The Northern Plains and South Central Classes got together for their annual Heidelberg Youth Camp July 22–26, at Camp Bob Marshall in the Black Hills of South Dakota. On display this year at camp was love. HYC 2013 will be remembered as the year of love.
You are probably asking yourself “why is that?” Well, our new director, as nominated by the unified camp committee of both classes, will be Elder Matthew Fickbohm from Pierre, SD, who just a few months ago was married to Heather Knock. Both were long-time campers and counselors, and they have tied the knot, thanks in part to the love that is like oxygen at Camp Bob Marshall. And what a better way for Mr. Fickbohm to start the reign as camp director than for a proposal and engagement to occur right at camp! That is right. This year Anthony Kauk of Eureka, SD proposed marriage to Ramona Huntimer of Brookings, SD. Anthony and Ramona were long-time campers, and this year Ramona was serving as a counselor and Anthony was helping out as an assistant cook in the kitchen. Rev. Morris aided in providing the occasion for the proposal. And she did say yes, so it was a memorable event for all at camp.
But wait, there is more! As important and wonderful as marriage is, the even greater love of the Lord Jesus Christ was on display as well as the campers prepared for the wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride, the church, by learning about the solemn privilege of worship. The camp theme was “Called to Worship,” and the campers learned the parts of the worship service as well as the purpose of worship. They were taught about the purpose of worship, the call to worship, the salutation, the benediction, singing, creeds and Scripture, preaching, and giving and offering. Both junior and senior campers went through these parts of the worship service so that they might participate in worship with greater understanding and give to the Lord the honor and glory that is due His high and holy name. They were also given the opportunity to put their knowledge to work during the two worship services at camp. Rev. Jimmy Hall of Herreid, SD, brought the first message from Revelation 4, and Rev. John Blair of Greeley, CO, brought the second message from Psalm 96.
The love of God was also seen in His providential provision of daily bread, a tender mercy not to be overlooked. Rev. Travis Grassmid and his wife Charity, along with a group of wonderful men and women, ran the kitchen and provided us with food that helped you forget that you were at a camp. The food included BBQ pork that came from a smoked pig, and of course, my personal favorite food… bacon. A word of thanks must be inserted here, because this was made possible by the generous donations of pig, hamburger meat, paper products, and money from many churches. Thank you for your help. It was appreciated by all. These donations not only helped fill our stomachs, but they also kept the cost of camp down considerably.
Last, but not least, brotherly love was present as well. The fellowship among the campers was a blessing. Whether it was on the lake as they canoed, in the cabins, during the Heidelberg Cup competition, while they made crafts to take home, or at play in the field and among the games, it was wonderful to see and be reminded that, although we are spread out from North Dakota to Wyoming to Nebraska, we are still united by one faith, one Lord, and one God and Father who is over all and in all. Amen. This brotherly love was also on display as the counselors rallied to win the annual volleyball game coming from behind to win 3 games to 2. Despite this soul-crushing defeat dealt to the campers, the counselors showed grace and mercy and did not rub their faces in their utter failure. There was also a football game.
Hopefully, as the campers returned to their families and their churches, they were filled with the love of God and the Word of Christ. It is my solemn prayer that one day they will grow in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, grow up in every way into Him who is the head into Christ, and become the consistent joy-filled worshipers of Christ that God intends them to be.
Rev. Lee Johnson