By Tracey Brown, Potosi Pines Camp Director

Deep belly laughter echoed off the Twin Peaks and down the canyon; the kind that hurts your stomach muscles and brings tears of joy to your eyes.  The entire camp was delighting in this perfect moment.  “Mike” is over 6 feet tall, and as is typical of many 16-year-old boys he is all arms and legs.  When he decided to hula-hoop for the first time in his life, the entire Sr. High Camp paused to watch his crazy dance.  It was a full body effort! He could not stay in one place; his tall, lanky form twitched, shuffled, and thrashed down one length of the dining hall porch and back again.  He was delighted with the laughter and the encouragement as he tried and tried to master the task; it truly became a team effort as the whole camp encouraged him on.  He never did quite get it, but he and the whole group so enjoyed his attempt.  It was one of my favorite memories of summer 2018.

Although “Mike” may never win a hula-hoop contest, he did win our hearts.  He and his older brother are in foster care and came to camp for the very first time this summer.  The boys have lived in many homes over their lives, and both seemed to feel a sense of urgency as they approach “aging out” of foster care when they turn 18.  Their Case Worker shared that just before camp started they had been placed in a new and unique home, with older parents who had come out of “retirement” to help these boys. It was these new foster parents that helped get both boys to Potosi Pines, thanks to the scholarship funds the Children’s Service Guild donates for foster children to attend.  Both boys initially shared they were anxious about how they might fit in at church camp, but they quickly realized it was a place of love and acceptance.  Potosi became a place where these brothers could laugh, play, learn, and grow; putting aside the stress and worries of their lives for a few joyful days.  They felt the love of God and found a new sense of hope. This is camp at its very best.

That is just one of the many blessings that came from this wonderful anniversary year of celebration.  We have been blessed to look back at the power of so many amazing volunteers, people of vision and heart who have created a space where children in foster care can come to play and be kids for a few days.   Because of you and others like you who believe in the power of this place we continue to be a blessing to “Mike” and many others.

It is an exciting moment here at Potosi, as we celebrate 60 years of fulfilling our mission to “renew lives” and look forward to 60 more with great promise and possibility.  This year our leaders have worked to develop a master plan of exciting new initiatives that will help guide our operations and facility improvements for the next few decades. Our leadership team is now prayerfully considering how we begin to move on these big dreams at Potosi Pines Camp.  With your support, we know we can make a lasting impact.  We are asking all those who believe in this place, who know first-hand how God moves in unique ways here and how important it is, to come along side us and help us to move boldly forward.  Your year-end, tax deductible gift to Potosi will help us ensure that we can even more effectively continue to be a safe, loving, and accepting place for hundreds of youth like “Mike” every year.

If you would like to be a part of the growth and life-changing impact of Potosi Pines Camp, we encourage you to visit our website, potosipinescamp.org and click on the donation button.  Your year-end gift to our Annual Fund, Scholarship Fund, or Endowment will help us to open new doors of ministry here.  We appreciate all your support and look forward to sharing with you what comes next.  We have so much to be thankful for here at camp, and your support is one of our best blessings.  Thank you for all you do to support the ministry here at Potosi Pines Camp.

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