My Palomar experience…..
My story started way before I even went up the mountain. It starts about 6 months before at APU. Now, how I heard about about Palomar is pretty crazy in itself. How I got recruited was all thanks to God and my roommate. I didn’t hear about Palomar until my roommate brought in a flyer and left it there on my mini fridge - not even telling me about it. However, little by little I would see the card and day by day I read it. It wasn’t till about a month later that I finally read the whole thing and decided that I wanted to help Palomar change the lives of the campers. The rest is all history; I applied, got the job, and was set to head up the mountain for Staff Training.
So fast forward to the end of May and I am all packed up and ready to head up the mountain. The whole ride up I was so excited for the adventure that was ahead. When I finally arrived at camp I was greeted by everyone jumping and screaming and just looking so excited that I was there. I even remember at one point thinking to myself, I think they have the wrong person, but I was wrong. They knew who I was and that made me feel so at home!
The specific camp that I had the blessing to be a part of this summer was Adventure Camp! This camp is everything that the title says it is, an adventure! Outside 24 hours 7 days a week, sleeping under the stars, having the sun as an alarm clock, and cooking everything you eat over a camp fire. And that is only in the first 12 hours of the weeks! I could go on to list everything we did in the week, but that's top secret P.A.C. info only - so sorry, no spoilers. Every week was full of growth and new experiences that to this day I still reflect on because they still help me grow even today. I got to witness guys so fired up to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior that they couldn't help but jump and shout for joy. And I saw loving and compassionate young men willing to serve all out and at all times of the day. Experiences like these truly helped me grow and continue growing in all aspects of my life.
July 28, 2015 was the last day of summer and man did I love every minute of it. As my time at Palomar came to a close I took some time to reflect on what I got to be a part of. I remember thinking to myself, "Wow what a summer!" I came up to this camp not knowing a single person or a single thing about it. I leave now feeling like I am leaving home. I sure am gonna miss this place and all of it’s beauty - because this place is truly breathtaking - from the view over the clouds and down to the valley below, to the hike up Death Mountain to see the beauty of God’s creation on the mountain all around us. The glory of God is on display wherever you look on this mountain. However, I soon discovered that the true glory of God does not lie in what is around the camp, it is in how he's moving here. From saving lives of children, men, and women to continuing to mold the full time staff into godly men and women. That is where the true beauty of Palomar lies - in the hand of God moving in this place to save, transform, and redeem all who call on His name. 59 days I spent at Palomar, 59 days I got to see the hand of God at work in ways I had never seen before. I feel so blessed to be able to see how God moved at Palomar this summer.
I went up the mountain for the first time not knowing a single person and not knowing what to expect or what I would learn in my time there, I left feeling like I left a family behind because and a new sense for being able to how see God moves in the lives of other.
And that is my Palomar experience….. which is to be continued :)