“I want to show you something,” said Marilyn Bopp Swygert as she stood on the steps of a quiet Upper Efird Hall looking down at a rock. “I remember it being bigger,” she paused.
“That’s my rock. All of my major decisions in life were made while sitting on that rock.”
Marilyn and her husband, Pastor David Swygert (retired), stopped by Lutheridge during late summer to share memories and a gift with the ministry. Marilyn was a camper the first summer Lutheridge had campers in 1951. “During morning watch, we were asked to find a place to pray alone, and I found that rock. For years, I went back to that rock, and all my major life changing decisions were made there. That was the place I decided where to go to college and what to do with my life.”
Marilyn earned her 5-year patch in 1955. She returned to serve on summer staff in ‘59 and ‘60. “I wasn’t going to return the next summer, but Dr. Thornburg asked me to come help schedule the counselors.” And for that she remains grateful. In 1961, when she returned as what would now be considered senior staff, she met her husband David in Efird Hall.
“My life was made real because of camp, because of the woman I met,” reflected David. Marilyn and David spent the afternoon sharing memories and reflecting on how their life was impacted by their summers at camp. As we flipped through Marilyn’s photo album, the joy and strength of the relationships formed at camp were palpable.
Marilyn and David have lived an extraordinary life, fostering children, teaching, and sharing the Good News. Because of the profound impact Lutheridge had on their own lives, they have made it a priority to ensure other children are able to attend summer camp each year.
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