Celebrating 50 Years of God's Faithfulness
The first weekend in June marked the 50th year that Camp Spofford has celebrated the faithfulness of God. When describing the weekend, one word that people continued to use was "powerful."
Events started Friday afternoon. Several arrived early to enjoy the nicest weather of the weekend, walk the grounds, and take in the view from the beach. The food came out at 6 as Doug began presenting his magic from the kitchen. Each familiar face that strolled through the doors of the dining hall added to the mounting excitement. The ominous reports of rain on Saturday shifted the planned bonfire and fireworks to that night, and it was an impressive display! Soon after, the first drops of the next 24 hours began to fall, forcing conversations indoors.
Those planning for the 50th had dreaded the reports of torrential rains and cold temps that would prove to linger all day long on Saturday. Our vision for the weekend was not what God had planned in his sovereignty, and we were blessed to see how his plans are so much better! In Karen Rathbun's words, "The weather forced everyone to look not OUT on the camp, but instead to look IN at each other. It changed the atmosphere of the weekend entirely. Instead of fun on the waterfront and lawn games, people sat in front of roaring fireplaces in the Chalet and Chapel. It was very personal." Food began coming out at 7:30AM, lending to continued conversations throughout the day.
While the small groups of people visiting throughout the weekend often reflected generational lines, everyone clearly felt the strong sense of community. At noon, the chapel filled for a presentation of the photo album created by Tricia Fauske for the 50th (available this summer in the gift shop). It being "the only game in town" because of the weather, everyone chose to attend, and the event became an impromptu time of testimonies to God's goodness. Everyone who wanted to share had an opportunity, and it was filled with both humor and tears. Memories were shared about people who have passed on. Others poked fun at friends as individuals recalled pranks and gaffes. People were asked to stand for various reasons, reflecting how many had met their spouses, how many had served through each of the past 5 decades, how many have volunteered for a work weekend (around 95%), and how many had first met the Lord at Camp Spofford. One Norwegian is quoted as saying, "It's the best place in America." (We want to know... is it better than Norway?) A mom quoted her kids after a trip to Florida, saying, "Camp Spofford is better than Disney World!"
A traditional Camp Spofford banquet began at 5:00PM with prime rib, seafood casserole, and more! The evening culminated in an anniversary celebration in the Chapel as around 250 people gathered for a time of worship and praise for God's goodness. Bill Hamel, president of EFCA, challenged everyone gathered on generosity. Board Member, Christine DiDomizio and Former Director, Fred Rowley, each gave testimony to how God has used this ministry to shape them and their families. Former counselor and staffer, Shawn Kozlowski presented a slideshow of Camp Spofford over the past 50 years. (We look forward to offering this to our Family Camp guests this summer).
The evening concluded with a reflection on the future of Camp Spofford by Executive Director Peter Fiorello. Central to his efforts over the next few years are Camp Spofford's new Dining Hall plans, and he shared his and the Board's vision for how to attain this. Please call Peter at 603-363-4788 if you would like a copy of this presentation mailed to you.
Sunday was a day of worship and more amazing food as lunch was hosted in the Dining Hall. People stayed well into the afternoon, not wanting to leave behind the new memories that were made. Now that the weekend is over, we can be thankful that there is an entire summer of celebration ahead of us! Please don't miss out! Call the office if you would like to make Family Camp reservations. There are still openings throughout the month of July, Senior's Week (August 25th - 31st) and our Labor Day Celebration (August 31st - September 3rd).