By Natalie Romero
Since 1961, Pine Springs Ranch (PSR) has been a summer retreat for those looking to make new friends, try new things, and learn more about their Creator. During this year’s summer camp, which ranged from Cub Camp to Teen Camp and Family Camp, camp directors and attendees noted that the atmosphere was different from past years.
In June, PSR’s Family Camp was the largest group they had hosted in more than seven years. With more than 200 campers, Jeremy Cruz, summer camp director, had his hands full.
“We had to work extra hard,” he explained. “This camp is unique because campers of all ages are permitted to attend. We have some families who come every year, and they’re very welcoming and friendly with new families, so we’re doubly blessed.”
As the summer went on, Cruz noted that other summer sessions had new dynamics as well, particularly the Teen Camp.
“It was completely different this time,” said Cruz. “These teens have been coming to camp for several years, and now it felt more like Family Camp to us. These youth give me hope for the future of our church.”
Four campers were baptized during their summer sessions, choosing to make their public commitment at a place that is close to their hearts. An additional 439 campers indicated during worship sessions that they had decided to follow Christ.
“These are the choices that make camp an amazing investment in the spiritual growth of each child,” Cruz reaffirmed.
For Victor Diaz, 17, the summer spent at PSR was one full of new experiences. Diaz spent one week as a camper and another week as part of the volunteer training program.
“I always wanted to participate in staff activities,” said Diaz. “I wanted to make an impact on a child’s life, in the same way a staff member changed my life eight years ago.”
Diaz enjoyed the experience so much that he’s planning on returning next summer to work as a staff member.
“My favorite part was being there for God’s mission—learning how to be a leader and how to help those who need it.”