As fall weather creeps through South Dakota, things are beginning to turn brown, yellow and red. Leaves are falling, animals are storing away for the winter and we’re preparing our hearts for the Christmas season.

Counselors have started a yearly tradition of writing Christmas cards to campers they’ve had in their cabins in the summer. The cards are simple and meant as a reminder to each camper that their counselor thinks about them, cares about them and wishes them blessings for the season.

As simple as the practice might be, the meaning reflects back on our mission statement and values. Our fourth value in the CONNECT acrostic, nurture, is especially reflected this way.

As a Christian community, we believe we are called to nurture the Christian faith, discipleship and give ourselves to meet the needs of others. We believe that campers of all backgrounds should feel safe at camp and beyond, knowing that their camp leaders will nurture them in the love of God, even if their interpretation, theological background or upbringing may be different.

Even as things in our natural world are dying in the fall season, we know that spring will bring new life. As a camp community, and a Christian community, we wait expectantly for the renewal of our natural world and ourselves. In the meantime, we’re working hard to nurture each other and foster a community that thrives.

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