The summer after my 3rd grade year, I found myself on what felt like an endless bus ride, navigating the twists and turns of a dusty road, leading me to a sacred space which would play a monumental role in shaping my identity as both a member of society and a follower of Christ. Anybody who has spent time in South-Eastern Idaho can attest to the ever-changing climate of unpredictable weather patterns and the smells of the many factories and farms which provide a livelihood for the families who live there. The presence of dust and odors becomes second nature, fitting into our lives, often unnoticed. The first time I remember experiencing a change in that norm was stepping off that bus and taking in the absolute beauty of Sawtooth Camp. As I looked around, spotting the lodge, cabins and the incredible mountain backdrop, I breathed in fresh mountain air and the most profound sense of joy I have ever experienced in my life swelled within me. It was my first encounter with the “mountaintop experience” that many veteran campers of Sawtooth will tell you about.
Having spent over a decade camping and counseling at Sawtooth Camp, I have richly felt the joy that accompanies a ministry centered in nurturing and personal growth. In this sacred space, I learned how empowering it is to commit your life to the Lord through the jubilant expression of song, games, and fellowship. At Sawtooth, joy exists in the relationships that are built, the community that is created, and in the constant affirmation received, that God is good and we are the Savior’s worthy disciples!
I met my best friend at Sawtooth. I took my first hike; plunged into icy waters for the first time, experienced vulnerability in the most encouraging and safe way possible, I counseled my first camp, I met and later proposed to the love of my life at Sawtooth Camp. Imagine how much joy awaits you in this little slice of heaven in the mountains. I encourage you to take this trip where you might encounter joy that you can share with others for the rest of your life.