With all the challenges regarding water these past few years, it has not been easy to keep our focus on why there is a Redwood Glen. While becoming water independent has become a necessary priority, we’d like to share some stories of children and youth who have come to Redwood Glen either at one of our program camps or their church’s youth camp and experienced what camp is all about.
Immanuel (Manny) is 12 years old and lives in Las Vegas with his mother. But every summer he comes to the Bay Area to live with his grandmother, a member of the Trinity Baptist Church in San Mateo. Manny attended the Children’s Music And Drama Camp in 2017 and was at the Children’s Wilderness Camp this year, both at Redwood Glen. He said his favorite activity was creek stomping in Pescadero Creek and he liked his this year’s counselor Ozzie (Hilton) because he was funny. Danny (Balderas) was his favorite Bible Study leader and he really enjoyed the singing at campfire each night.
Manny was baptized this past Sunday (Aug. 5) at the Trinity Baptist Church by its Pastor, Rev. Dr. Carroll Broadfoot. The picture has Manny receiving his baptism certificate and a new bible with his mom, Elena, standing behind. As Redwood Glen celebrates it’s 60th anniversary, we see the camp experience is being passed down through the generations as Elena was also a Redwood Glen camper in her youth back in the 1980’s.
Danny Baldares, has been the high school camp director for many years (and this year’s Youth Wilderness Camp director), had this to say about camp. ” One big thing that I noticed even more this year than others is that young people really carry a lot of burdens with them that they seem to hold inside. It was really amazing to see how safe they felt at camp to be able to share the tremendous burdens they carried. And not only sharing, but they also expressed hope in God to be with them through it all.”
He shared about one girl who realized that God was showing her where she needed to make a change in her life. ” She realized that she had never really expressed how much she truly cared about her two younger brothers. So they treated her sudden show of love with very little concern. She was hurt. But she learned at camp that it was wrong of her to expect them to just welcome her with open arms and be all lovey dovey just because she had realized how much she truly loved and missed them. She heard God tell her to love them regardless of their reaction and to show her love in a way they would understand.”
This is Kyle. He attended the First Chinese Baptist Church of San Francisco’s Youth Camp that has taken place every year at Redwood Glen since the 1960’s. During each morning’s chapel time, chapel leader Jen would have a camper stand up a give a prepared testimony about how God is working in their lives. Below is an excerpt from Kyle’s testimony:
“There are a lot of times that I feel like I’m just not good enough as a person. When my friends all hang out and exclude me, I feel like it’s all my fault. When people around me are texting or checking social media, I just sit there because I don’t have friends to talk to me. At my school, everyone seems to be taking seven classes and four or five APs. I just doing one AP out of six classes. I’m supposed to to be applying for colleges soon and I still don’t know where I want to go or what I want to major in. I never got a job and have yet to learn how to drive. More often than I’d like, I feel like a failure and that I’m not gonna go anywhere in life; and not being good enough as a Christian only adds fuel to that fire.
But here’s the big question: If I’m not good enough as a Christian, why do I continue to go to church and follow God? Why don’t I go home and change out of my God pants? The answer is simple. It might seem selfish but I like knowing that I can rely on God when I need him. I know that if I need something, he will get things done for me. It might not always be in the way I expect, but God has his ways. So even though I might not be the best Christian, I can take comfort in the fact that God will support me. That makes it easier not only to stand up for myself and live in faith, but also to feel better about myself as a whole.”
The mission of Redwood Glen is to transform individuals and communities by providing varied opportunities to experience and know creation and God, it’s creator.
So here at Redwood Glen, in spite of our water challenges, we still keep before us our mission of “Transforming”. We fully believe that the beautiful setting of Redwood Glen provides multiple opportunities for that transformation to take place and to give children, youth and adults a place where they can grow closer to themselves, to others, and to God.
Please click on the button below to give the “Gift of Camp” so others might see that transformation take place in their lives.
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