Reflection & Gratitude – from Nathan Bowen, Executive Director

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CLC Blog Nabo's Post Fall PicI was recently sitting on one of the benches overlooking Crystal Lake, enjoying a quiet and peaceful autumn afternoon.  And, as we all do at this time of year, I’ve been looking back on Crystal Lake Camps’ past year and have been finding so much good, for which I am grateful. I’m excited to share some of the more meaningful things I am grateful for with you here.

Healings through Christian Science.  Without Christian Science, CLC simply wouldn’t exist.  And to have been witness this summer to some really amazing healing work, I am grateful to see the proof of God’s great love for his children.  While at camp, it just becomes simple and easy to see the very natural receptiveness that children have to spirituality.  Christian Science healing becomes a very normal, natural outgrowth of the camp experience – and it is quite remarkable how many campers will say to us that the camp experience shows them how close God really is to them in their daily experience.

I am also very grateful for the amazing staff that came to serve this past summer.  They did so much – each and every day.  The CLC staff are a small family, and it is such a blessing to see their love for, and commitment to, the spirit and program that constitute the Crystal Lake Camp experience.  The summer staff are the sentinels at camp – keeping watch over our precious children in their fun and formative summer camp experience, helping to guard and guide their growth in Christian Science while at camp.

Another round of gratitude goes out to everyone involved in our international program.  This summer, we were able to hang the flags of three new countries to add to our representation in Alford Hall: Peru, Haiti, and Vietnam.  We now have an amazing collection of 33 flags showing where our summer camp campers and staff have come from over the history of CLC.  We are proud of our strong international presence, bringing active Christian Science families together from all over the world!  In 2013, we had campers and staff from Vietnam, Haiti, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Kenya, Botswana, England, and Latvia.

Our exciting and full-to-capacity programs.  In the past year, our Winter Camp, as well as Second and Third Sessions of our summer camp programs, were at or within 5% of capacity!  That’s a really awesome place to be, and we’re so glad to see our programs are meeting the needs of many families, and that the CLC experience is resonating meaningfully with many people.  We feel blessed by the votes of confidence placed in us by the enrolled families, and look forward to continuing our growth in the next year.  In fact, our Winter Camp program over the upcoming New Year (Dec 29 – Jan 1) still has openings, and we’d love to have you join us – come ring in the new year in a meaningful way with other Christian Science families!

We also have much to be grateful for in our loving and committed donors.  Even a $5 donation to CLC is a help, and we see it as a recognition that you understand we’re worth investing in. Half of CLC’s operating cash comes from donations, and that means a lot to us!  We know donors expect their money to be used wisely and efficiently, and we strive to stretch every dollar that comes through our doors.  The donations make it possible for us to continue to operate – and as we begin thinking about CLC’s 65th summer in 2014, we simply can’t thank you all enough for supporting our efforts!

As we move forward into the winter and planning time for next year, I sincerely invite you to be in touch with me personally and directly – on any matter, whether it is simply to convey an idea, gratitude, or to ask questions about our programs and property.  Hearing your ideas and feedback is a truly important piece in the communication cycle with CLC.

Many thanks for your continued involvement with Crystal Lake Camps!

Nathan Bowen
Executive Director

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