Here is a fantastic video from some of our previous camper’s mother’s discussing her children’s experience at Deer Run Summer Camp. In case the video doesn’t load properly, we have provided the video transcript below.
Amy Fenton: I’ve known Dave and Liz Gibson my, almost my whole life. And I was on church staff, where Dave and Liz went to church. I was the children’s pastor there, when Dave told me about this vision that he and Liz had for this camp. And to birth this. Of course, being a children’s pastor in this area, and knowing there was nothing like this around, I was thrilled from that perspective.
At the time, my kids were still beyond, they were too young to come. They were really little. Honestly, I don’t even know that that was on my radar, at the time. Fast forward to a few summers ago, when my kids were old enough come to Deer Run. We signed up for day camp. They loved it.
In fact, the first summer they came, it was a really tough year in our life. It was the year when I had gone through a really hard divorce. My commitment for the summer was that my kids just had fun. I needed them to go play outside, and get fresh air, and run. We signed up for day camp, and at the end of the week, they had so much fun. They came home and said, “Can we please go another week?”
I knew the next week was the very last week. I actually called out here and I said, “My kids want to come so bad. I can’t afford to send them. But, is there anything I can do.” They were so gracious to offer us scholarships to let them come. It just made my kids whole summer.
This place, right then and there, became a huge place of healing for them. I don’t think if you asked to them, that they would be aware that’s what it was.
Pierce is my middle son. He’s been in a very awkward stage of life. (laughs) He’s fifth grade, and about to go into middle school. But Pierce just really, really wants to be liked. If you believe in him, he will give you 110%.
For him, we marched on in the first day, he found out he was with Squirt and Frozone … whatever that means. (laughs) I love those names. Those two guys made the biggest impact on his life. They were just game changers, they loved on him … ADHD and all. And almost, I would daresay, loved him because of that, not in spite of that. They were amazing.
Then my younger son … he’s quieter, he’s just the, he flies under the radar. He loves to have a good time. But he’s not gonna express it outwardly nearly as much as his brother. (sighs) For him … he came and did his thing. Every day brought home a new rock and stick. He have a collection in the garage.
About a week or two later, we’re at home just sitting around visiting, and he says, “You know, my counselor … did I tell you that my counselor told us how we could pray and make Jesus our best friend forever?” And I said, “No, I don’t think you did.”
That’s something we talk about at home all the time, so that seed had been planted. We talk about that at our church, we talk about that in our home. But something about his counselor here, at Deer Run, just being in this environment … this surrounding that’s so kid-friendly, it just spoke to him.
He said to me, “You know, when he told us what we could pray, I prayed that prayer. Yeah, I prayed. I prayed with him, a Christian at Deer Run.” And I said, “You did buddy?” He said, “Yeah, I was just waiting to tell you.”
We stopped right there and then and we prayed together. And talked about what that meant, and he fully understood it. He could tell me everything that his counselor had told him. Everything that he prayed. I mean, it was truly embedded in his heart.
In fact, when I saw David and told him, David said, “We didn’t know about that.” And I said, “I know.” Because he’s such a quiet kid. He didn’t even want to tell his counselor, that’s just his personality. And yet, he knew that from what he had learned, he knew that he needed to tell. He needed to tell. It just took him in his own time to tell.
Deer Run means a lot to us. We are very, very grateful for it in our home. I’m excited to see what happens in their life as they continue. I hope they grow up and work here someday. I hope they grow up are Squirt and Frozone someday. (laughs)
If you are interested in having your child attend a Summer Camp at Deer Run, please do not hesitate to contact us at (615) 454-9323 for more information!