Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Looking back on 2015

It's a brand New Year: a time to reflect on the past. 
It's a time to be thankful for all the ways God has provided for our ministry here at Palomar Christian Conference Center. A time to recognize some of the accomplishments that have been made over the past 12 months!

Winter Camp in January was a big hit with our junior high campers! It was the first ever Palomar Winter Camp, and it's safe to say it was downright awesome! Of course when you bring back incredible summer counselors, have a party called "Pajama Jam", and put Jesus in the center of it all, it's hard to go wrong! (For a good laugh you should check out our video promotion for Pajama Jam on YouTube! It's a parody music video of The Muppets song-"Manah, Manah")
Each time kids come up the mountain they are sure to experience their favorite Palomar activities- like zooming through the forest on our 650ft zip-line, and crouching behind tree stumps and bunkers to avoid paintball attack! Laughter and energy brought everyone together at Winter Camp, sharing their most fond memories from summer and creating an atmosphere of unity and friendship that will be remembered. 
In the evenings, after full days of fun, we all came together as one body, praising and worshipping with hands held high to our Lord and Savior. What a powerful atmosphere where kids, some who had just committed their lives to Christ months before, could be transparent before their Maker and humbly seek Him in that time of worship. We are thrilled with this new program! 

As we progress, we are always striving to do more for the schools who make the winding trip up the mountain for Outdoor Education. Thanks to our Program department we've added a new class to the Science Camp curriculum options! "Weather Class" was offered as an option for the first time this spring and brought our total number of classes to 11!
We love Outdoor Education because we know it is significantly impactful to many participants. Science Camp (or 6th grade camp to some) has been one of the longest running programs here at Palomar Christian Conference Center, and adults who have come to retreat with will stop by the office just to let us know that they REMEMBER coming when they were in 6th grade to this same mountaintop! They were certainly impacted by the power of camp and the Spirit of God here, and we pray before each group of campers that the impact of their stay will be eternal.

A New Activity?! Yes! Our High Ropes Course was completed in May and opened for it's first guest use last summer!! For more on this awesome new activity, check out our previous blog post "Courage in the Trees!"

One reason we all get excited for summer is because incredible college-age, servant-hearted, young adults come alongside us on staff! This past summer we had about 45 wonderful personalities join our Summer Staff. They poured out for the sake of the Gospel and made sure Palomar's mission was first and foremost. Throughout the summer, we referred to ourselves as #PalomarFamily on social media because of our closeness and unity here on the mountaintop. Being part of this camp staff is special, and we hope each member of the "family" will come back next summer! If you know someone who would love to be part of the "Palomar Family" and serve on our summer staff, encourage them to apply online by going to our website!

What an INCREDIBLE summer!!! Palomar Christian Conference Center is a busy place year-round, but when Summer comes.. Look Out!! This year we had larger numbers than ever before! That means more campers coming through the gates, more meals in the dining hall, and most importantly, more individuals hearing The GREATEST Truth- that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior!!! 

Hiking at Palomar is a great way to connect with God. His creation is so beautiful in this place and we love when campers have the opportunity to see more of it, so we are really excited that the trail to Fern Valley was completed this summer! Our Adventure Camp guys use Fern Valley as a campground, so this newly manicured trail is extremely helpful for them during their summer program!  

Outdoor Education isn't just Science Camp anymore! Leadership Camp launched this fall for High School Students and the first weeks were awesome! We're looking forward to more Leadership Camp weeks and the opportunity to dive into the Word with the kids who come!

A couple changes even happened in the barn this year. Sampson and Delilah (our extra-large horses) were both sold! We also had the opportunity to bring in CC and Turin- both quarter-horse mixes that will work great for our trail and arena rides!

Here at the Conference Center, you may see a few new faces who joined us in the past year! Here's a look at the changes that happened in our staff during 2015!

Finally, we want to be sure to thank our Volunteers who came to PCCC in 2015! Several wonderful organizations sent volunteers, and we are so thankful for each person who rolled up their sleeves to help out! MAPPers, SOWERs, Hard Hats 4 Christ, and local churches were all involved in improvements here at Palomar, and we are so excited about all the progress! Just a few of the major accomplishments that these volunteers were a part of... 
Our Gift Shop Remodel
Fresh Paint for Buildings & Our zip-line platform
New Drapes Made and Upholstery for Chairs
and last but not least...
Kerrigil II has seen SO MUCH improvement this year! It's incredible how many hands have helped with this building and we are extremely excited to open it for guest use in 2016!!

The Lord has done great things for us, 
and we are filled with joy.
-Psalm 126:3-

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