Reflections on Camp 56

June 15, 2017
By Jim Painter and Carmen Titelman

Two of our wonderful volunteers at last week’s Camp 56 shared their impressions of their experience. One is a grandfather and first-time VBS volunteer, and the other has served many times. Read how God spoke to each of them, and check out pictures of the week here.

Jim Painter: A Grandfather’s View

It has been a few days since Camp 56, and I have had some time to reflect on the week , the activities, and the group of young men that I was privileged to work with.

I couldn’t have had a better group of boys to spend the week with. They have boundless energy, infinite curiosity, and a giving heart to the last one. Give them a task to do, and they immediately sprang to it. My job was to divide up the duties, each boy wanted to do everything.

In one day, they had all bonded as Group 2-2. They sat together as a group, ate as a group, played as a group and worked as a group. Josh, my high school student assistant was the best. Very quiet and unassuming, he was everywhere, assisting the boys, reminding me of times and places we were scheduled, and anticipating our group’s needs and providing for them on time.

The boys were a lot more grounded in their Christianity than I could have hoped for, and we had great give-and-take discussions during our small group and creative times. I want to thank the staff and volunteers at Mt. Bethel for all of their hard work and planning, for their support and guidance, and especially for Ann Weatherly for inviting me to participate in an adventure with the youth of our church to grow in my role to help spread the Word of God to the next generation.

I hope there will be more opportunities for me and other Mt. Bethel members to participate in the well thought-out and spiritually enlightening camps for our boys and girls.

Jim Painter

Jim is a grandfather of 4 boys, 11, 9, 4 and 6 months. Jim is involved in Mt. Bethel’s Wednesday morning Bible Study and has worked with the Confirmation class.

Carmen Titelman, a Mother’s Perspective

“What does God want for our lives?”

What do we as adults want for children?  Not necessarily our own children, but all children. 

As a mother, I have strived for my children to be well-rounded, first as Christians, then as good students and great citizens, kind and serving in every aspect. 

Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Leading by example can make an impression on children. This past week, I had the privilege to co-lead a VBS group of rising 5th & 6th grade boys.  A majority of these boys came into the week not knowing each other, but by the end of the four days, they were connected. They displayed that they were brothers in Christ. They encouraged each other through worship and games and displayed true fellowship at the young ages of 10-12.

They learned Psalm 139:14, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it.”

These young boys learned that everyone in the group came from different backgrounds and different schools, and as a leader I emphasized to each of them that God gave them all different talents. The boys noted in journals that people may notice what is on the outside, but that God knows what is on their inside! 

After years of teaching Vacation Bible School, I continue to learn through the children whom I am leading. I am amazed that I was called to teach them, yet they taught me! This past week, I learned that students crave fellowship and love from more than just their families. I am honored and blessed to have spent my week not only with my fabulous boys in group 2-3, but with amazing leaders who all share a common goal— loving God’s children!

Carmen Titelman

Carmen is mother to Olivia Baggett (19), RJ Baggett (11), Chloe Titelman (15), Robby Titelman (13), and Maddie Titelman (11) and longtime volunteer at Mt. Bethel.