Camp Peniel is a Christian youth camp in the Texas hill country - Marble Falls to be exact, which is outside of Austin. It is the camp that I attended every year from the time I was 9 until I was in high school. I was a camper there, a work crew staff member there and a counselor there. There was a part of me, still is a part of me, that feels most at home there. I remember as a young woman feeling that it was the only place in the world where I could totally let my guard down. It was the first place where the Christian life was demonstrated for me. I listened and learned there. I walked and experienced there. I grew there. And so now as I walked those same paths of my youth, volunteered behind the scenes and watched as my daughter walked those same paths, I was so thankful for all the growth that has transpired there. And all of the seeds that were planted there. And all of the living that has taken place there; for me, for Savannah and for everyone who has walked those grounds.

My sister volunteered with me for the first 3 days. She too was a camper there, and work crew staff, and counselor and lifeguard….you get the picture. She came so that we could have a few days alone before I board the plane to my new home and in a lot of ways, my new life. It was a 3 day window of laughs, tears and memories. It was a gift. Liz has a way of bringing light and laughter to any situation and any conversation. She is someone you want to celebrate with.

After she left on Wednesday, I was alone with my God once more. How completely beautiful it was to be there with Him, quiet for a few days. There are so many things for which I wanted to remember and give thanks. There were so many blessings I wanted to stand in awe of, so much provision that helped me feel His presence that I wanted to revisit. What a journey He has taken me on in my time in Texas. What a change He has made in my heart. What valleys He walked me through only to lead me to mountaintops where I could see the big picture and the majesty of His work in my life and those I love. How much more of that I sense Him leading me toward.

Savannah worked all year on her Duchess book for camp and was crowned the last night of camp (pictures with the blue crown on). Neither Liz nor I ever made it past Duchess in all our years at camp. Savannah has made it there in only 2. Duchess is the mid level of the Kings Daughters program at Camp Peniel. It is of a series of nature studies, community service projects, scripture reading and passage memorization. Most kids only work on it while they are at camp but Savannah brought it home and worked monthly on its requirements. We are so proud of her.

This year she took archery, all sport extreme and handcrafts as her three classes. She had Margo for a counselor and her best friend in the cabin was Desiree.