Mountain Top Experiences that Last

“It is not just a great mountain top experience, it is practical for the challenges of daily life throughout the year.”

Nine-year-old Kelsey Bocher arrived at Eagle Lake Camps for her first camping experience, eager to meet new friends and participate in fun activities. Along with the friends and fun, Kelsey was deeply impacted in her spiritual life. Her counselor, Jessica, didn’t think that 9 years old was too young to have a deeper relationship with God. So Jessica got up extra early every morning and taught Kelsey how to read the Bible and connect with Jesus. Kelsey realized that she could have her own personal relationship with God, rather than just follow along with her parents’ faith.

Each year, the layers of spiritual growth have continued for Kelsey, who is now a junior in college. She has been at Eagle Lake Camps every year except 2012 (the year a forest fire forced camp to close) and 2013. She was mentored by counselors and friends, and when she was in high school she knew she wanted to invest in others in the same way. Summers volunteering on crew, as a counselor, and now as a program coach have brought Kelsey the full Eagle Lake experience.

For Kelsey, camp was not just a great way to spend some time in the summer; it impacted her life all year. “The lessons of Eagle Lake Camps stayed with me. It is not just a great mountain top experience, it is practical for the challenges of daily life throughout the year.”

She distinctly remembers a campfire talk where all the girls were gathered together. “I loved campfire night with just the girls. One year Debbie, our speaker, shared about our identity in Christ. She inspired us to think about how precious and valuable we were as young women, how God loved us. Her message inspired confidence. As an adolescent when I faced worldly messages and insecurities, I was able to stand on that truth, which was embedded in my heart at a young age.

“When I was a counselor, I shared that same message with the young girls in my cabin—so they would know that God delights in them. Now, as a program coach, I get to pour into the counselors who are serving the campers, to equip them for their life-changing investment in the campers.”

Along with understanding her value in Christ, Kelsey has grown in her eternal perspective through lessons learned at camp. She shares, “One year a speaker talked about wearing EPGs: Eternal Perspective Glasses. That message stuck with me. Even now when I face a challenge in life, I stop and think about the eternal perspective. This is just one example of the great teaching of Eagle Lake Camps and how it has impacted me for years.”

One of Kelsey’s many special moments at Eagle Lake Camps came when she was on crew in 2011. She had fully committed her life to following Jesus and wanted to be baptized. Her parents came up to the camp from their home in Denver, and Kelsey was baptized in the lake surrounded by her family and camp friends. It was fitting that this step in her spiritual journey occurred at Eagle Lake Camps, given the role the camp has played in her lifelong growth.

With summer after summer of growth, Kelsey has a strong faith foundation that now pours out into the lives of others who come through the archway at Eagle Lake Camps for the first time and experience both fun and living faith. It’s a mountain top experience that lasts.

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