By: Chris “Topher” Aderhold

This story ends with 9 campers and two camp counselors sitting around a campfire eating summer sausage and maple syrup (a can of beans sat nearby unopened, because wouldn’t you know it, a can opener was forgotten…). Each of the 11 young men donned flannel and a beard, and resting peacefully next to each of them was a homemade axe made of cardboard and sturdy sticks.

They had just completed an arduous journey, overcoming countless obstacles and adversaries, traversing over, across, and through the prairies, waterways, and woods of our beloved 225 acres.

Watch out trees - this manly crew is ready to chop down some lumber!

Watch out trees – this manly crew is ready to chop down some lumber!

When the quest began, earlier that day, they were boys. They stood a bit taller at the conclusion of the evening, because now they were lumberjacks. With triumphant looks on each of their faces, they devoured the delicious lumberjack snack, and fittingly, for a gaggle of lumberjacks, The Tale of Three Trees, was recited.

If this is how the story ends, then one might wonder how it began?

This story began several months earlier, back when temperatures at Camp Gray hovered near zero. It began when the two young men applied to be a part of the Summer Camp Staff at Camp Gray. They were promised countless opportunities to be goofy and creative, and that by keeping the faith at the heart of all they did, they’d have innumerable opportunities to impact the lives of loads of young people. It began when those two young men promised to strive everyday, in everything they did, to be an image of Christ to all they encountered.

This story began several months earlier, back when thick blankets of snow covered our beloved 225 acres. It began when the parents of those 9 campers registered their kids to be a part of the life-changing mission of Camp Gray. They were promised that their kids would be safe, that their kids would have oodles of fun, and that their kids would experience Jesus Christ in a real and profound way. It began when those parents trusted in the people and the product of Camp Gray.

This is when this story began. It culminated with an adventurous evening full of laughter, whimsy, and camaraderie. It was an experience that was as perplexing as it was prodigious.

Wednesday nights during Summer Camp is Super Crazy Adventure Time (SCAT).

Our Summer Camp schedule is jam-packed – we keep campers engaged and active with loads of awesome activities each day. SCAT night, on the other hand, is a wide-open chunk of time with nothing scheduled but supper. How is that four-hour window filled? That’s where our top-notch Summer Camp Staff come in, thinking outside the box- sometimes WAY outside the box – to create fun and memorable adventures.

A great deal of gratitude is due to those that have served on our Summer Camp Staff. They continue to joyfully raise the bar on a Camp Gray experience. Thanks.

Additionally, without the trust of the people and product of Camp Gray by our camper parents, there simply wouldn’t be a Camp Gray. Thanks for believing in the mission of Camp Gray.

For our 11 lumberjacks, it was an exhausting and exhilarating evening. With bellies full of lumberjack food and dreams full of lumberjack dreams, the lumberjacks no doubt slept well that night, only to awake the next morning rested and filled with anticipation for another wonderful day at the greatest camp on Earth.

A few spots remain for Summer Camp 2016 – check out the Session Chart for availability.

Hiring for our 2016 Summer Camp Staff is underway! Come be a part of the mission of Camp Gray!


The 5th ever installment of the Tuesdays with Topher mailbag will be coming soon! Read the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th. Do you have questions for Topher?! Send them over!