CEM sponsors camp for youths in Oklahoma hills

Amie is the daughter of Ian and Thalia Hufton of Hawkins, Texas. Eric is the son of Dennis and Paula Hughes of Arp, Texas.

By Amie Hufton and Eric Hughes

WAGONER, Okla. - Camp Challenge, a YEA (Youth Educational Adventures) summer outing sponsored by Christian Educational Ministries, took place at Sequoyah State Park, near here, July 12-20.

Though it seemed to last only a few hours, the week on the shore of Lake Fort Gibson was filled with activities such as basketball, volleyball, softball, group initiatives (led by Lisa Scott), swimming and sailing.

New to the activities list this year was much-enjoyed snorkeling and scuba diving, courtesy of Greg and Wynn Taylor.

Cabin and group Bible studies took place once a day in which we focused on "making right choices." Our theme song this year was, "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb." Group Bible studies were led by Thalia Hufton, Paula Hughes, Beth Meese and Greg Taylor.

This year camp was split in half by the annual canoe trip down the Illinois River during which we suffered only minor injuries. Unfortunately, Larry Watkins (one of our leaders) jettisoned his canoe before we could flip it; he must have experience in this area.

Thursday evening the ever-popular cabin fun show was presented with a mock wedding of counselors Chris Gregor and Lisa Scott, along with several other skits. Afterwards camper-of-the-year awards went to Amie Hufton of Hawkins and Travis Pietz of Peck, Kan., with rookie-of-the-year awards going to Joy Allen of Norman, Okla., and Brandon Holmes of Batesville, Ark.

Friday afternoon a beach party included swimming and volleyball, with several campers attempting to scuba-dive in the lake.

Sabbath evening began with an interactive Bible study. Everyone gathered in a circle to talk about right choices. Mr. Taylor led the discussion, and soon many were sharing their experiences about difficult decisions.

Campers and staffers were saddened as they realized that camp was ending and they would have to face the real world again soon. At the end of the Bible study, everyone began hugging everyone else, and there was hardly a dry eye in the room.

Few managed to sleep in because no one wanted to miss saying good-bye to those leaving that morning.

That afternoon the rest loaded up in cars and vans to go to Tulsa for Sabbath services. The campers and counselors presented special music, singing "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb." Cryssi Smith, a camper and pianist from Lindale, Texas, played special music.

Matthew and Renee Steel of the Tulsa Church of God opened their home to the campers Saturday evening. They took on a big challenge with that many teens, but it was fun for all, with plenty of pizza and soft drinks to go around.

The counselors took this opportunity to make themselves scarce and go out to dinner together. Much thanks to the Steels for their hospitality!

Sunday was spent packing and cleaning for those who had stuck it out to the end. The sailboat had to be brought in, the cabins cleaned, etc.

It was sad to know that camp was all over, but, as one looked around at the beautiful campsite, everyone knew a lot of wonderful memories had been made, thanks to God, Christian Educational Ministries, Mr. and Mrs. Watkins, all the volunteer staff and each camper.

By the way, Camp Challenge 1998 is scheduled for July 12-18. Mark your calendar!

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