There are many things that we look forward to during our summer break from school. We enjoy resting, going to the pool, vacationing, and just being at a slower pace than the rest of our year. But one of our favorite ventures is going to Camp Lurecrest for a week. I say “our” because after i drop my girls off at the camp bus depot, i head for the mountains to render my services and talents in the kitchen.
I realize this may cause some confusion for those that know me well and are aware of my lack of culinary skills. But, i have come to realize that when it comes to cooking for 250+ people in an industrial kitchen, i morph into some kind of ‘super fry daddy.’ There’s something about putting on that apron and rubber gloves, surrounded by all that stainless steel that’s not unlike superman’s transition coming out of the telephone booth. Don’t tell anyone, because i’d hate for it to cause dissention and jealousy among the staff, but i’ve even heard rumblings of my very own apron that looks something like this…Camp Lurecrest is settled in the North Carolina mountains on Lake Lure and was founded in 1947. The vision for the camp was given to a man named Alfred Garr during his tour in WW2. He survived the assault on the beaches of Normandy and out of a fox hole on Dday, he looked around at all of the loss and saw several hundred men who were never going to make it back home. That’s when he felt God giving him a vision for a special place needed to care for all of those fatherless children. He wanted a haven for them to have fun and to hear about the love of God through the gospel of Jesus.
Incidentally, Camp just recently celebrated their 60th year of ministry.
Aside from being a camper there myself as a child, our family has a special connection to Lurecrest. Our good friends, Jeremy and Lindsay White head up to the mountains from their home in Charlotte around mid may so that Jeremy can fulfill his full-time duties as camp director. Along with their three boys they live there through most of August before coming back to our community. It is a sacrifice they both believe in together as they have seen God do incredible things in their life through the vehicle of camp ministry. It’s a wonderful treat and honor for me to see them in that environment that is so unlike our life together in Charlotte. And honestly i like to go to camp to play and laugh with my friend.
The thing i most appreciate about Lurecrest is that it is not an ‘entertainment’ camp per say. By that i mean, there are not a lot of ‘bells and whistles,’ and by that i mean there is no ac in the kid’s cabins. But what you will find is the perfect amount of play, community, rest, devotion, and teaching time. They really feel a calling to serve the entire nature of the staff, camp counselor, and the camper and not just parts of it. The staff and board long to reach the body, mind, spirit, and soul of all who walk the property which is evident in the amount of prayer and planning that goes into the summer season, the training of their counselors, the structure of all the play, the short but thoughtful chapel times, and even in how the head cook plans the menus.
And don’t even get me going about Nathan, the camp cook. Though i see him once a year….he’s one of my favorite people. He’s incredibly gracious even when surrounded by a bunch of cackling, laughing mom’s who are there in order to (play) “help” cook for the week.
These values that Lurecrest strives to uphold is what also makes it home to Camp Care, which is a week devoted to serving a camp full of children with cancer, their staff and the doctors. This is when Lurecrest sees the small nurses station transformed into a full-fledged hospital as they try to accommodate all of the needs of these children in order to free them up to play and have fun. There is also a week devoted to serving the needs of inner city children called New Venture.
So, were looking forward to our trip in late july. My daughter loves it all. The night swims…the arts and crafts, the zip line, the tubing and the lake slide, the climbing wall, the pool, and all the other fun things they do that wear the kids out for the day.
Last year, the theme was “WANTED” John 3:16,17 which had a wild west feel. There was a Hoedown with a professional ‘caller’ and a ‘pig pickin’ with all of the campers and staff. We even had bandits that stole all of the camp’s ‘cookie mush’ which is a Lurecrest traditional dessert.
As for this year’s theme.…I will let Jeremy tell you about it. As only he can.
see you at the Lake.