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    If you have been investing in Sandy Cove for a while, you'd probably expect that your portfolio includes shares of Summer Together Family Camp. The roots of Family Camp go all the way back to opening weekend in 1946 when people gathered for Bible teaching, good food and plenty of it, and fine fellowship with one another here in God's great outdoors. Family Camp is the current expression of Bible Conference, and is something we invest a good deal of attention, energy, and money into.

    Therefore, it seems like you should be made aware of the return on your investment — and though I can't push a button and print up a report that quantifies the ROI of Family Camp, I'd like to make a case that the dividends are not just incremental, but exponential.

    For the first several years out of college, I worked as an experiential therapist with 12- to 17-year-old boys who had gotten in trouble with the law. They were sent by their counties to stay at our agency for a period of months and work on changing their ways. Their families were required to participate in the program too, and one of the things we did before accepting a boy into the program was sit down with him and his family to draw out a genogram. This diagram of 3 or 4 generations of the family mapped out the parents and children, the marriages and divorces, the alcoholism, drug use, physical and sexual abuse, and other issues that may be present. It usually painted a bleak picture of the reality the boy grew up in, and it was easy to recognize a consistent pattern of dysfunction “snowballing” as it rolled down through the generations.

    But in the same way broken relationships and poor choices have a negative ripple effect from parent to child to grandchild and on down the line, the opposite can be true as well! Every marriage that is strengthened and steered away from divorce, every person who moves more toward Jesus and yielding their life to Him more fully, and every parent-child relationship that is pulled in a positive direction all pay off massively down the line, even if we only recognize it in hindsight. Those are the positive “snowballs” that Family Camp helps keep rolling through generations, and why we continue to invest in it and invite you to as well.

    As summer approaches, please pray that God will continue to do what only He can in the hearts and lives of the families who attend Summer Together Family Camp, with eternal dividends for His glory.


    Nate Ransil joined the Program department at Sandy Cove in 2003, and transitioned to director of that team in 2014.

    Nate Ransil
    Nate joined the Program department at Sandy Cove in 2003, and transitioned to director of that team in 2014. Nate graduated from Houghton College with a double major in Communication and Outdoor Recreation (yes, it is a thing) and got to know his wife Evelyn while co-leading backpacking trips for at-risk youth. Hopefully not as at-risk are their two sons, Caleb and TJ, who have spent all their summers at Sandy Cove, Camp Sandy Cove, and The MARSH! Nate enjoys being outside, being inside, being handy, the beach, snowboarding, roller coasters, training aardvarks, bodybuilding, contributing to quantum theory, and making up fanciful, if not entirely accurate, biographical details.
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