Del Oro Buys New Camp Facility
The Adventure Begins
Hundreds of children were challenged to the adventure of a lifetime this summer as the Del Oro Division embarked on a new venture. Following the purchase of a new camp on 242 acres of beautiful Sierra forest, nestled in the heart of California’s Gold Country, the division enjoyed its first summer as the owner and operator of a children’s summer camp.
Camp Del Oro is only partially developed. Instead of cabins, children slept in tents and tepees. One of the bath houses is a trailer and the main dining room seats only 50. The chapel is large white “party” tent and the craft house is a vintage army tent. Yet, there was no shortage of activity on camp. Children swam and tried their luck in the brand new batting cage. They climbed trees and had food fights. They checked out the gold mine and walked the tightrope in our low ropes course.
The biggest adventure didn’t come in the form of activity, though, but in the making of friendships. One veteran camper, 10, told a Sebastapol newspaper, “Everyone cries the first time they go camp, but I know I’m going to make lots of new friends.” Captain Clayton Gardner, the divisional Youth & Candidates secretary reported, “I knew it was going to be a good summer at the end of our first week, when our first bus load of kids were delayed in leaving. The campers and my staff were crying, to the point the bus driver didn’t have the heart to tear them apart.”
Even more significant than the activity and new friendships were the decisions made to accept Jesus as Savior. Week after week, the camp staff presented the Gospel in Camp Del Oro’s version of the “Jesus Walk.” Week after week, after discovering his great love for them, children gladly accepted God’s free gift of salvation. Many made decisions to recommit their lives to Christ, while others were moved to live closer to God. Captain Pam Gardner, divisional Christian Education director, commented “Of course decisions weren’t limited to the campers. It was wonderful to see the decisions made by the staff as they too, grew in their relationship with God.”