CrossTimbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp is known to have a lot of exciting adventures involving swimming, climbing, singing, playing and having fun. It is also where campers 3rd-6th grade learn about Southern Baptist mission work around the world.
Each summer, CrossTimbers incorporates “mission stops” during each camp session. This summer, campers learn about Edmonton, Canada, where the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma has a missions partnership with churches and missionaries serving in this major northern city. They also learn about church planting in Arizona, and the campers learn about the history of CrossTimbers, which recently celebrated its 10th year.
For the Edmonton stop, the focus is on history and culture. Campers have fun playing variations of the popular national sport of curling and making green onion pancakes, a favorite Edmonton dish.
Charles Scheffe is a church planter in Arizona, after serving as children’s minister at Edmond, First for many years. During the church planting stop, campers learn about the importance of church plants, and they write letters to Scheffe, encouraging him and the church he helped plant near Phoenix.
The camp history stop covers how Camp Hudgens and Camp Nunny Cha-ha merged together to create CrossTimbers. Campers also learn about CrossTimbers originating at the former Camp Hudgens site near McAlester and making the transition five years ago to its current site not far from Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center near Davis.The camp history stop also features a hike to the three crosses, located on a mountainous landscape on the west side of the campgrounds. CrossTimbers program director Charlie Gatton said this part of the mission stop has seen encouraging results.
“In our camp history, one of the things we have done is go to the crosses,” Gatton said. “Churches have gone up there in the mornings, sometimes, to do their small groups. It’s an important part of our camp history. Every mission stop that we have has a spiritual application, and this one is no different.”
Gatton explained campers are allowed to pick up a rock before this hike and write their names on the rock. Once they reach the crosses, a camp staff member will ask them if it was hard to carry that rock. Campers respond with saying “No.” Then the staff member will ask, if the rock was the size of a boulder, would they be able to carry it to the top of the mountain. Gatton said this becomes an analogy of the burden of sin people carry.“We then tell them what Jesus did on the cross, paying the penalty for our sin,” he said. “Then we tell them to look from one end of the skyline to the other end of the skyline, and from the crosses, you can see about 20 miles each direction. Our staffers will ask them, ‘Do you know what Jesus did for you? He paid the penalty for our sins, and the Bible says that He separates us from our sin, as far as the east is from the west.’ We’ve had many kids come to Christ from the top of that mountain. It’s a really great part of our camp.”
Children have a lot of fun adventures at CrossTimbers. They also learn about mission work, and many make spiritual decisions that impact their lives. A lot can be told in the title, “CrossTimbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp.”