I’m more of a photographer than a writer.
That being said, there exists a place in the heart of the San Juan Mountains just outside of Durango Colorado that has captured a part of my heart. K-CO or Camp Kivu now has been a part of my summers for the better part of the last decade and I am finally going to try and put it to words as to why it captured my heart for so long.
For those who do not know, Camp Kivu is an outdoor sports/adventure camp that focuses on the adventurous activities like rock climbing, backpacking, and mountain biking. But the greatest purpose of Kivu is that the camp exists to create change in the lives of the high-school aged campers.
Change that is meant to reach deep into the hearts of the campers. Change that is meant to reach deep into culture. Change that affects the Kingdom of God. It is at Kivu that students can learn more about the Christian worldview and how to apply it to their daily lives.
But none of that is why this place has captured my heart. Sure it helps, but consider it icing on the cake. The main reason Kivu has stolen my heart is the people who work there.
Very few places get living in community right and Kivu is one of those places. What I mean by living in community is this: openly sharing and participating the lives of brothers and sister in Christ in a way that breaks all barriers and ultimately points towards the glory of God. Soli Deo Gloria. Thats the community at Kivu.
Never has this been more apparent than the summer of 2010. Going through change is hard, and its never been more true for Kivu. I know from my perspective that it was one of the toughest summers both mentally and spiritually. Unmet expectations are very difficult to remedy and this summer was almost all unmet or unfulfilled expectations. Nothing went the way I wanted it to go.
However, despite all the pain, this was the best summer I have ever experienced at Kivu. The reason is the community. People like Chase Moore, Nate Friend, Luke Parrott, and Andy Braner and many more are all shade in the desert of life, and they are also cool refreshing water in times of spiritual dryness.
The best part about this community is that it is not for the staff only. I can’t tell you how many campers develop this same type of community in the short time that they are at the camp. Its one of the greatest treasures of working at Kivu. Again, the main purpose is to see the lives deeply changed both in terms of how the students think, and how the students walk around their home town.
If you know of any high-school aged students that are wanting an adventure this summer, point them towards Camp Kivu and sign them up for a portion of the summer. The time spent at Kivu has had more impact in my life and others than I can even begin to fathom.
If you want to read more stories like mine, go visit Andy Braner’s blog and you can also click on the Camp Kivu tag in my post. I suggest it so that you can get a better understanding of what camp means to so many people.