I don’t know about you, but by April, I am done…cooked, fried, ready for the school year to be over, ready to take a break from ministry. I am depleted and running on empty. This is when I start dreaming about my summer vacation and my favorite place in the world, CAMP-of-the-WOODS.

I discovered CAMP-of-the-WOODS when my two prayer partners lovingly and affectionately talked about this place they had gone to summer after summer, year after year. It sounded wonderful. I was intrigued and so I did a little investigating. CAMP-of-the-WOODS is a Christian Family Resort and Conference Center, located on Lake Pleasant in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York. The tagline on their brochure reads “For meaningful vacations with spiritual enrichment.” Truer words were never written.

I’d heard of the Adirondack Mountains but had never laid eyes upon them.

What a spectacularly beautiful place, abounding in lakes and mountains and an abundance of natural beauty that takes your breath away. Being surrounded by God’s creation does something wonderfully restorative and soothing to my soul. I would choose this over an amusement park any day of the week.

Don’t let the name CAMP-of-the-WOODS fool you. Trust me, this is not a “roughing it” vacation. (Tweet This)

Although I love being in nature, I am not an outdoor camping kind of girl. When I go on vacation I want four walls and a bed. We choose to stay on the beachfront property but, there are quite a variety of accommodations available on the grounds including efficiencies and a hotel. Our longhouse overlooks the stunningly beautiful Lake Pleasant with its ethereal mists that hover above it every morning and its gorgeous sunsets that glisten on its waters each night.

Outside my longhouse door is a deck leading down to a grassy area with a fire pit for wonderful nightly campfires. It’s the perfect spot for good old-fashioned face-to-face connection with friends and family under a star-filled sky. Walk a few more steps and your toes will dig into the sandy beach that surrounds the lake. You can rent speedboats, rowboats, canoes, and kayaks on a daily or weekly basis and explore all the natural wildlife of the lake’s marshes, coves, and tributaries.

There are a myriad of activities to participate in.

You can enjoy hikes, canoe trips, rafting, tubing, paddle boarding, water skiing, wakeboarding, Sunfish sailing, tennis, shuffleboard, horseshoes, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, mini-golf, sand volleyball. For the even more adventurous, there are zip lines, cliff jumping, and cave exploration. There are plenty of tournaments for adults and kids and a huge indoor sports complex and game room. There is a different sports emphasis each week with professional Christian athletes who coach the children and speak into their lives spiritually as well.

One of the biggest surprises at CAMP-of-the-WOODS was the entertainment at night.

As we walked into the auditorium we were handed a program entitled “Staff Concert.” My husband and I thought it would be amateur hour of American Idol-type hopefuls. Boy, were we wrong. We were blown away by amazing concerts performed throughout the week by talented musicians performing at a level of excellence akin to a NYC orchestra or a Broadway show. The CAMP-of-the-WOODS orchestra plays classical, Broadway show tunes, opera, big band, jazz, and worship music often accompanied by talented vocalists. These concerts exemplify the scripture, Colossians 3:23, Do everything with excellence as unto the Lord.

But the best part of this vacation for me is the speakers. Chapels and seminars are offered every morning taught by amazing, challenging teachers. I am a hungry girl, hungry for God’s Word and always ready to sit down to a feast. This is exactly what you get at CAMP-of-the-WOODS. This year’s speakers include Tony Evans along with his daughter Priscilla Shirer, and Lysa Terkeurst to name a few. You will see speakers and their families walking around camp and you may even get the opportunity to talk with them. Your children will also receive teaching at their level at Kids Club and Teen Chapel.

One of the great joys at CAMP-of-the-WOODS is going to lunch or dinner at one of the two dining halls. I love sitting with my family and friends discussing the talks we’ve just heard. One dining hall is more upscale than the other, so your choice will depend on your tastes and budget.

When I leave CAMP-of-the-WOODS I am filled with God’s Word and buoyed up by being with His people.

The Spirit of God permeates the place because it is filled with people who love, revere, and honor God…How beautiful that is. It feels like a little glimpse of heaven. Your children will experience a newfound freedom in this wholesome and refreshing environment, a sweet respite from the world.

We started going to Camp when my children were teenagers and it has become a yearly tradition that we all joyfully anticipate. We truly wouldn’t want to miss a year. A summer without CAMP-of-the-WOODS, well, it just would not be the same. I have been to some beautiful places in my lifetime--Hawaii, Cancun, Aruba to name a few…but nothing stirs my heart and nourishes my soul like CAMP-of-the-WOODS.

Click HERE for the brochure and more information on how you can go to CAMP-of-the-WOODS

Sandy has been married to Joe for 29 years and is mom to three sons ages 18, 19, and 21.  She is active in church and prayer ministries, was a bible study leader for many years, and has been a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Mentor Mom for the past seven years. Her passion is to bless and encourage new moms in their high-calling of motherhood and to let them know how much they are valued and cherished by their Father in heaven.  Sandy loves to share her journey of faith through writing and public speaking.

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