By: Chris “Topher” Aderhold

In this “Year in Review” post, my goal was to summarize the greatness that was 2013 at Camp Gray. (I did this for 2012, as well.  2012 was also great, but in a different kind of great…) As I began to work on this article, however, my mind automatically went to those stories, videos, and events that have already been told…


It’s the people that make Camp Gray, and these wacky people certainly played a huge role in making 2013 great!

For instance:
This story.
This story.
This video.
This video.
This crew of people.
This crew of people.
This crew of people.
This generosity.
This video.
This movement (yes, it was a movement).
This story (yes, a more detailed story will be coming soon…).
And last, but certainly not least, This video.

Of course, these are all exceptional stories, videos, and events, but they only tell part of the story of CG 2013.  I decided I needed to dig a bit deeper. To ponder 2013 at a greater depth, I stepped away from my desk, walked to the coffee maker in the common area of Camp’s office, refilled my mug, and then I reflectively gazed out the office window at the frozen, white tundra of a 12-degree day at Camp Gray, all the while sipping on that hot, delicious, heavenly beverage… (Why I felt the need to get dramatic at this point of the article is anyone’s guess – though here’s my guess: Jeff is my go-to proof reader, but this week I’m flying without a proof reader (you’ll see why in a moment), so maybe this is a classic “there’s no proof reading taking place this week so I’m going to abuse this fact by writing overly dramatic and ridiculous things, some of which will be run-on sentences found within the confines of the dreaded double parenthesis…”)

I digress…

In my pondering, digging, and reflecting, I found the all-encompassing, under-reported story of 2013 that played a critical role in making 2013 all that it was: Jeff is back.

Maybe you’re thinking, “He’s back? Where did he go?”


Big smiles abound – Jeff is back!

For those unaware, Jeff was battling cancer during the summers of 2011 & 2012.  Obviously this meant he wasn’t around Camp a whole lot those summers, as most everything else takes a back seat to fighting this terrible beast.  It was humbling to be a part of those two Summer Staffs, because I witnessed staffers stepping up in profound and generous ways, helping to ensure that Jeff’s absence didn’t negatively effect even one camper’s experience at Camp Gray.  Even still, those of us that had worked with Jeff prior to those summers certainly missed him, his humor, and his keen ability to see the big picture to make common sense decisions for Camp.

Humbling also, for all of us that were a part of those two summers, was witnessing Rebecca sacrificing much to thanklessly split duties between taking care of Jeff, watching after their three kids, and helping to lead Summer Camp.

Jeff received the great news that he was cancer-free in November of 2012.  This past summer he had a routine CT scan in which the Doc shared with him that he was still “squeaky clean!”

Many thanks to all those that prayed for and supported Jeff, Rebecca, and their three kids during those difficult times.

2013 was about as great as they come for all those reasons at the top of the page. It was more than that, though. Jeff was back.

Christmas is coming! There won’t be another CG blog post until after the New Years (plus CG updates via facebook, twitter, instagram, & YouTube will be scarce). This should give you plenty of time to catch up on all of the aforementioned great 2013 moments that I made reference to above.

From all of us at Camp Gray: Merry Christmas! Thanks for a wonderful year, friends!


If you’re giving the gift of Camp Gray to a loved one this Christmas, please check this out.