Getting into Creation at Sawtooth

August 28, 2018

Reflections on the Seven Foundations for Camp & Retreat Ministries

Foundation 5: Teaching Creation Care and Appreciation

by Robert Poe. director of Sawtooth Camp

It is hard to have an appreciation for something that you do not notice. It is entirely possible to spend time every day passing over something that is truly amazing. Many have likely seen videos where some of the best musicians in the world go and play on the streets. (this one of Josh Bell playing the Washington metro is particularly good). In nearly every case, the vast majority of people simply walk by and take little notice while some of the most beautifully played music in the world calls to them. If they had noticed what beauty was there for them to take in they would not only stop and pay attention to it, but would draw others in to see it as well.

I believe this to be the case with the amazing creation that has been given over to us by God. When God made the heavens and the earth, God did so with even more care and skill than the greatest artists and musicians of all time. But we live in a culture and world that is so easily distracted. Our eyes are drawn more to billboards and screens then to the trees, rivers, mountains, and sky. And this is why I love places like Sawtooth Camp.

Sawtooth finds itself in an oasis (though our techno-culture is more likely to call it a desert!). Up here in the remote mountains of Idaho we have the blessing to have the most common distractions removed from us. It enables those who come here to simply be and take notice of all that is around them.

  • To see lodgepole pines and firs with their heavenward reaches.
  • To hear the sound of the river rushing in the distance, to look up and see the tallest mountain peaks, only to realize that there is so much more beyond all of those still.
  • To be warmed each morning as the sun rises up, flooding the valley with its life-giving light and then that evening slowly disappears behind the mountainside, revealing more stars than you ever thought possible.
  • To see the bounding deer and the quick dart of the humming birds.
  • To be in it all and to recognize the artistry and beauty of what God has made.

These are the opportunities that happen at camp, we just have to make sure we don’t get in the way.

The Love of Christ to you,


© 2014 Camp and Retreat Ministries:

A partnership between The Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church
and The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon