As the summer winds down, we reminisce on all of the life change that has occurred over the past two months. From Kampers accepting Jesus into their hearts to counselors forming lifelong friendships, this summer at Kanakuk has been a fantastic one. One thing that we consistently hear from Kampers, counselors and parents is that the friendships and relationships formed at Kamp are unlike any other.
One of our Kanakuk families can attest to this well. In fact, they not only found a friendship, but Patty Phillips found her future husband while serving at Kanakuk. Now, both of her children attend Kamp and she and her husband still serve as a nurse and nurse-helper at K-Kountry.
From that moment on, the Phillips family has been dedicated to Kanakuk and all that Kamp has to offer. From serving at K-Kountry while the children attended as Kampers, to enjoying Kamp as a family at K-Kaua’i, the Phillips family adores Kanakuk and takes every chance they can get to head to Branson. In fact, they intended to spend their 14-year wedding anniversary at K-Kaua’i this year, but ended up being unable to attend due to a family emergency.
However, it’s not just the love of Kamp that keeps them coming back. The two years Patty spent at Kamp away from her twin sister were ones of great spiritual growth for her. “I was able to discover who I was (aside from being a twin). I was recognized for being ME and not just one of the twins,” said Patty. “Even now, 16 years later, I love going back to Kamp - it feels like ‘home’.”
Patty described Kamp as “a total mountain-top experience where it is non-stop fired up, going nuts every minute,” where she is still encouraged to this day as an adult. She loves seeing her children come home from Kamp and lift up their peers or share Jesus with their friends – all the stuff that they’ve seen lived at Kamp. For Chuck, Kamp is a chance for him to refuel and grow in the Lord alongside others with similar mindsets.
Ultimately, the Phillips family has been impacted greatly at Kamp, which translates to a Christ-centered home where they can live the “I’m Third” life. Over the course of the past year, Chuck and Charles, the Phillips’ son, completed Champions Walk together, allowing them to discuss His plans and topics that the world sees as being “difficult” to talk about. Patty sees that as an “amazing accomplishment”. Now, the Phillips’ daughter, Hope, can’t wait to go through the program after seeing her big brother do so, and Charles is itching to begin the next one!
By staying in the word on a daily basis and praying with the kids, the Phillips family prepares for Kamp each year. In addition to those two things, the Phillips family prays for things like the children’s counselors, for the Kamp staff and for the cabin mates. They discuss ways to encourage their cabin mates each year and keep in touch with previous counselors to be poured into as the year goes on.
“The best part of early summer is when we get the yearly Welcome Guide for Kamp!” Patty said. “The kids LOVE trying to find just-the-right costume for all the parties!” Surely the Phillips family is thrilled when Kamp comes around each year. As they get excited about all of the fun and life-change they will have at Kamp, there is one more thing that always brings joy in their lives – the famous.
As the family builds Christ-centered relationships at home and reminisces on their favorite times at Kamp, more memories are constantly being made. Patty and Chuck cherish their time serving together at Kanakuk and now have the opportunity to see their children impacted by Kamp. Each summer, Patty still gets goose bumps when a young Kamper rings the bell to signal that they have asked Jesus into their hearts. The Phillips family knows that Kamp is not just about a fun week at camp during the summer, but also about a life dedicated to Christ. She now enjoys seeing the faces of her former Kampers on Facebook and knows that so many of them are still serving the Lord and putting God first, others second, and themselves third.
As we see more and more former Kampers grow up and bring their children back to Kamp, we are thrilled to see the lifelong impact that Kamp makes. Patty and Chuck Phillips are a prime example of a family who is Rising Up to serve the Lord. We’re thankful to have them as part of our Kanakuk family!
Do you have a story of how Kanakuk plays a role in your life? We’d love to hear! E-mail jay [at] kanakuk.com with your story.