Hi Swamp Bloggers!

I hope you are having a wonderful day. Thanks to our full time staff for introducing themselves last week. Reading their bios made me excited to see how God is going to use them to serve campers this summer. Speaking of summer, Week One is next week! I repeat, Week One is NEXT WEEK! The moment we've been waiting for is upon us. And, it's not too late to sign up. Head over to the website to sign up for available spots.

With summer camp being next week, it is also my last time to write to you all. While I am sad, I am also extremely grateful for all that has been given to me through writing these blogs. Interviewing campers, counselors, alumni, and Swamp Corps members has made me aware of how much camp does and how greatly it is appreciated across the world. It is truly out of this world that we get to have a place like Camp Swamp. And, it has been my joy and privilege to write to you and for you over the past two years.

Since this is my last time writing, I thought I'd share some of the lessons I've learned writing this blog. I have been coming to camp for a long time! I was 10 the first time I came to camp, and now I am 22. Never would I have imagined the ways that God would use camp to work in my life. Camp has been a place of planted seeds, spiritual growth, healing, beautiful friendships, laughter and fun. My favorite thing about camp is that God always seems to know when you're coming, and He's ready for you when you get there.

Camp Swamp has connected families, friends, people of all ages, genders, nationalities, and countries.

Writing the Swamp blog has tied all those beautiful experiences together for me and deepened my understanding of God's plan and purpose. One of the things I have come to learn through asking you all about your experiences is that camp impacts generations. Once you experience camp, you leave with a story to tell others. You may invite your friends to come back with you, or you may even bring your kids years later. Some of you have even told people in other countries about camp, and, as a result, have helped start a Swamp Corps trip. Camp Swamp doesn't just impact kids. It impacts their families, their friends, their churches, and their communities by showing Christ's love in action.

Another thing that has been impressed upon me through writing these blogs is how spiritual kids can be. Yes, campers, I am talking about you! I have gotten the chance to interview some of you, as well as, interact with dozens of you over my past few years of counseling. Numerous times, I have been blown away by your depth and spirituality. I have always loved kids, because there is something amazing about a young heart. You all have shown me not only how much love and friendship you can give, but also how profound it is to witness a young person who loves God. Receiving your responses to my questions and learning from your perspectives about camp enlightens me. I know that you all will go on to lead the next generation of camp.

A precious moment from last year's Family Camp.

The last thing that I want to share is how I've seen God's Spirit move. One of the cool things about writing this blog is all the stories I've gotten to hear about camp both domestically and across the world. There are so many things that shouldn't have happened, yet did, because God allowed His Spirit to open a door for camp. Camp Swamp has gone to more countries than many ever imagined. And, God has protected camp in many ways we probably aren't even aware of. I've also seen God open doors for individuals and families. People have stumbled across camp while searching for a camp online. Campers have ended up in the right cabin with the people they needed to be with. Friendships have come full circle as parents have brought their kids to camp together. And, I pray it goes on for generations to come.

But, one thing is evident, God is moving through Camp Swamp! And, he is going to continue to move this summer. Thank you all for letting me share my heart with you each week for the past two years. Although I won't be writing to you anymore, I can assure you that the Swamp blog will be in good hands after the summer. Until then, you can read blog posts from campers, counselors, and workers posted almost everyday for the duration of summer camp. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @campswamp for plenty of pictures and summer camp content. As always, thank you for reading!

Much Love & Respect,

Julie <3