Have you ever taken a picture of an
amazing view and then found that later it just didn’t do the view
justice? Or have you ever seen something phenomenal and not have the
words to describe it? That’s how I feel about Skyview Ranch. But, I’m
going to try to put into words what this place is like even though I
know I can’t do it justice.
Let me start with the people, because
that’s the first thing you notice. You are welcomed up the long
driveway by people waving to you (on horseback) guiding you up to the
Welcome Center. Even just sitting around on horses waiting for
someone to drive they have smiles and wave. They can make even that
task seem like fun for them. It’s because they enjoy serving here,
and you can tell. Some are paid staff, some are volunteers, but they
are all enthusiastic and helpful.
Aside from the people here to serve,
the people who come to camp are also very happy to be here. It’s a
great opportunity to be surrounded by fellow Christians. There’s just
something refreshing about being completely surrounded by servants of
Christ. It’s a great mix of people from different walks of life and
places all gathering to this one place.
Speaking of this one place, it’s a
beautiful and very large ranch with hundreds of acres of land. Most
of it is covered in woods and there are plenty of places to go for
long walks or just sit and enjoy amazing scenery. There are both
cabins and covered wagons for sleeping quarters. There is a Welcome
Center where we have meals and the adults have Chapel. There’s a
Lodge with games and a small store for the kids. There is also a
large pond which is stocked with fish for fishing and all sorts of
fun toys, such as the blob, inflatable climbing wall, water
trampoline, paddle boats, and canoes, for folks to enjoy.
Then there are the activities. There is
horseback riding, knife throwing, archery, rifle range, clay pigeon
shooting, rock wall climbing, mini-golf, ga-ga ball (which would take
a paragraph to describe in itself) rafting trip (optional), golfing
trip (optional), as well as various board games and carpet ball. This
is outside of the random additional family game nights and special
theme dinner, and other things that you just have to be here to
experience. Be sure to bring some nice clothes for the parent’s
formal dinner and your baseball glove for the staff versus campers
game. If you don’t want to be bored, you won’t be.
However, if you do want to be bored,
you can be. Moms don’t have to cook or clean. Schedules are worked
out to make it easy for kids to choose what to do. You can sit and
rest in a shaded gazebo, and let the staff take care of your children
and keep them entertained. This is a place where everyone can have
what they want at the same time.
Did I mention the peace here? Yes,
there’s plenty of activity and many children running around but there
are pockets to hide and times when it’s just adults. You can even
choose to run off to a nearby town and check out Amish goods of all
sorts within easy driving distance. This is, quite simply, a place to
be nourished in body and soul. A time to play hard and pray hard and
be grateful that such places still exist in this world.
I hope that more people will take
advantage of such an amazing opportunity to fellowship with fellow
believers and take a break from life in order to be refreshed,
encouraged, and rejuvenated for another year. I know my family plans
to make this a new family tradition.