Explosions in the Sky!

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Explosions in the Sky!

This past weekend was another one for the books as we welcomed over 100 families from Whitefield Academy down in Smyrna, GA. The campout has become a highly anticipated annual event for the Whitefield crew of dads, their sons, and daughters. The time spent away at Camp Highland is meant to be relaxed, unscheduled, very intentional, and of course a lot of fun.

Dads and their kids began rolling into camp on Saturday afternoon. Once settled into their cabins they hiked their way around the property as a handful of activities such as the Mammoth rock wall, zip lines, the Drop Zone, and swimming down at the lake were available and staffed for the families to enjoy with their kids. Not only was this fun and exciting, but proved to offer some good challenges as well.

At Camp, we encourage everyone who steps foot into our gates to put away all distractions such as cell phones and work-related tasks, and to be fully present with each other. As always this never disappoints and allows for something incredible to unfold - Engaging the heart!

All of the dads embraced our counter-culture ideas and in turn got to be fully present with their kids. As the day’s activities winded down, everyone made their way to the wrap around porch for a feast of delicious local bbq from the one and only Pooles BBQ. After good conversation and bellies full of pork and mac and cheese, what better thing to do than play an intense game of kickball on the field - kids vs dads! An hour or so of competitive, heart pounding plays and close calls, the dads came out on top with the win. As laughter filled the air, the real win was realized with joy on every kid’s face as they embraced their dads with hugs and smiles.

The night concluded with a BANG as a spectacular fireworks display (one that rivals the likes of Stone Mountain and even the city of Atlanta!) lit up the beautiful north Georgia sky. One of the dads whose kids are too old now for the campout, actually still comes back each year just to serve the group with his amazing explosions in the sky.

After a long night’s rest, a gorgeous Sunday morning welcomed everyone with coffee, breakfast and even some worship. We hope everyone who came up to the campout was refreshed and renewed and can take home with them some great memories.

You know, sometimes there’s nothing better for the soul than a weekend away with some of the ones you love the most. Thanks Whitefield Academy for another wonderful weekend!

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We All Want To Leave A Lasting Impact

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We All Want To Leave A Lasting Impact

Camp Highland is not just a place where adventure happens within the confines of the property borders. It's a place that invites and inspires people to take that adventure outside of the gates and beyond. Sometimes that adventure even goes into other parts of the world! Great things begin to happen when you decide to jump in and allow God to direct your adventure. Often times I get the privilege of connecting with many of the people that have come through Camp on a more personal level. I've gotten to know one person in particular over the years and I recently sat down with him to hear about his summer mission trip to Kenya and how it made a lasting impact. 

Allow me to introduce you to my friend, Dale. Dale Alexander is one of those guys you're automatically drawn to immediately upon meeting him. He has a huge heart for people and for purpose, and is one of the most humble men that I've ever met. He's the type that would never boast about all of his accomplishments, which is why I get to brag on him a little. Dale is not only an active Camp Highland board member (amongst others), but he is also the President of Alexander & Co. (a benefits firm for school systems), a national Keynote Speaker, a community leader, member at Woodstock City Church, and most importantly a loving husband, father, and friend. This is a short summary of his journey to Kenya. 

"I was recently fortunate to experience my first mission trip ever!  Hard to believe, but true. While Kenya has been my wife’s greatest service passion for years, I had never been.  And this summer I finally got the chance to go.  And believe me when I say, it was a blessing that I will not soon forget. 
Upon entering the Kenyan culture I was immediately awed by the love of their people.  I wasn’t prepared for that!  You see, this was a short-term mission trip. Our purpose in being there was to hold marriage enrichment classes and host entrepreneur startup consulting.  I was even lucky enough to preach in their church one Sunday (one of the rich moments in my life).    
Well, the mission trip backfired!  I thought I was going there to minister to THEIR people.  To serve THEIR people.  To bring hope and love to THEM.  Let's just say that I got more than they ever got from me.  But, that’s the nature of service and pouring into others, right?
I could probably go on describing more of my amazing adventure to this beautiful country, but I'll keep this short.  The point I want to make is the direct connection between my time in Kenya and the many years I've spent going up to Camp Highland.  I believe that for most of us, we want to outlive our own lives.  What I mean by that is that we want to leave a lasting impact.  And I believe that one of the most effective ways to do that is by building up our kids to build others up.  It's because of places like Camp Highland where leaders are developed and hearts are engaged.  No matter if you are a child or an adult, it's the time spent pouring into our kids' lives and our families that allow us to then take what we've experienced and journey out into the world, beyond the confines of our own borders.  For some of us that means taking it to our school or work, and for others it means taking it to Kenya!  No matter where you go, investing in people is what allows us to discover the deep life impact that God has planned for us.  
Thanks Camp Highland for encouraging me to go further!  I believe in what you do."

Dale Alexander, Camp Highland Board Member & President at Alexander & Co. 

 

Written by: Zach Bertram, Development Director at Camp Highland

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23rd Annual Golf Classic For The Win!

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23rd Annual Golf Classic For The Win!

This year's Golf Classic unfolded on Monday as we welcomed 25 teams (100 players) who came out to play with us. We were able to share with everyone about the wonderful things God is doing at Camp Highland. We were also able to raise almost $100,000 which will enable us to invest in even more kids and influence the next generation of leaders! 

The day began early at The Golf Club of Georgia. The two courses, Lakeside and Creekside, were immaculate and the weather could not have been more ideal.  The enthusiasm was high as players started to arrive and Chick-fil-a biscuits were consumed. Around 9:00 a.m., Bill captured everyones' attention by casting the vision of Camp Highland and sharing about the deep impact that occurs through the many life-changing retreats throughout the year. There was a shotgun start at 9:30 sharp and everyone was off!

The day unfolded as guys and a few gals tried to chip golf balls into canoes, tossed a club as far as they could, and even battled it out on the putting green for a $1,000 cash prize! Overall, the day continued without a hitch and there were many laughs and memories to be had all around. There was an awards ceremony to wrap up the day along with a challenge to JUMP IN. Check out the entire message here - http://www.camphighland.com/jumpin/

We want to personally thank all those who participated in making this event successful. If it weren't for You and others who believe in what we do up at Camp Highland, none of this would be possible.

From our entire team and from the bottom of our hearts, Thank You!   

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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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