I have been asked to speak on what Family Camp has meant to my family over the years. I still remember the first time I attended Family Camp. I was a young pastor with a large family and very short on cash for a vacation. Someone told me about Family Camp, so I packed up my family and away we went. The whole family fell in love with Family Camp, so for the next twenty-one years, we never missed. The camp was a place that my children felt safe and as a parent I knew they were safe. Families from all around Ohio came together to enjoy a family vacation together.
My family learned to enjoy time together as a family. There was no T.V. or video games. It was a time for my family just to be a family. Each night the family would walk together to devotion time. We would sing and praise God on Vesper Hill before the nightly devotional time. After the service time, all the families would head down to the dining hall for some watermelon or s’mores, and my favorite ice cream sundaes. I remember taking walks with my boys. My youngest boy in one of the pictures to the left in the yellow shirt is now 6'4" tall.
I have eight children, and all of them have great memories of Family Camp. Today, five are married, one thinking of marriage, one going to college and one going into the 11th grade. Time flies as a family yet all my kids still, to this day, talk about the time they experienced at Family Camp. We are planning to attend Family Camp again this year. My grown-up kids were so excited that they signed up their families. When I was young, I remember watching this older couple surrounded by their grandkids. I thought that would be so cool to have your family group together like that at Family Camp. Well, it looks like I will finally get to experience that feeling. My family and my grandkids are coming this year to Family Camp, and I cannot wait to walk down the paths of the camp. My favorite picture of all times is one of my four daughters walking in front of me after the family devotional time. My three oldest are all graduated from college, and my youngest daughter is leaving for college this year.
As a pastor, I want to encourage you to consider coming to Family Camp this year. It has been several years since we had Family Camp. I pray that you will encourage your church to attend Family Camp this year. The dates are June 5-9! I hope to see you there.
Pastor Bill Perry