Camp Crossroads has been an integral part of my life ever since I first set foot on the grounds at the age of 5 in 1985. A place to explore creativity, learn about my place in this world, and pursue Christ, Camp shaped me in more ways than I know how to describe. As a camper I have wonderful memories of making friends, playing games, and learning how to be independent. I also remember some challenging experiences that helped me learn how to problem solve and not always rely on others to help me out of situations.

As a staff member I felt the greatest impact. The first year after I had aged out of being a youth week camper I came back to be a volunteer staff for the summer. It was incredible. Spending so many weeks in row up at camp, learning from those a few years ahead of me, and exploring independence in my life and faith. I fell in love with Camp Crossroads’ ministry that summer and returned for 6 more full summers, eventually being on Summer Team for 2 years and then continuing to return as a one-week volunteer in future years.

One of the amazing things that happened during more than a decade of summer ministry at Camp was that I was able to be a cabin leader for a specific camper during their Kids Week experience and then again in their Youth Week experience 10 years later. Seeing them grow up at camp from an 8 year old to an 18 year old was amazing. We continue to stay connected to this day. The longevity and legacy that Camp has in people’s lives is truly incredible.

The longevity and legacy that Camp has in people’s lives is truly incredible.
Drew Unruh

As I process what it was about Camp’s ministry that had such an impact on me, I would boil it down to one word: opportunity. Camp afforded me opportunity to grow in my leadership. As the summer team member who helped plan and program chapels I was able to get better at my musical instrument, learn how to lead teams of musicians, and lead people towards Jesus. That has continued on as I’ve stayed very connected to worship ministry through staff positions at churches, working at Eden High School, and now as a volunteer in my local church.

Camp gave me the opportunity to build lasting friendships. The people that I was on summer team with continue to carry a special place in my life. It’s amazing when we get to see each other, our friendship continues, and stories abound. As we were shoulder to shoulder doing Camp together we forged bonds and memories that continue to this day.

Camp allowed me the opportunity to solidify my faith. With strong leaders like JO Schimpky, Ben Lockyer, Andrew Hiebert, Brenda Reimer, and so many more paving the way I was able to ask questions about life, dig into the Bible in a more deliberate way, and seek a safe spiritual exploration.

Camp became the place where I crushed on girls and learned how to deal with heartbreak. It was the place I discovered freedom in worship and that God is the only audience that matters. Camp became my safe space during tumultuous times at home. I learned creative problem solving, leadership, interpersonal interaction skills, and how to have fun!

I can say with confidence that Camp led me to God who continues to shape my life.