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“breakthrough” to summer 2009!

by Kevin Starcher, Director of Summer Camp & Youth Events


he theme for the 2009 summer program is “Breakthrough.” Throughout the summer, campers and participants will explore stories from scripture where God encounters individuals and communities – transforming them in a “breakthrough” experience. We will share the stories of how God “breaks through” our lives, how Jesus welcomes all to his ministry, how Jesus heals the blind man, and how Jesus invites all of us to participate in the Kingdom of God wherever we find ourselves. More so, we will have opportunities for our campers and guests to “breakthrough” to new horizons by challenging them to grow socially, physically, emotionally, and intellectually through exciting programs such as rock climbing, canoeing, challenge course, and environmental awareness, among many other programs. We believe that our God

“breaks through” to us in constant, exciting and creative ways. This concept of God “breaking though” to us and molding us in positive ways sure has been a theme at Highlands as we plan for this upcoming summer. It’s pretty amazing to see God at work through our planning and dreaming, and how God also places new concepts in front of us for us to wrestle with and explore. Here’s a few places where God is “breaking through” at Highlands to allow us to better minister to our campers and guests: • In 2008, we had a church from Tennessee call to see if they could bring their entire senior high youth group to one of our adventure camp programs. The program went so well that we decided to pray and ask God if this was a concept to explore on a _______________________________ Breakthrough - Continued on Page 3

a place that stays in your heart


by Stephanie Champ

remember the first time that my parents signed my sister and me up for horse camp. I was so excited about it that I had a bag packed and behind my bed a good month before the camp was to start. It was only a short four-day camp for beginning riders, but I was hooked. Highlands is just that type of place . . . the type of place that stays in your heart. Highlands is more than just a place where I go so that I can ride the awesome horses that we have here during the summer. It is truly a place where I have grown to love all that God has given us. Looking up at a beautiful mountain sunset, or sitting down on a sun warmed rock and having a talk with a good friend, or laughing with campers as they discover frogs and tadpoles in a meadow pond, I know that I am blessed. Here is a place that is able to nurture you where ever you may be in your own spiritual journey, a place where you can reflect and find peace. The sense of community here is just one of the features that draws me time and time again to return. It is not just a community of people and a community of brothers and sisters in Christ. I have met many people up here who have had a great impact in my life. This is a place where people say hello and ask people how their day is going, and really care about the answer. This is the place that I know that I am wanted and that I belong. Just the other day, I was talking to an old friend that I haven't really seen or talked to for some time. It was a short conversation, but she brought up the time that we both came up for horse camp. We remembered our horses we rode, we remembered the friends that we met, we remembered the fun times that we had . . . we remembered Highlands because it is the type of place that stays in your heart. Stephanie Champ first started attending horse camps at Highlands in ’96 and participated in our Riding Staff in Training program. She has been on summer staff both as a Wrangler and with Guest Services. This fall, she stayed on staff working in Food Service, Housekeeping and Guest Services. She is a member of Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Loveland, CO. Page –1– May 2009

Dear Friends,


uring the Lenten season the good folks at Westview Presbyterian Church accepted my offer to teach my favorite Lenten study. A faithful group gathered on Thursday nights through Lent, and will continue into Eastertide, as we complete our study. My favorite Lenten study book is Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. This study of the Psalms of Ascent is subtitled “Discipleship in an Instant Society” and for me it is a wonderful call to renewed faithfulness in the Lenten Season. In exploring Psalm 126, Peterson writes “This psalm announces the existence of a people who assemble to worship God and disperse to live to God’s glory, whose lives are bordered on one side by a memory of God’s acts and on the other side by hope in God’s promises, and so along with whatever else is happening are able to say, at the center, ‘We are glad.’” This is true Joy! As we prepare for Summer Camp this psalm and these words are a great description of the joy and excitement we know here at Highlands. We are a people with a rich memory of the ways that God has changed lives and touched people in the past at Highlands; and a joy-filled people who hope in the promise of what God will do this summer. In the midst of whatever our days bring, we are extraordinarily glad . . . • for this remarkable ministry, • for those who will come and serve with us this summer as staff and volunteers, • for our campers – young and older who will spend time here this summer, • for our guest groups, • for those who are generous to Highlands with their financial gifts. And so, with the Psalmist we sing . . . . It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion’s exiles. We laughed, we sang, we couldn’t believe our good fortune. We were the talk of the nations—“God was wonderful to them!” God was wonderful to us; we are one happy people. And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing. Please keep Highlands in your prayers this summer, as we once again “assemble to worship God” and are “dispersed to live to God’s glory.” I hope you’ll be here this summer . . . to be renewed and to be sent back to a world that longs to hear the Good News! God is wonderful to us and we are glad! Grace, Peace and Joy! Maria Shupe, Executive Director

Rocky Mountain High: John Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park July 26 – 30, 2009 An Intergenerational Elderhostel for Grandparents & Grandchildren! Summer Spectacular in the Colorado Rockies August 9 – 14, 2009 Summer Action in the Colorado Rockies (Adventure Camp for Grown-ups!) August 23 – 28, 2009 Aspen Glow and Mountain Folk: Autumn in the Colorado Rockies September 13 – 17, 2009 Rocky Mountain Halloween The Stanley Hotel and Other Things that Go Bump in the Night October 29 – November 1, 2009 Dancing in the New Year with Glenn Miller December 29, 2009 – January 1, 2010 Be sure to go to for full details and to register! Page –2– May 2009

Way-Points is a cooperative venture of 13 Presbyterian sites around the nation. In 2009, Highlands will offer: Rocky Mountain Fourth of July Family Vacation July 2 – 5, 2009 21st Century Thought in Astronomy, Geology & Theology August 16 – 21, 2009 Longs Peak: Towering Treasure of Rocky Mountain National Park September 27 – October 2, 2009 Be sure to go to and check out all thirty-nine of the programs that will be offered around the nation!

thoughts from mark sears Joint Highlands Camp Committee Chair


ow summer is almost here. Summer is my favorite time of the year. It is time for Summer Camp, and there is nothing more fun and exciting than Summer Camp. For me a week at Highlands Camp is my best week of the year. If you have not been to Summer Camp in awhile, you need to check out the Summer Camp brochure. There is a camp for everyone, including you! Summer Camp will help you grow in Christ and connect you with other Christians. I challenge you to be responsible for at least one person attending a camp at Highlands this summer. Send yourself; send a family member; encourage someone else; or donate a scholarship for someone less privileged to attend. Many lives will be transformed and renewed at Highlands this summer, take credit for helping transform someone’s life. It will be one of the most important gifts you will ever give yourself or someone else. Happy Camping, Mark Sears

Attention Artists!

Consider a donation to “Palettes & Pieces” The 2009 Highlands Auction!


hank you again to everyone who made our 2008 Quilt Auction a success! We raised over $13,000 to reduce our mortgage! This year the title of the auction will be “Palettes and Pieces” and will feature all types of handcrafted items. We are currently looking for items such as paintings, woodworking pieces, pottery, and of course, quilts. The money raised will again be used to reduce the mortgage on the Highlands Retreat Center, helping to ensure a strong financial future. The auction will take place at the annual Christmas party at Highlands on December 5, 2009. If you, or someone you know, is interested in donating an item for the auction, please contact Chrissy Starcher at Chrissy.Starcher@ or 303-747-2339. All items must be received by Saturday, November 7, 2009.

Breakthrough - Continued from Page 1

larger scale. Out of this experience Adventures in Faith was born. Adventures in Faith is a program designed for middle school and high school youth groups who come to Highlands as a group, and explore the ways that adventure intersects with faith. Already, we have two groups signed up for this program in 2009, and we look forward to seeing how God will bless this in the future! • Last summer, Highlands volunteered to serve the Parish of the Plains in Dalton, NE, by helping them start a day camp program for their community. The event was such a success that Highlands will not only return to Dalton in 2009, but we have also volunteered to help serve Inglesia Presbyteriana de Valverde with a day camp of their own this summer in the Valverde neighborhood of south Denver. This project will be a bilingual attempt to serve the youth of that community and share the love and grace of Jesus Christ. This is an exciting concept for Highlands, and we encourage you to join us as we pray that God blesses these day camp programs. It will be exciting to see how God

will lead Highlands in the future, to partner with congregations to form day camp communities of their own! • God has also given us a wonderful summer staff to minister to our campers and guests. Over half of our staff is returning from last summer, and this year we will have over ten different states and four different countries represented in our summer staff. We are excited to see how God will “breakthrough” in and through the lives of an incredible summer staff! It’s amazing how God “breaks through” to us – especially when we are least expecting it! We encourage you to visit us this summer, to see how God can “breakthrough” to you in a beautiful mountain setting. More so, we encourage you to pray for us and our campers and guests, so that God may “breakthrough” to them in new, exciting, and relevant ways, so that we all may experience the mercy and love of God found in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for always “breaking through” and showing us new and creative ways of doing ministry! Page –3– May 2009

2009 summer camp schedule All grade levels are for those the student will be entering in the fall of 2009.

May 29 - 31

June 14 - 19 June 14 - 19 June 14 - 17 June 17 - 19 June 14 -17 June 14 - 19 June 20

June 21 - 26 June 21 - 26 June 21 - 26 June 21 - 26

June 28 - July 1 June 28 - July 2 June 28 - July 2 June 28 - July 2 June 28 - July 3 June 29 - July 1 July 2 - 5

July 5 - 10 July 5 - 10 July 5 - 10 July 5 - 8 July 8 - 10 July 5 - 10 July 8

Early Summer Father/Son Week 1 Middle School Camp Senior High Adventure Rough Riders 1A Rough Riders 1B Mother Daughter Adventures in Faith

Week 2 Youth Re-Creation Trailbusters Middle School Adventure Adventures in Faith Week 3 Rough Riders 3A Middle School Camp Intro to Backpacking 4th Grade Camp Adventures in Faith 4th of July Vacation

Week 4 Senior High Camp Saddle Soars full Middle School Adventure Grandparent/Grandchild 3rd/4th Grade Camp Adventures in Faith

Ages 5 - 12

6th - 8th 9th - 12th 6th - 8th 6th - 8th Ages 5 - 12 Youth Group Adults

9th - 12th+ 7th - 9th 6th - 8th Youth Group

6th - 8th 6th - 8th 9th - 12th 4th Youth Group Adult All

Summer Saturday Specials!


ummer Saturdays at Highlands are a great time for groups and families to

9th - 12th 9th - 12th 6th - 8th Ages 6 - 8 3rd - 4th Youth Group Adults

get a firsthand look at Colorado’s high country from the back of a horse. Guided rides can take you across gently flowing streams, through meadows filled with wildflowers, and along winding mountain trails. Riders of all abilities are welcome! 1 hour rides are a 30% savings at only $25/person. Children 5 and under can ride double with a parent or guardian for just $10. Rides will be available May 30th through Labor Day Weekend. Call Kathy, 303-747-2888, to schedule your ride. ___________________________________________ 2009 Summer Camp Schedule - Continued on Page 5

Page –4– May 2009

2009 Summer Camp Schedule - Continued from Page 4

Week 5 July 12 - 17

Night Owl Camp

6th - 8th

July 12 - 17

Senior High Adventure

9th - 12th

July 12 - 17

Leaders in Training

10th - 11th

July 12 - 17


7th - 9th

July 12 - 15

3rd Grade Camp


July 15 - 17


Ages 5 - 7

July 12 - 17

Adventures in Faith

Youth Group

Week 6 July 19 - 24

Middle School Adventure

6th - 8th

July 19 - 24


7th - 9th

July 19 - 22

Grandparent/Grandchild Retreat Center

Ages 4 - 6

July 19 - 24

Senior High Music, Art and Drama

9th - 12th

July 19 - 24

4th/5th Grade Camp

4th - 5th

July 19 - 24

Adventures in Faith

Youth Group

Week 7 July 26 - July 31

5th/6th Grade Camp

5th - 6th

July 26 - July 31


7th - 9th

July 26 - July 31

Middle School Music, Art and Drama

6th - 8th

July 26 - July 31

Middle School Adventure

6th - 8th

July 26 - July 29


Ages 8 - 10

July 26 - July 31

Adventures in Faith

Youth Group

Late Summer August 2 - 7

Saddle Soars

9th - 12th

August 9 - 14

Intergenerational Elderhostel

Adults/ Ages 11 - 14

spring work day Saturday, May 16th 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch Provided

Mark your calendar now and plan to join us for the Spring Work Day. We’ll be opening cabins and buildings that have been closed for winter and doing special projects to help us be ready for Summer Camp. Please call or email Laura ( to let us know you’ll be here!

Page –5– May 2009

now is the time to support camperships!


ach year we receive charming letter from campers who have received scholarships! Here are a few quotes: “Thank you for the donation so that I could go to camp! I had a great time, horseback riding and archery were fun!”

“Thank you for letting me go to camp. I had a lot of fun doing the hidden room. I had a lot of fun doing archery and hiking. I hope next year I will have fun hiking up 2 3 crosses. I made a lot of great friends. The counselors were good. Thank you very much.” Parents write . . . “it is always an honor to get to come to Highlands. Highlands somehow makes you feel closer to God . . . .” and “I had always wished that I could find the means to be able to afford to send my son to camp. It was a spiritual and social experience for him. In this electronics-filled world it gave him a week to focus on God, nature and friendships!” Now is the time to support camperships! We have already awarded over $5000 in camperships with more requests arriving each day! Your gift will help a child go to camp this summer! Thank you for your support!

move the mountain, expand the impact “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you! Matthew 17:20


ove the Mountain, Expand the Impact” is the theme of our Capital Campaign, for we are certain that as we move the mountain of our debt, we will be able to expand the impact of our ministry!

Our goal is to raise $2.8 million. Funds from this campaign will be used in two ways: • $2.4 million to pay off the final costs of building the Retreat Center we have today, • $400,000 to transform the unfinished and unusable space below the Retreat Center Dining Hall into additional meeting rooms. When this campaign is complete, the $11,000 per month that we now pay for debt service can be used to enhance existing programs, add new programs and reach out to more potential guests. Capital Campaign Committee members are: Brad Rohwer and Chuck Sparks, Campaign Co-Chairs Cleon Kimberling Bob Matchett Rev. Tom Sheffield Maria Shupe, Highlands Executive Director We are grateful for the partnership of the Roecker Consulting Group in helping to develop this campaign. Please keep our campaign committee and advocates in your prayers!


financial update


n tough economic times, Highlands is taking a conservative approach to the 2009 Budget. Staff members are spending dollars wisely in those areas that will generate revenue, and carefully pacing expenditures to be sure that we are ready for summer programs and yearround guests. Registration for Summer Camp is running ahead of this time a year ago . . . so don’t wait to register. Scholarship requests are comparable to a year ago, but we expect an increase in requests as we move closer to the summer. Page –6– May 2009

Guest revenue projections through the end of 2009 are on target with budget projections. We have seen the loss of one large summer guest group who lost their funding, but Kathy is working hard to fill in the available space. Currently our mortgage balance is $1,845,937.44. Our Line of Credit Balance is $301,900.00. Each month we continue to make principal reduction payments as faithful friends of Highlands provide designated support to eliminate our mortgage. Thank you for your prayers and support!

the mount meeker society dinner was held on sunday, march 8


his year’s dinner celebrated the many “Gifts in Kind” that are given to Highlands each year. Table tents featured photos of the many items we received this past year. Marjilou Nightingale was recognized for her gift of a mini-van to Highlands. The staff affectionately calls this “new to us” vehicle the “Pete Mobile” in honor of Marjilou’s late husband. Judy and Kermit Allard were recognized for their gifts of furniture and office equipment. You can see several beautiful new pieces from them in our lobby! Loren and Katharine Maxey and the Maxey family were recognized for a long history of providing vehicles, trailers and plows to Highlands. This year they provided a new wedge-plow, for plowing snow, that was a real blessing when our April storm hit! The Women’s Association of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Fort Collins was recognized for the gifts they have given to improve our nurse’s cabin, including a “new to us” golf cart for the nurse to use during summer camp!

You are cordially invited to join us for our “Seeing is Believing” Summer Celebrations

Join us for a Summer Camp Closing Celebration and see the difference that Summer Camp makes in the lives of young people! Choose the date that works best for you. . . Friday Evenings June 19th, July 10th, 17th, 24th or 31st 4:00 p.m. Arrive and tour camp 5:00 p.m. Enjoy a picnic dinner with campers and their families followed by the Summer Camp Closing Worship Service and Celebration R.S.V.P. 303-747-2888 or

wish list . . .

• Ten pairs of MSR Denali Classic Snowshoes. Assorted colors.  Cost $140 each.  • 16 New Quilts for Retreat Center Beds. We have extra long beds, so the perfect size quilt is 92” x 72”. Our handmade quilts generate many delighted comments for our guests. Thanks for helping make this wish come true!! Page –7– May 2009

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


Omaha, NE 68102 Permit No. 1951

P.O. Box 66 Allenspark, CO 80510 Address Service Requested

what’s inside:

“Breakthrough” to Summer 2009!............................................... 1 A Place That Stays in Your Heart................................................. 1 From the Executive Director......................................................... 2 Elderhostel Events......................................................................... 2 Way-points Events......................................................................... 2 Thoughts from Mark Sears........................................................... 3 “Palettes & Pieces”......................................................................... 3 2009 Summer Camp Schedule...................................................... 4 Summer Saturday Specials........................................................... 4 Spring Work Day............................................................................ 5 Now is the Time to Support Camperships!................................ 6 Move the Mountain, Expand the Impact.................................... 6 Financial Update............................................................................ 6 The Mount Meeker Society Dinner was Held on March 8....... 7 “Seeing is Believing” Summer Celebrations.............................. 7 Wish List . . . . ................................................................................. 7 Page –8– May 2009

MISSION The mission of Highlands is to provide gracious hospitality and quality Christian programs in a majestic mountain setting and to nurture spiritual renewal and transformation in a safe and inclusive environment. For more information about Highlands Presbyterian Camp & Retreat Center Contact 303-747-2888 u

May 2009 Newsletter  

May 2009 Newsletter