Thoughts from our Oxley Director

Many people know about the wide range of campers we offer to campers here at Lakeshore, but one camp always goes under the radar. Our Camp Hope Series is a group of camps offered weekly to either boys or girls who come from environments that prevent them from being able to experience the best of life. These situations can range from everything from anger management issues, physical abuse, and even sexual abuse. Teen Hope is a camp for teen who come from an environment of substance abuse. Camp Peace is for teen who have difficulty managing their anger. Camp Grace is for teenage girls who have been sexual abuse. The Oxley program is mainly focused on Jr High aged guys and girls, with a special camp for our Sr. High Girls as well. We also are able to offer a co-ed Elm. aged camp for our 8-12 year old campers. As you can tell from the nature of these camps, there are some very special campers who come through. This one week may not seem like much to some, for our campers this week can be the 1. The 1 week they are away from frustration. The 1 week they are not arguing with parents. The 1 week they have someone tell them they CAN go to college if they want. The 1 week that we know 100% sure that they are without a doubt being shown love in every way possible. Our Oxley Camp is not here to bash parents or to judge families. It is here to fulfill our mission statement. “Offering Ways for ALL to Encounter Life, Love, & the God of Grace.” This is our simple mission.

Kellie Jones is an amazing director. Kellie has a heart and passion to instill confidence and empower all of her campers. This very moment she is off with our Sr. High Girls Hope camp helping campers conquer fears of the lake, allowing some to experience tubing for the 1st time, and pouring our love to all her campers and counselors. Kellie is a great leader with words that are covered in love and encouragement. I am overwhelmed with joy to introduce you to such a loving friend.

-Tiffany

Kellie Jones

kellie & camper

“Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Hometown: Collierville, TN
High School: Collierville High School
College: Auburn University
Major: Supply Chain Management
Dream Job: Camp Counselor of course!
Favorite Color: robin’s egg blue
Hobbies: reading, hiking, writing letters
Favorite verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Favorite camp food: french toast sticks
Favorite camp activity: CANTEEN
“I grew up coming to Lakeshore as a camper and started VCing as soon as I was old enough. I applied to be a RC for the summer after I graduated high school and have spent the past three summers here on staff.”
One of your many Favorite camp memories: 
One of my focuses last summer was instilling self confidence in all my girls. I wanted each of them to know how fearfully and wonderfully they were made and that they are all made beautiful through Him. One week the girls would always sing “That’s what makes you beautiful” by One Direction but they would change the words to talk about God made them beautiful. One night they were all out on the raft in the lake and they were all trying to stand up and sing their song at the same time. Watching their joy in that moment and getting to hear them proclaim how truly beautiful they are as children of God was one of my favorite memories.
A moments you encountered God or where you see God at camp
I see God over and over again in our campers: when they ask questions about Him and seek to know Him more, in the way they interact with each other, and when they open up and share.
What are you looking forward to the most? 
Some of my favorite moments from last summer were ones that came out of no where. They weren’t planned or expected. Things campers said or did that would take my breath away and make me immediately feel God’s presence. Those moments are what I’m looking forward to the most for this summer.
Why did you apply to be on staff?
I wanted an opportunity to spend another summer working with at-risk youth. Getting to work with the Camp Hope camps is incredible, challenging, humbling, exhausting, and one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. The kids I got to counsel last summer filled me with so much joy and taught me so much about myself. My faith was strengthened and shared and I wanted another summer filled with spreading His redeeming love.
What does this ministry mean to you?
The ministry that Lakeshore offers is one that continues to amaze me. It’s an opportunity to show love through daily activities and explain God in a new and exciting environment. This camp encourages kids to be themselves and shows them Christ’s love in unbelievable ways. Since this is one of the first places I realized His immeasurable love for me, this ministry and this place mean a lot to me.

Words from our Director:

kellie

I’m Kellie Jones and I’m the Oxley Director this summer which means I’m in charge of our Camp Hope Series. The Camp Hope series is a speciality camp that Lakeshore offers for at-risk youth. It is divided into three different categories: Camp Hope, Camp Peace, and Camp Grace. Camp Hope is for youth that have been affected by drug or alcohol abuse, Camp Peace is for youth that respond to everyday situations and problems with aggressive behavior, and Camp Grace is for girls that have been victims of sexual abuse.

I just read a book called “Help, Thanks, Wow.” and at one point the author, Anne Lamott, writes, “God tells Job, who wants an explanation for all his troubles, ‘You wouldn’t understand.’”

I’ve read Job and I really didn’t remember God saying that. So I started tearing through the book of Job, and in Chapter 38 I found it. Job had been asking God why he had to face so much hardship and the Lord responds by asking Job a series of questions that no human could answer, indirectly pointing out that we cannot comprehend the reason for suffering. Our human minds cannot fully grasp it.

All summer I’ve been around kids that have had to go through a lot of trials. The hardship and pain they have faced is unbelievable. And each week, I feel a little heavier carrying their stories with me. I’ve been a lot like Job, constantly asking the Lord why these things have to happen. But He directs me towards the hard truth: that I just can’t understand it all. For some reason this revelation has given me comfort. I have to constantly practice putting the faith I talk about into action.

And while I don’t like the things my campers have been through, I love watching them overcome those situations. I love seeing them realize that their past does not define who they are. Despite the despair they have been through, they find the hope and courage to keep going and strive for a better life. They learn to trust people, and be vulnerable, and share the darkness of their lives. Sharing always adds a little light. It invites others in and helps you know that you are not alone. I’ve witnessed some ugly circumstances create some beautiful children of God. It is a constant reminder that the Lord can use anything and anyone. He turned dust into man, and he turns pain into hope.

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