed the persecuted church. The seminar speakers shared with the teens and children and were the featured speakers at the Ladies Luncheon and Men’s Breakfast.

Don and Sarah Jones

Jeff King speaking at the Men’s breakfast

Rev. Bill Klees directed the Teen Ministry and a team from Toccoa Falls College led worship in the morning service.  The teens joined the adults in the evening service.

Pastor Ryan Clarke ministered to the Children through lessons, singing and science tricks in the morning and evening. The week wrapped up with the kids taking the stage during the adult evening service to sing.

Bill Klees with the teens

Ryan Clark with the children

Afternoons allow time to enjoy the pool and recreation opportunities such as walking or riding bikes on the rail to trial next to Camp or relaxing in the shade with family and friends.

This year’s Family Camp made an indelible impact and we invite you to join us in 2018. Family Camp will be held July 21 through July 28. We are pleased to announce the Evening Speaker will be Rock Dillaman. He has served for nearly 30 years as the lead Pastor at Allegheny Center Alliance Church in Pittsburgh. This urban ministry has an average attendance just under 3,000.

Summit Grove is located South of York PA and is conveniently located to serve both the Eastern PA District and Mid-Atlantic District.

Please introduce people to Family Camp by circulating this newsletter at your church, post it on your Facebook account and forward it to friends who may have an interest.

A Campers Perspective

“In the mid-1970's our family came to Summit Grove Camp. Our entire family got involved from being lifeguard, maintenance, kitchen, and nurse. It was a highlight for our family as we were fairly new believers and growing in our faith. My father, a lineman for Met-Ed at the time, was committed to helping put in the sewer line from the township and putting in the dusk to dawn lights. He served on the Summit Grove Committee. Mom, as camp nurse cared for whatever health needs came up and would also invite families back to our camper for a visit.

I remember very well attending Sr. High Camp and then later becoming a counselor for Sr. High Camp. Kids Camp, Jr. High Camp and Sr. High Camp brought kids in from PA, MD, and DE. Family Camp also offered ministries for kids and youth. We were invited to participate in these ministries to help and then to also sit in the big tab to hear the Word of God each evening. God touched our hearts often. There were meaningful decisions made to follow God in a deeper way and to obey Him no matter what the cost.”

Family Camp was a time when all the pastors and their families came in the entire district. This explained why the camp was packed and this populated the camp to overflowing and also encouraged everyone to come. There was a bookstore that came and set up for the week and special events and concerts throughout the week. Of course, the snack shack was always a gathering place as it is to this day.

Coming back to Summit Grove this past summer was a real treat for my parents, Morgan and Joyce Ilgenfritz and I. My folks just celebrated 60 years of marriage and spending time at family camp was a real highlight for them as they remembered the sweet times we had shared there as a family.

I personally thank the Lord for all the opportunities to share with the Alliance Family who have prayed for us in our work in West Africa with CMA for over 20 years, most recently at Dorcas House - Burkina Faso and now at Nyack College. We have felt the ongoing love and support of the Alliance EPA Family. Being at Summit Grove and sharing the Word of God together was as precious to me as always. God is so good and He is the Same, yesterday, today and always.

Thank you so much to the entire Summit Grove Family for the hard work to keep the Camp going and to keep making improvements so that we all can come and have this time of refreshment and renewal in body and spirit. We continue to pray God's richest blessings on Summit Grove moving forward.

Amy Nehlsen