My family has a long-term relationship with Cross Trails Ministry through its programming at Lutheran Camp Chrysalis and Ebert Ranch Camp. I have personally been attending events at Camp Chrysalis since 1974, both as a youth, adult and now as a parent. I have seen various groups in leadership and changes in programming. One thing I continually appreciate is the loving hospitality that is expressed throughout any encounter.
My family has been impacted by our camping experiences individually and as a family. Each of our three children has attended camp for several years. Our faith in God has been nurtured and strengthened as we worshiped and studied in serenely beautiful outdoor spaces and indoor facilities. Our family has attended family camp off and on for over 15 years and we have yet to be disappointed. We are always fed wonderful food, provided excellent activities and cared for lovingly.
The strength of Cross Trails is definitely in its staff. They are always attentive and work well with a variety of age groups. They take great care in training their summer staff, especially, to deal with all age groups. The staff is more than ready and able to share their own faith journeys as they work and play with kids in Bible study, crafts, archery, worship, sing-alongs, swimming, canoeing, hiking, high ropes, and other “camp” activities. We have special memories of family camp where my dad had attended camp as a teenager and was eager to return with the entire family. What fun to see my mom (grandmother of 7) ride the zip line and giant swing screaming with joy at the top of her lungs. My husband, kids and I also have special memories of our first year at family camp that we attended with our best friends. The two families completed the “ultimate hike” across the challenging bluff in record time. The surprising part of the story is our group included a 2-year old boy and 3-year old girl who did most of the hike on their own.
I remember coming home from camp as a young teen and asking for a guitar so I could learn to play camp songs. That was probably the start of a ministry that has now led to me becoming a parish lay minister. My love of “camp songs” was encouraged as my children returned home from camp and taught new ones to me so we could teach them to our congregation. Now, after attending camp for more than 15 years (beginning at age 5), our son, Benjamin, has learned guitar and is sharing camp songs as he returns home each year.
Cross Trails holds a special place in our hearts and we hope and pray that its ministry continues so that more generations can receive the special joy of attending its programs.
Review from Guidestar