[Pictured Above: Bryce Heffington (second from right) with his fellow Kampers at Kanakuk in 2008.]
Kanakuk is a Christian camp that teaches and abides by Biblical principles. Unlike many other camps, Kanakuk has created a specific, intentional spiritual growth plan that is conducive to each respective age level . This growth plan builds upon itself as campers move from elementary school to middle school, and from middle school onto high school.
College staff model Christian living as they teach campers about sportsmanship, obedience, work ethic and how to interact with others through daily camp activities. Kanakuk encourages campers to take ownership of their faith and develop a personal, spiritual identity.
Bryce Heffington was a Kamper at Kanakuk K-7 and Kanakuk K-2. He was a Kamper every summer from 2004 through 2010 and also served on K-Missions at K-7. Here is Bryce’s story on how Kanakuk helped develop him spiritually:
Kanakuk Kamps changed my life by challenging me to question what having faith in Jesus Christ really means. Once I got to K-7 at the age of 12, I was for the first time inspired, encouraged, and challenged by the environment of Kamp life to dive into what it really means to live as a Follower and athlete of Christ.
All of my counselors throughout the years I attended Kamp were excellent role models, but Keith Chancey, director of K-7, was someone I would be fired up to see each summer. I had never seen this kind of passion about Christ growing up. My church was traditionally religious, but Keith Chancey exemplified how to love Jesus with everything he's got. His 'fired up' passion for Christ really made an impact on me and as a Kamper, I wanted to develop that kind of fire for God.
Kamp inspired me to do the best in anything I work at for the LORD. This proved true in my high school classes, on athletic teams, and in the band program at Parkview. I dedicated everything I did and still do for the LORD and it has led to some pretty surreal outcomes. I finished in the top 10 GPAs of my graduating class, set personal records in cross country and track, currently run D-II cross country and track & field for Drury University in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and thanks to the help of many people, and especially the LORD, was a member performing on trumpet in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. Thousands of kids applied and only 97 were accepted to go to San Antonio, learn a show in a few days time, and perform in the half time show of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. All of this was dedicated to the LORD and I still am very blessed to this day to have been involved in what He provided for me. Kanakuk Kamps showed me that when I give it my all to the LORD, many blessings will come forth to bring glory to His name alone.
My biggest advice to first year Kampers is to soak up all the time they have at Kamp, because it flies by! Kanakuk is a special place where everyone lives to build each other up, engage in friendly competition for the LORD, and is a training ground for sharpening tools that need to be used in our walk with Jesus when we leave the gates of Kamp. The world is not as friendly as everyone at Kamp is, take advantage of the time the LORD has set aside in your life to dive into His word at Kamp.
How has Kanakuk helped you take ownership of your faith? What have the lessons learned at Kanakuk taught you about your faith when you are at home?