“Rest” is not the first word I think of when I think of camp. Kids, blobs, hikes, zip lines, activities, late nights, early mornings—it doesn’t add up to a relaxing five or six days, and Chris and Sandra Harrod would agree.
I recently had the chance to sit down with this couple who were group leaders at one of our Crossings student camps. They were on Day Four of their stay at Cedarmore and started off sharing about their love for the property—minus the hills. Sandra talked about running around to watch all the kids and activities. “My toes are always pointed down,” she said, laughing as she added that she hasn’t had shin-splints since the fourth grade. That, coupled with the early morning devotions, the late-night mattress surfing, and the jam-packed schedule in between is enough to leave anyone exhausted by the end.
Yet, you would not use the word exhausted if you saw the Harrods smiling and energetically talking about their love for camp. It’s a paradox, but at Crossings it’s no mystery why the running around leaves you renewed.
“When you come here and watch 600 kids praise God at the top of their lungs, it’s reassuring and it helps you go on,” Chris said. It’s the time spent with so many like-minded believers that is precious and refueling, Sandra explained.
It’s why the Harrods have made a point to return to Crossings for their third year—and they bring more students every time. Sandra said that her kids are quick to tell their friends about camp. If these friends ever express doubt about “church camp,” the Harrods’ students will say, “No, you don’t understand. This is not a normal camp.”
It’s not a normal camp because it’s Crossings, and at Crossings, we don’t just give camp—we give life. Camp teaches and excites kids about the gospel of Jesus. It energizes and encourages adults in their Christian faith. It offers fellowship and fun memories for everyone and is a breath of fresh air from the draining day-to-days in which we often live.
The Harrods will testify to this. So much so that even when the funds were short this year, they willingly paid the difference so that the students could come. And as they leave another remarkable week behind, Chris shared that they’re looking forward to the next 12 months of raising money to come again.
“It recharges us,” he said. “(Coming to Crossings) fuels my soul. That’s what makes it worth every penny.”
Taylor LaForest is communications intern at Crossings Ministries