by Korey Breutzmann, NLOM Director/Programs and Sheridan member
The crackle of a campfire, the morning song of a blue bird, the laughter of a child jumping into the pool on a hot afternoon. These, along with many other sights, sounds and smells are what make up the unique environment of Carol Joy Holling Camp (CJH). Located between Ashland and Mahoney State Park, Carol Joy Holling Camp is a branching arm of the Nebraska Synod and the home camp for many congregations in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
Sheridan sends around 30 kids to CJH, making them one of the top 10 congregations in campers sent consistently. One of the greatest things about going to a Lutheran camp in the summer is experiencing the grace of God in a new setting and new light. Kids at camp live in an intentional Christian community. They learn and feel acceptance, sometimes for the first time in their life. They see the message of Christ’s love lived out through each other and through the 65 college-aged staff that help lead, support and take care of the kids through the week. It’s that community and new view of the same message that makes camp one of the mountaintop experiences in young people’s faith life.
The confirmation retreat, men’s retreat and high school retreat are just a few ways Sheridan and CJH share a partnership year round. Recently, at the Heart of Camp Gala, Sheridan members Paul and Kathy Ahrendt were honored with Carol Joy Holling’s Hospitality Award. Paul and Kathy have been instrumental in helping camp educate and lead other ministries in the message of inclusion. Thanks to the Ahrendts, CJH is a leader in the outdoor ministry world in making sure that every child is seen as the special gift from God that they are and that when they are at camp, they feel loved and included, making sure no child feels excluded or marginalized. We can’t thank Paul and Kathy enough for their support in spreading this message.
As a member of Sheridan, I am thankful for all the support this congregation gives to camp and the youth that attend. I believe, based on the youth that I work with at camp and at Sheridan, that the future of our church is in great hands and God is ever present. And as Jesus once said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Join the Nebraska Synod Camp Support
Help make summer camp at Carol Joy Holling a gift of faith for children and youth in 2018! Up to $1,000 in matching funds will help grow your gift. Make checks payable to Sheridan Lutheran, memo: Carol Joy Holling Appeal. Our gifts from Sheridan join with others from across the Nebraska Synod. Each summer camp needs $250,000 to make camp operational. Your financial gift helps share the good news of Jesus!