What do you think about when someone mentions the word camp? For me, I think of a rustic WMU camp. It was my first camp. It was my GA camp. I have so many fond memories of my mom dropping off my group of GAs and heading home. I loved that camp.

Little did I know, decades later I would be asked to help with that same camp. What an honor! Of course, I had to play it off like I was helping my friend, the director. This past summer, I got to see girls of this “social media age” come to love the very same rustic camp that I cherish.  We always had fun at camp, but that was never the end goal. The end goal was always to learn more about Jesus and how people are sharing the good news. The same end goal was met this year!

On decision night, the camp pastor asked girls that had questions to stay in the chapel while the other girls went back to their cabins. I saw a girl sitting on the front pew. I asked her why she stayed. She said she wanted to be baptized. Being a veteran of invitation night, I have several follow-up questions. “Have you been baptized before?” I asked. ”Yes,” she answered. Before I could ask another question, she said, “But this is the first time I got to ask Jesus in my heart. I was baptized as a baby, and I didn’t know what was happening. Now I do!” We talked for some time about her decision, and she knew what she was doing. We prayed, and I sent her back to her cabin, knowing there would be more time to follow up.

That part made my heart happy—but there is more to the story. As I walked back to my room, I saw the girl’s counselor. I told her that one of her girls made a decision to follow Jesus. She dropped the box she was carrying and burst into tears! She told me that this girl’s friend brought her to camp because her friend knew the girl didn’t know Jesus. They had been in the cabin praying for her while she was talking to me. I can’t explain how much this interaction gave me hope for this next generation! Here before me stood a 17-year-old who took a week off from work to come to camp to be a counselor, weeping because one of “her” girls came to Jesus. Yes, this next generation is in good hands.

That night we had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows. At this event, I was in charge of the skewers used for the marshmallows. (Not sure I’ll miss a meeting again!) While I made sure no one got poked but everyone got s’mores, I glanced over and saw the same counselor talking to the girl who had brought her friend to camp. One of her cabin mates sat next to me very concerned. She asked if they were upset because they were crying. I turned to her and said, “Those are tears of joy.”

So when I think of camp, a rustic WMU camp comes to mind. Because of WMU, generations of girls’ lives have been changed. Thank you!

By Connie Zinn, Guest Blogger
As a child, Connie Zinn attended Camp Wo-Me-To in Maryland and credits her passion for missions to her own camp experiences. As an adult, Connie still loves camp and enjoys helping girls and young women have similar experiences to her own camp days.

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