The most powerful, multi-layered ministry that the area of Southern Nevada has is our children’s camps at Potosi Pines Camp every summer. The camps are powerful because of the number of children from all over the Las Vegas valley that are touched by being out in the woods learning about Christian life and developing a relationship with Christ. Campers from the inner city areas of Las Vegas are grouped with campers from prosperous neighborhoods. Campers that come from loving Christian homes are grouped with those in foster care. As I have witnessed year after year, by being a counselor and a co-dean, they all have similar experiences during camp. They are uplifted by reaching the top of Twin Peaks, they are educated by pastors and lay people who come to teach at the camp, and they are inspired by participating in talent shows and art projects. I have seen campers accept Christ and develop relationships with Christian mentors.
The camps are multi-layered because not only do they develop the characters of the campers that attend and introduce them to Christ, but camps provide the teenagers of our church a place to develop leadership skills. Cabin aides are instrumental in the successes of the camps. They become mentors, surrogate parents, and Christian models for all of the children. This not only builds the confidence of the teens, but when guided by the adult cabin leaders, they develop strong leadership skills that are essential for the United Methodist Churches to survive. I have seen my own son, turn from a gangly sixteen year old cabin assistant at Mt. Potosi to a powerful and instrumental leader of our church in the youth program and Vacation Bible School. And yes, I attribute it all to his training at camp. The adults that help are more blessed than the children who attend. No one can serve at a camp and come out not being changed and fully supportive of camps. What other place can you mentor children or talk with students in a small group about the love of Christ and how it is just for them?
Continued support in this ministry by praying, providing servants to work, and continued financial contributions will be life changing for many people.