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SCOTTY AND JUNE WITT Dream” and “New York, New York.” It was a treat to experience, something he is quick to admit about his time at ACU. “What I’ve found in my career – and life – is that people don’t need me to tell them about Jesus very often. They don’t need to hear about how they’re sinning, or why what they believe doesn’t make as much sense as what I do, or even about how Jesus loves them no matter what they do or who they are or where they come from. They don’t need me to talk about that stuff,” Jeffrey said. “They probably need me to live it. They need me to be supportive when they’re hurting. They need to know I can be loyal and kind and trustworthy, regardless of what they do,” Jeffrey said. “That beautiful group of teachers at the ACU Department of Theatre almost never talked about that. They were too busy showing it to me by living it.” 

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– RON HADFIELD

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2016 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI CITATIONS

amp Blue Haven, spread out across 1,100 acres in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Las Vegas, N.M., has been a bastion of spiritual growth for young people in the American Southwest since it opened with 160 campers in 1957. Since that summer, Blue Haven has served close to 50,000 campers and provided the setting for more than 3,000 baptisms. And the history of the camp, which founder Scotty (’52) Witt describes as “a beautiful story,” is still being written. Scotty and his wife, June (Hobbs ’56), have played central roles in Blue Haven’s 60-year existence, beginning with Scotty’s initial vision for the camp in 1956. The inspiration for Camp Blue Haven came almost 2,000 miles away from northern New Mexico. After graduating from ACU with a business administration degree and serving in the Army, Witt worked for one summer at Camp Hunt, a Churches of Christ encampment near Hubbardsville, N.Y. Witt spent just six weeks there, but his life took a new course. For one thing, he met June, a fellow counselor, whom he would marry a few years later. He also was deeply affected by the power a camp environment could have in the lives of young people. “To see the change in kids’ lives was amazing,” he said. “If it hadn’t been for Camp Hunt, I wouldn’t have had that background, and I wouldn’t have had the vision for Blue Haven.” Back in his hometown of Amarillo, Scotty learned that the Flying B Guest Ranch near Las Vegas, N.M., was for sale – complete with a lodge and a couple of rustic cabins. By then, Witt had formed a board of directors that included two of his former roommates from Abilene: O.G. Lanier (’52) and Guy Sullivan (’51). The five-member

board rounded up a $25,000 down payment through multiple bank loans, and would continue raising funds for the next eight years to repay the debt. By then, Camp Blue Haven was established and growing. Through God’s blessings and a lot of hard work, Witt’s vision had become reality. And the campers kept coming back. “My camper years had a huge impact on my overall spiritual formation as a youth,” said Dr. Philip Camp (’89), professor of music and director of choral activities at Lubbock Christian University who also is vice president of Blue Haven’s Board of Directors. Camp’s resume with Blue Haven is extensive: After seven years as a camper, he went on to work as a counselor throughout college, before serving as assistant director for 13 years. He traces much of his spiritual development back to those summers spent in the New Mexico mountains. “It was at camp that I first experienced deep spiritual conviction, one built on a solid foundation laid by my parents,” he said. Today, Blue Haven’s original rustic buildings have been replaced by newer pine log cabins, a ropes course and other more modern features, and fundraising remains an ongoing process. “The Witts have impacted thousands upon thousands of people through Camp Blue Haven,” Camp said. “Scotty had a pretty amazing dream in 1956, and in spite of his youth, God used him to establish Camp Blue Haven – a place where campers have come to experience God, and who leave to share their faith with others.”  

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– DEANA NALL ACU TODAY

Summer-Fall 2016

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ACU Today Summer/Fall 2016  

Alumni magazine for Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas

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