"Must bring toothbrush, warm sleeping bag, sense of humor..."
Lilli attended Woodbine Ranch for five seasons. Each summer, as the first day of camp approached, Lilli would get excited about seeing her friends, and finally, on the eve of The Big Day she'd throw gear in a "rucksack" (pillowcase), sit on the trampoline, and blast her tunes. On Sunday morning we'd pile into the old Ford Wagon and head out early so Lilli could find her cabin and score the choicest bunk. Then, after the requisite check of Lilli's feet by the camp physician, and our deposit of her spending money at the Trading Post, we'd annoy Lilli with loud public goodbyes and head home to a week of missing. Sometimes we got letters. Our favorite is from the early years:
|"Dear Mom & Dad,|
Thank you for being Great Parents.
Thank you for buying things for me
& for giving me food every day.
Thank you for not having any other kids
so that I can have all the attention!
Thank you for being there when
I needed someone to talk to.
Every Pickup Saturday Morning Judy and I would load Lilli and all her new stuff into the wagon. Lilli would tell us horseback stories, cabin dramas, meal adventures, chapel moments...and meditations from The Log. "I'd like to be a counselor at Woodbine," Lilli told us after the last few sessions of camp, as we drove the byways back to Summit County. "I know I could do a good job." Judy and I accepted this, knowing it was true and wondering just what went on at camp. It sounded intense!
Dan and Sherry Everest, who run Woodbine Ranch, sent us the above picture of Senior Camp. On the back of the photo are words expressed to those in the group:
What a great testimony and witness Lilli was to campers and other teens. Her light shone through the darkness as she made a huge difference for Jesus Christ. We miss her so much but even, now, God continues to use her for HIS glory.
Lilli's death affected many Woodbine regulars, some of whom have continued to be in touch with us. Dallas, Julia, and Jaime have given us great support during the hardest time of our lives. They can be seen on the Denver Friends page. Other Woobine-attending friends of Lilli include her cousin Tina, of Kansas, Allison and Nicky, of Summit County, and Krysta, of Minnesota. It's clear to us why Lilli was friends with these fine individuals.
The Woodbine brochure lays out the program:
Fun and learning enrich each camper's experience, from getting acquainted with new friends on Sunday evening through good-byes on Saturday morning. Thinking about life in the light of Scripture is part of each day. Campers are challenged by their choice of activities like sports, crafts, swimming, fishing, archery, wilderness skills and outdoor cooking. Everyone enjoys the all-camp games and singing around the campfire.
Julia: "Here's how it works...."
"...Your turn, Lilli!"
"This kid's alright!"
this young man contemplates
the next step of his mission
|nonjudgmental support||sanctuaries||journeys of discovery|