“Do you want to go to camp?” asked Tom as he looked down at his 6-year-old son.
That question started an amazing adventure for John, who was finally old enough to go to Camp McCall.
As the car drove along the winding road up to Camp McCall, his first glimpse of camp was a lake so chilly it’s warmed with ice cubes and a chapel set high at the top of the mountain. Immediately the college-age staffers introduced themselves with mysterious nicknames and ignited the curiosity of a wild-eyed first-grader. Their chants at lunch, their outrageous stories and their genuine hearts for worship — it was all captivating.
John would return for the next five years. As a middle school and high school student, he would go to another camp, Summersalt. It was at Summersalt that God began to work on him about a call to ministry.
As the summer approached after his first year of college, John transitioned from camper to staffer at Camp McCall. As a staffer, the direction of his entire life changed, as well as his name: He would now be forever known as Phud.
The campfire was dying down one night as Phud was talking with another staffer, and he confirmed his call to ministry during the conversation. The next semester he transferred to Charleston Southern University to pursue a ministry degree. The first day he arrived on campus, he met his future wife, Christie.
Since that time, they have served together in ministry as staffers at Summersalt and in youth ministry at churches around South Carolina, and they started Remedy Church together in 2009. Countless individuals have come to know the Lord and have been sent out as missionaries to places as far away as Bolivia.
God used a dad to start an adventure for a young boy. Camp McCall and Summersalt were a part of that journey. Maybe God wants to use you, as well. Consider taking your child or grandchild to camp. Also, there are young boys and girls right now who may need an adult to stand in the gap and provide resources for them to spend a week saturated with the gospel at camp.
Over 5,000 of our next generation will go to Camp McCall, Summersalt, and Camp La Vida this summer. Hundreds will confess Christ as Lord and accept a call to ministry. There is still space for one more. Maybe the student you send will be a future pastor, church planter or missionary.
If you come to Camp McCall or Summersalt this summer, you may meet Phud. He will be standing next to his son or daughter in worship. The adventure continues.