Happy New Year everyone!
Seasons come and seasons go and before you know it another year is over and all the wonderful adventures at camp start to fade into memories. Are you like me wishing that the year didn’t have to change so that all the summer fun could go on forever and all the adventures would never have to end? But the season is not meant to last forever and as the year comes to an, I am thankful that it isn’t really an end, but rather a short goodbye as we look ahead to this new year.
Now is the time for us to look back and reflect on the year that is in the past. How was your year? Did you get to come to camp in the summer? How did you see God in your life this year?
As a staff member at Rock-N-Water, when I think back on my year, fond memories of Rock-N-Water always fill my mind. Rafting, canyons, rock climbing, and campfires. Each of these moments will never grow old and I treasure them in my heart. I hope that you too have many fond memories of adventures filling up your mind.
This year was full of so many amazing opportunities and challenges for Rock-N-Water. Each year our camp faces new challenges and new obstacles. This year was no different. But all glory to God who is faithful. Each year God provides and this year we came through with so much to thank the Lord for and praise Him for. God has always been faithful in providing for our camp even amidst some of the hardest of times. The way God blesses this camp and comes through for us never ceases to amaze me. Praise the Lord!
But now that the year is over it is time for us to look back on all the ways God has provided and blessed us. So won’t you join me in taking a look back at this season at Rock-N-Water and many of the highlights and challenges we faced this year at camp.
Highlights and Challenges from 2021
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
49er Fun happened
Praise the Lord, 49er fun was able to happen! Last year, in 2020, the 49er fun season was basically nonexistent due to the Covid pandemic. This was shattering news for all of our 49er fun staff. We had shaky hopes about 49er fun being able to happen this year, but when spring came we had schools booking. Many schools even brought their 5th-grade classes who missed out on last year. What an amazing testimony to Rock-N-Water that the teachers didn’t want any of their students to miss out on coming to camp for the 49er fun program so they brought them the next year. If that’s not a praise, I don’t know what is! Even though we had a smaller season than we usually have for the 49er fun, the fact we still had one with all that is going on with Covid, was an answer to many prayers.
Surviving and Thriving amidst Covid
Sadly, Covid is not in the past yet. Each trip at camp had its risks and we still had many preventive practices in place to protect against Covid. Thankfully the Lord allowed us to stay open and run our camp even while the pandemic raged. We are looking forward to Covid officially being in the past but we continually send praise up to God for the ways He’s provided for this camp and allowed us to remain open each year.
Record-breaking numbers of Fun and Bucket Boats Galore!
God has continued to send His rain of blessing on this camp. We have been able to see the camp grow each year as more and more campers come. Staffing became a challenge on days when everyone was on the river, but God always came through and provided. It is a joy to see how the Lord is blessing Rock-N-Water and how He continues to cause this ministry to grow and reach more people. With all the growing numbers at camp and the water flow schedules, we had to pull out many old boats that were in storage. This meant that bucket boats were back in style!
Low water year survival
We have been praying hard for rain to get us out of this drought. No rain means low water, and low water means less fun. Thankfully we successfully survived another low water year! Each dry season means there are fewer river days and we have to be creative in coming up with adventures to do when the water is low. This year Funyaking during low flow became a new favorite with many of our campers. We are so thankful the Lord provided opportunities for fun and adventure amidst another low water year. But we are also praying hard for God to send rain to get us out of this draught and bring the water levels back up for next year (and it seems that God is in process of answering this prayer as I type this…).
Making the Cove as a Successful campground
If you didn’t know, Rock-N-Water also owns a small lot of land next to our main camp called – The Cove. The cove became a successful campground this year! After putting a lot of hard work into this place, we opened it up to the public as a campground. If you desire to have a fun camping trip the Cove offers a great location for private or individual camping trips. You have river access and access to an outdoor kitchen, what more could you want! Providing this option to campers has been an amazing way to bless more campers and help Rock-N-Water grow.
Safety from Local Wildfires and Smoke
Sadly, this year California has been suffering from many wildfires. Each summer we pray that God will keep our camp safe and protected from the fires. We are thankful that the Lord kept our camp safe from all the fires. A new challenge we did have to cope with this year was the amount of smoke in the air. Smoke makes working and adventuring outdoors difficult.
The Loss of a dear friend and Staff Member
The hardest and most unexpected challenge we faced this year was the death of one of our dear staff members – Mikha Benedictus. To know this young man was to know joy and the Lord. He was one of our new staff members this year but he was a quick learner and excelled in all the ways he served at camp. He loved the Lord and was always singing songs to the Lord. Shortly after he returned home from camp he was in a fatal accident. We don’t know why God takes away some of His children when they are so young and full of life still, but we do know that God doesn’t take away any of His children before their time. This dear friend and staff member is now in a better place, singing praises to our king. But he will always live on in each of us here at Rock-N-Water.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)
Farwell 2021 and onto 2022
And that’s a wrap. What a year it’s been, so much to praise God for and so much to pray for. God came through in so many amazing ways but we also had our share of hardships and struggles. We knew great success this year, but also great loss. As we look back on this year, we can say, God is faithful. He has been faithful and will always be faithful. Because of this, we can now look on ahead with bright hopes for next year and all that God will do for us in the summer of 2022!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)