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Growing Up Together

“I keep my Lutheridge history in my Bible,” says family camper Sarah Vandergrift. Sarah is one of the parents who has been coming to 4th of July week Family Camp at Lutheridge for many years. Her family’s camp adventures started in 2010 when Sarah first saw the family camp program in action.

“I was at Lutheridge that week as an adult C3ARE leader,” Sarah recalls. “It was the first time I had been to camp in a long time. When I saw the family camp group connecting and having so much fun, I knew I wanted to do that!” Sarah returned with her almost 1-year-old and 5-year-old in 2012.  She and her children have been coming to family camp ever since.

“For my kids, they were too young to be in a cabin,” Sarah says, “so it was a chance for them to learn what being at Lutheridge was like. For me, family camp has been a way to regain my youth again. I get to participate in skits and be goofy in a way I rarely do. It’s a place apart in that way, and to be able to come and do that again is always a reset for me.”

Like many of the parents who come to family camp, Sarah’s Lutheridge story includes several years being on summer staff. Each summer she was at camp Sarah brought her student Bible along, and she wrote in it what she did that year. “When the kids started coming the list got more complicated,” Sarah says. “But I love keeping this history of what we have done every summer.”

Sarah’s three children have done other camp programs and had great experiences being away from their parents at Lutheridge. This summer, however, Sarah and her children will be together at family camp.

“The beauty of family camp is that it’s one big family,” Sarah shares. “The kids and adults who come back year after year are growing up together. It’s intergenerational and it doesn’t matter what kind of family you are.”

When she thinks about her future adventures at camp, Sarah still imagines being a family camper. “Even when the kids are out of the house, I will keep going,” she says. “I think these other family camp friends will too. We have such an amazing history. We are family.”

Thank you for your generous gifts to NovusWay Ministries, which give families the opportunity to connect with God, each other, and Christian friends and to grow in faith together.