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Day 25

The SIMC Sentinel • Since 2016



The temperatures might be cooling, but the excitement and energy continues to be high at this week’s Southwest Indian Ministries Center Teen Camp. While Tuesday reached 110 degrees, the forecast for the end of camp on Thursday is only 107 degrees.

This week’s camp includes 31 teenagers, approximately 31 camp workers, and the missionary staff. While some are new to the experience, many are veterans.

Dorm leader Stephanie Arbogast worked as a Volunteer in Action during some of the 2016 camps. She enjoyed the experience and when she returned for 2017, she brought along a team from Monroe Chapel in Oak Hills, Ohio.

“You can see how much the kids get from the camps, so the kids are just worth making the trip,” Arbogast said.

It isn’t one certain activity she enjoys the most, either. “It’s not an activity, it’s the atmosphere. No matter what the activity is, the focus is on the kids and their salvation,” Arbogast said.

There are plenty of activities to occupy the campers’ time and attention: recreation, worship, art class, Bible class, cooking class, drama class, swimming, a surprise field trip, snacks and games. For a lot of the campers, recreation time is a favorite.

Jere, 13, is a camp veteran. “I came to pretty much worship the Lord, and I like rec time,” he said during a lunch of spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, and fruit.

With a lunch population of close to 70 people, waiting in line for meals can be rough. But the campers can jump to the front of the lunch line by having the cleanest room each morning. Both the tidiest boys and girls rooms are given the honor.

Arbogast’s room of girls won their side of the contest on Tuesday without too much urging on her part. She said the motivation of getting in line first at lunch was enough for the girls to clean their room well.

Pastor Ray Stillings has been bringing kids from his church for about 17 years. He brings the kids from the Somerton Cocopah Church of the Nazarene, about 200 miles away. He appreciates the structure the camp provides. “It’s well organized,” he explained. “It keeps the kids involved throughout the day with various opportunities … The theme always comes back to the Bible. It’s very well supervised.” Since SIMC keeps the campers costs low, it also makes bringing a group each year possible. “It’s been a real blessing,” Stillings said.

It’s not just the veterans who have enjoyed the camp experience. Donna Crabtree is a first-time work team member. She came on the team from Monroe Chapel.

“Stephanie said she was coming back here and if anyone wanted to come they could go. I have supported (WGM missionaries) Steve and Debbie Cartwright for years,” she said. “I just felt I needed to go. You hear about something but until you actually see it, you don’t know what it’s about. It’s just great to come and see the work they do here. They have a heart for it.”

“If anyone ever gets the opportunity to do this, they should do it,” Crabtree said.

(Pictures above: (left) Gathered for cooking class and (right) spelling SIMC in a recreation activity.)

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