23rd Annual Camp Highland Golf Classic

23rd Annual Camp Highland Golf Classic

The 23rd Annual Camp Highland Golf Classic will be held on Monday, August 27th at The Golf Club of Georgia. Please join us in raising funds for our high-adventure Christian camp that is committed to leading others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. 

What It Means to Be Burly

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What It Means to Be Burly

Burly | ˈbərlē | 

verb (to be burly) - to passionately pursue life, beginning with God, with a desire to be at your best and see others reach for their best even in the most difficult moments in life, believing God is deeply at work and desiring to be consistently involved in His restoring work. 

This definition was coined by a dear friend of Camp Highland, named Kurt Oakley. Kurt was a one-in-a-million kind of guy who had a real zeal for life and huge influence on everyone that he met. Tragically, Kurt's life was taken at an early age. However, his memory lives on and is celebrated through this award.

** The Burly award is given in Honor of our friend Kurt Oakley who marked us forever with the Burly life he led while he was with us. * 1965-2003 * 

At the close of each week of summer camp, the counselors nominate just one girl camper and one boy camper to receive the Burly award. To be considered, these campers must totally and utterly exemplify everything that being Burly stands for. This is the personal account of how one particular camper was given the coveted title of Burly.   


"When I first heard about Camp Highland from my step-mom and dad I felt hesitant about going away to overnight camp for an entire week. But after a little convincing I decided I would give it a chance and go. I got up really early on Monday morning and rode a bus to Camp with a bunch of other kids. It ended up being a lot of fun, but once I got to Camp I was back to being shy and quiet. That is, until I met my counselors Caroline and Justine. Caroline was really sweet and welcoming while Justine was really upbeat and funny! All of the other girls in my cabin were amazing! Throughout the week they all encouraged me to try my best and set goals for myself. My confidence started to grow and I found myself sharing with my cabin about my past and how it affected my relationship with Christ. I've been through a lot and it's affected who I am today. Thanks to my entire cabin I feel like I have a better relationship now with Christ than ever before and I’m so eternally thankful! I can’t wait to come back to Camp Highland next summer".

~ Camper - Emma

 

"Wow, this girl is amazing! I'm so proud that she got the Burley Award at Camp! So we started the week out by asking each girl what their word would be. This was a word that described what they wanted to work on while they were at camp. Emma's word of the week was confidence. Emma really stood out to me on the first day of camp because she was quiet but really engaged. I quickly noticed that she would always seem to encourage each of the other girls in our cabin. One moment that really stood out to me was when Emma was faced with the challenge of climbing the tower. She was very nervous but felt compelled to do her best! She put on the harness and just wanted to get on the wall. Then she was willing to go further and climb up little by little. Once she got a quarter of the way up she decided that was enough and came down. I thought she was going to be upset because she didn't go all the way to the top, but instead she gave me a huge hug because she was so proud of herself for making it as far as she did. Another moment that stood out to me was when we came back from the river and went on the field for some meaningful conversation with the girls. When it got around to Emma's turn she exclaimed to everyone that she felt loved so well by her other campers. She was able to share a lot of personal matters too that have affected her over the years. She was learning to chase after God in a deeper way and be more confident in who Gad has made her to be. She realized that because of what she has been through she could now give that same love back and help others. Saturday morning when looking for Burly candidates she came to mind right away! I spoke with her mom and found out that she comes from a blended family but her mom said she is such a rock for her family. Her mom said that she had really hoped Emma would gain confidence by being at Camp. Well, was she surprised when she heard about Emma's week! God is so good! 

~ Counselor - Justine

 

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Family Retreats,  Spending Time On What Matters Most

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Family Retreats, Spending Time On What Matters Most

Each year at Camp Highland we host a number of Father/Daughter and Father/Son Family Retreats for parents and their kids. These weekend get-aways in the mountains are some of the most profound and most captivating events that we host all year! Like all of our customizable retreats, these are uniquely crafted unto themselves. They provide an incredible opportunity for parents to connect deeply with their children in a way that doesn't typically happen in everyday life.

We recognize that most of us lead busy lives and can easily get caught up in the go! go! go! of our work schedules, sports practices, piano lessons, grocery shopping, and the list goes on and on. As an integral part of Camp's DNA we encourage all of our guests to pause for a moment, unplug from all the business, and take some time to acknowledge what rules our lives and schedules. It's true that what we spend our time doing typically reflects what we value most. Unfortunately it's often at the expense of our family. But there is hope! Sometimes we just need to recalibrate and get back to what is and should be the most important things in our lives. I can't think of a better place to do this than at a Family Retreat at Camp Highland! 

These weekends are designed with all of this in mind. That is why we create space for parents and their kids to spend valuable time together. Take a hike down to the lake and canoe in uncharted waters. Or climb the highest peak to take in views that stretch for miles. Take a big step out into the open as you go soaring through the canopy on one of our ziplines. Maybe you want to explore our 220 acres of wilderness or just simply relax among the trees in a hammock. Whatever you decide to do while you're here, we will make sure it is filled with intentional time spent with your child. We encourage everyone who comes to a Family Retreat to come with an open mind and an open heart so that you leave here feeling refreshed and with a renewed energy to value what is most important. 

We'd love you to join us this weekend or next at one of our Family Retreats. We hope to see you there! 

Register: Father/Daughter Retreat (August 10-12) http://www.camphighland.com/father-daughter-registration

Register: Father/Son Retreat (August 17-19) http://www.camphighland.com/father-son-registration

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Abandoned But Not Forgotten

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Abandoned But Not Forgotten

Each day thousands of children are abandoned by their own parents. It's hard to believe, but over 437,000 children and youth are in foster care today. This statistic may be staggering, but the unfailing truth is that these children are NOT Forgotten! There is a perfect heavenly father who loves them unconditionally. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is the message that so many inner city and foster care groups all over this country are sharing, and we've partnered with some of these incredible organizations right here in Atlanta. 

So if you want to make a difference and help to bring hope and a future to these children then JOIN US! Come play or be a sponsor at our 23rd Annual Golf Classic held at The Golf Club of Georgia on August 27th. All money raised will go directly to groups like these. Come out and see how Camp Highland is serving hundreds of abandoned children who need to hear that they are loved and cherished. See you on the green! 

Register Today! http://www.camphighland.com/news/golf

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Why What You Do Matters

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Why What You Do Matters

As I drove steadily down the 3 mile gravel road to Camp, thankful that the night's rain was keeping the dust at bay, I realized that this was the last week of summer camp. For the counselors we call it week 1.8 as to help set their hearts and minds back to week 1 when their energy and excitement are the highest. Driving past the first turn, I stopped to say good morning to the two counselors who were literally jumping for joy as I pulled up. They had strategically positioned themselves so that parents making the drive to drop their kids off would see which way to turn. It was very apparent that the two jumping girls had not lost their excitement one bit from week 1. If anything, I would say it had only increased. I asked them how they were feeling about it being the last week of camp. The response I heard from each one of them was that of immense gratitude, and it was very apparent.

Making my way up to the front gate, I slowed to fall in line with the few cars in front of me. There were 5 more counselors at the gate welcoming each car load full of excited kids who were eagerly waiting to hear their cabin assignments and the coveted names of their two counselors. When it became my turn I was greeted with the same level of enthusiasm as if I were a camper. We joked about which cabin I would be in and how I forgot my extra underwear at home!

I proceeded to head down the hill and then back up to the lodge where I was greeted yet again by huge smiles and unending kindness. I pulled to the side of the building away from the unloading cars and made my way into the mass of families anxiously making their way through registration, the nurses station, and the camp store. At the loud ring of the bell, people began funneling their way into the gym for the official welcome. Everyone gathered to witness a very theatrical performance by the counselors who have clearly done this many times, yet it seemed to get better and better each time. "This is the moment you've all been waiting for!" Week 1.8 had now officially begun!

Kids made their way to their respective cabins for ice breaker and introduction games, while parents trickled to their cars to make the long journey back home. The day continued as planned while much of the rest of my time was spent with a close friend who happens to also be the founder of Camp Highland. In typical Monday fashion we discussed all of the activities on the agenda: the upcoming board meeting, the many fall programs on the calendar, the bordering land that is for sale, the swimming pool and dinning facilities that will one day be built, and the unmeasurable amount of lives that have been influenced in a way unlike any other! From the window of his office we sat back and watched the different interactions unfold between the counselors and campers as each cabin came together to create a huge circle in the center of camp. Kids who were nervous about this being their first time at overnight camp quickly became engaged and bought into what was being offered to them - Belonging, acceptance, freedom, love, an opportunity to unplug from the many distractions and temptations of the world, and a chance to really be a kid and not feel judged or mocked. A chance at hearing truth in a way that has never been told to them before...THIS is what it is all about! 

In our world of immediate gratification, instant response, and acceptance based on our social media status, we often times begin believing the lie about where our real value comes from. The truth is that it can only come from above. The Father loves us beyond what we can ever fathom, and His acceptance is all that really matters. Working hard and achieving rewards or accolades is not a bad thing, but we should be reminded of our reasons for seeking these things. It comes downs to matters of the heart. Galatians 1:10 says, "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." This is the heartbeat of Camp Highland and it's being played out every day! Our incredible counselors have bought into the truth that God has a plan and purpose for their life, and they've chosen to share that message with every kid they meet this summer. 

As the summer comes to close, I'm so grateful to get to work with so many amazing people who are all examples of living for what really matters. They've given their entire summer to walk alongside hundreds of kids to meet them right where they are in life. These moments are life changing and will forever help shape the trajectory of these kids' lives. In closing, remember that your time here on earth is only a vapor, so make it count for something!

Engage the heart!

 

Zach - Director of Development & Donor Relations 

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