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highlands summer camp 2012: the secrets of the kingdom - the parables of jesus

By Scott Thompson, Director of Programs


t was a fantastic summer of faith, fellowship, and outdoor fun this summer at Highlands. Over 300 youth gathered to learn more about the parables of Jesus in an unparalleled outdoor setting. We had counselors and staff from all across the United States sharing the love of Christ with campers of all ages, including our intergenerational camps. This year’s Bible study theme explored a daily parable from Jesus’ teachings. The campers learned lessons such as “God is Generous,” from the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard; “God Treasures Us,” from the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin; and “God Plants Us in the World,” from the Parable of the Mustard Seed. Each day’s lessons came alive See “Summer Camp 2012” - Continued on Page 5

partnership day camps

By Erin Foster, Day Camp Coordinator


his summer’s day camp program has been a great success! Over the course of the summer, approximately 240 children have learned about the parables of Jesus through the Highlands partnership program with six church congregations. This year, our day camp team traveled to Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, Strasburg and Bennett Presbyterian Churches, Arvada Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church of Kimball, Weldon Valley Presbyterian Church, and Light Memorial Presbyterian Church. The theme throughout day camp was ‘The Secrets of the Kingdom’ and each day we learned about a parable through the use of games, music, crafts, and Bible study. It was a delight to see the children connect with the parables as they sang, played, created, acted, and prayed over the course of a week, and especially over the course of the summer! In addition to connecting with congregations, our day camp team had the opportunity to interact with the greater community by participating in various service projects. These projects included painting, serving meals to shut-ins, raking and cleaning yards, installing a snow fence, and helping prepare a street for emergency situations. It was a blessing to be a part of the life of the congregations served and to work in their communities. We are greatly appreciative for all of their helpfulness and hospitality! Page –1– August 2012

Dear Friends, ecently in worship I got to sing one of my favorite hymns, “I Love to Tell The Story.” Twenty-five years ago, we sang this song at the service when I became a Certified Christian Educator, and for me it is a song that summarizes my vision for ministry . . . “I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.” As you read this newsletter . . . especially our financial update, you’ll read that this has been a challenging summer. It’s a summer that began with a memorial service for Laura Richard and found us gathering in July to celebrate the life and ministry of Dave Strom. It’s a summer in which many of us watched Buddy Jones be airlifted from the ball field. We have missed these folks and grieved over the deaths of Laura and Dave. But in our missing, we have also recognized their faith, and told the story . . . the old, old story . . . of Jesus and His love. This summer has also been a blessing as we have told the story. I know of two children who made new commitments to Christ this summer during summer camp. One young lady had never been to church before, much less to summer camp. The generosity of many enabled us to bring her back for a second week so that we could nurture the seeds that had been planted. It’s a summer where we practiced hospitality in a new way, as we opened our doors to Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp when they had to evacuate because


of the High Park Fire. For three and a half weeks, they ran their program alongside ours, and each Thursday evening we gathered for a joint worship service and song fest. It was a joy and a blessing to share the story of Jesus and His love with our Lutheran brothers and sisters! And, while Summer Camp is wrapping up, we are bursting at the seams with guests! Families are gathering for reunions, churches are here on retreat, youth and old friends have gathered for time in the mountains . . . and God is glorified in all of this. Around the campfire, in worship and Bible study we continue to tell the story . . . and it is wonderfully sweet. This Spring, Sue Strom was reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I admired her commitment to gratitude as they struggled with Dave’s illness. Sue inspired me to read One Thousand Gifts, and that book has shaped my summer. Each day this summer, in the midst of challenges and grief, in the midst of telling the story, in the midst of busy days and too much to do, gratitude has been my prayer and focus. I love to tell the story of Jesus and His love. The staff of Highlands loves to tell the story . . . and we are grateful for all who make this ministry possible. We have so much to be grateful for! Grace and Peace, Maria Shupe, Executive Director

Volunteers Who Made a Difference!

• Twin and Queen-size quilts for guest beds in the Retreat Center

wish list . . . Page –2– August 2012

• Volunteers to split firewood----we need folks who’d love to learn to use our hydraulic splitter to split and stack fire wood for this winter. Please call Maria Shupe to help!

This year, as we began to learn how to manage the facilities of Highlands without Dave Strom’s leadership, we drew on the skills of many volunteers . . .

Many Thanks to . . . Larry Sexton, Tom Hoffman , Rod Roberts, Winston Davis and David Peeples for tree cutting and maintenance help. All who participated in our Spring Work Day. Mark Perhamus, John Winchester and Jim Nussbaumer for help turning on summer water. Brad Rohwer, Edie Gause, Andrew Short and Sky Ranch Youth for painting. Mark Kenning for making signs and donating air filters. Geoff Noble for two weeks of volunteer labor. Ruth Lewis for weekly office support. Don Lewis for golf cart repair. Dan Crane for heavy machinery help. David Bartlett and Bryan Fritz for welding help. Bill Barnes, Sam Barnes and Colton Hanratty for building our Zip Line Railings with Michael Hanratty. Jim Monkman for telephone and fire alarm repair. Phil Miller for I.T. and auto-dialer support. Don and Marlene Brining, our summer volunteers in housekeeping and guest services. We are also grateful to many others who support Highlands by serving on committees, volunteering for summer camp, and serving on planning and design teams. We continue to need the support of many volunteers . . . on our Fall Work Day, closing cabins for winter, fire and pine beetle mitigation, electrical repair and much more. If you have time to share, please contact Maria Shupe ( or Michael Hanratty (

was your 2011 colorado child care contribution tax credit denied?


fter receiving a report that a donor’s tax credit was denied, the Highlands Development Committee contacted the Colorado Department of Revenue and discovered that this credit was not funded in 2011. On the 2011 Colorado Form 104CR line 37 it indicates that “Credits for 2011 donations reported in column (a) must be carried forward to a 2013 return.” According to information on the Colorado Department of Revenue web site, “the tax credit is not available for tax years 2011 and 2012” because of limits imposed by the state budget. That does not mean there won't be a credit for contributions made in 2011 and 2012. The credit should be claimed for contributions made in 2011 and 2012 and forms submitted to the Department as required, but the credit cannot be used until 2013 and after. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to five years. As one donor wrote: “It is good we live in a state that considers child care important and it is good we are in the mission of sharing Christian faith and life with young people!” Page –3– August 2012

unique challenges and wise stewardship . . . a financial update

By Maria Shupe, Executive Director

New Pump for the Waste Water Plant . . .$4000 12,000 Gallons of Water . . . $874 per load Phase Protection for our Ventilation Systems . . . . $1800 Dave & Buddy’s knowledge of our facilities . . . . PRICELESS


ise stewardship in 2011 had already begun to prepare Highlands for the unique challenges of 2012. In 2011, we refinanced our mortgage to a new low rate of 4.750%. In addition, we paid down over $250,000 on our mortgage, exceeding our minimum principal reduction due in July 2012. We also established a Line of Credit and placed $150,000 in a money market account to fund our seasonal cash flow fluctuations. This year has brought unique challenges as we faced our first summer without the leadership, knowledge and skills of both Dave Strom and Buddy Jones. Dave began his medical leave of absence in late January and on May 9th, Buddy Jones had a serious work-related injury that has kept him out of commission all summer. We are grateful that God has blessed us with the expertise, skills and ministry of Michael Hanratty as our new Facilities Director. 2012 has brought some unique operational challenges to Highlands. In a year that has brought drought and fire, we have implemented water restrictions and purchased water to meet our needs for both campers, guests and staff housing. We began with weekly deliveries of 2,000 to 4,000 gallons, and recently had a week in which we had over 24,000 gallons delivered. Altogether, we have purchased over 60,000 gallons of water. As Estes Park Power & Light works on a multi-year project to improve electrical service to Allenspark, we have faced frequent power outages and phase losses. We have begun a process of installing phase protection on our three-phase motors and systems, but not before experiencing significant damage to several pumps and systems. As we have transitioned our management of both of water and waste water systems, we have experienced significant challenges. We are grateful to Don Baker of At Your Service Electric and Alberts Water and Waste Water Services, Inc. Both have labored long hours on nights and weekends to help keep our systems running. These challenges have come with a price tag. As of early August, we have $40,000 remaining in our money market account. Our 2012 Budget anticipated $350,000 in unrestricted giving. As of the end of July, we have received $60,603.67 in unrestricted gifts. This is not unusual . . . but it is challenging. Our largest expenses come in the summer months while the largest portion of our unrestricted gifts come in the last quarter of the year. We established our Line of Credit just for this reason, and our history is a story of faithful and generous donors. We would prefer to not have to use our Line of Credit. Your unrestricted gift can help us. The Highlands’ staff and committee will continue to be wise stewards of our resources, and we are grateful for the generosity of our donors. Please continue to hold Highlands and its leaders in your prayers! Thank you for your love and support of this ministry.

Saturday, September 8th 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Join us as we close cabins and prepare for winter! Your volunteer help is deeply appreciated . . . you make all the difference! Let us know if you are planning to come, and we’ll make lunch! R.S.V.P. by calling 303-747-2888 or email

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Lutheran Work Crew who cleaned Point of Pines

in memoriam ~ david allen strom


May 23, 1956 - July 11, 2012

ave Strom has been an important part of the life and ministry of Highlands for over 30 years, and he is deeply missed by the Highlands staff and family. Dave brought to his ministry here a deep faith, a willingness to learn many things, a commitment to excellence and a love for all who came to Highlands. Dave’s work in facilities and maintenance provided beautiful accommodations for our guests and wonderful facilities for program. Summer camp was important to Dave, and his last big project, the Ken Husbands Zip Line, was part of a life-long commitment to providing unique program opportunities for campers at Highlands. In a conversation one day, Dave and Maria were discussing the “wear and tear” our facility would experience as we considered a new area of ministry. Dave said, “We are not here to maintain this property.” Then he stopped and said, “Well . . . I’m here to maintain it, but Highlands exists for us to use it.” Dave faithfully built, remodeled, repaired, and improved our facilities so that they could be used and enjoyed by all, to the glory of God. His life was a witness of faithful stewardship and love. Dave is survived by his wife, Sue; daughters, Anna (Guillermo) Jimenez and grandson Guillermo David of Honduras, Rachel Strom of Denver, Sarah Strom (Fred Morse), and Rebecca Strom (Tucker Pattridge) both of Ward; brother Paul (Carolee) Strom of Boulder; sisters Kay (Roger) Bottoms of Parker; and Kris (Mark) Ammons of Burlington, WA and many nieces and nephews. “There are in the end three things that last: Faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

“Summer Camp 2012” - Continued from Page 1

through morning activities, Bible studies, and worship. Campers also had opportunities to explore the spectacular mountain environment in and around Highlands while canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and riding our awesome new zip line. Some highlights of the summer include the weeks we spent alongside of the Sky Ranch Lutheran campers and staff who had been evacuated from their site by the High Park Fire, campers coming to Christ, and the gifts and talents our volunteer directors brought to each week. We’re blessed to have so many friends of summer camping ministry in our congregations. Thank you for sending your children and youth to be a part of our mutual ministry at Highlands. Together, we can accomplish so much for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please start sharing the excitement for next summer’s camps with your friends and congregation now. Next summer will soon be upon us! Summer Camp Facts and Figures Total number of campers: 308 101 from The Presbytery of Plains and Peaks 82 from Denver Presbytery 18 from other Presbyterian Churches around the nation 116 1st Time Campers 192 Returning Campers 240 Day Campers in Partnership Day Camps 110 Day Campers who spent a day at Highlands Scholarships provided: $27,486.00 “Touch a Truck” with Respite Campers Page –5– August 2012

Dear Friends of Highlands, am sitting down to write to you five days after the latest shooting tragedy in our country and minutes after reading 2 Samuel 11:1-15 and Ephesians 3:14-21. These scriptures span the Old and New Testaments of our Bible and the depths and faithful heights of human behavior. They seem quite timely now. We read of David’s plots to eliminate Bathsheba’s husband in 2 Samuel. We read of the vast goodness of love through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Ephesians. We recognize these ancient contexts in the news of our recent days. As we now must deal with another plot and its result, the text of Paul fills our hearts. Amid the confusion, the contrasts, loss and sadness, love once again has had the loud, last word. This love of Christ, that surpasses knowledge and fills us with the fullness of God, is poignantly evident all around us. It has built a memorial of cards, pictures, flowers and candles on a street corner in Aurora. It has written an article about loving back – ci_21129629/face-hate-love-back. It has prompted an entire nation to join this community by giving time and treasure. It has been the answer for broken hearts and uncomprehending minds. This indwelling love that is strong enough to hold us upright through all things is also the gentle hug of a child, the easy smile of a loved one, the kind greeting


of a stranger. It is the topic and the reason for all we do at Highlands Presbyterian Camp and Retreat Center. This love is the “why” of this place and this ministry. This love is what people see and feel when they stay at Highlands. It is what meets them at our door when they arrive. It is what goes with them when they return to all the places where their love is so needed. Thank you for supporting Highlands in this work! Peace and hope, Sandy Prouty Highlands Committee Moderator

Volunteers Make all the Difference

leaders transforming – leadership retreat November 16-17, 2012 Ephesians 4:12 “ equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”


eaturing Louisville Presbyterian Seminary President Michael Jinkins, “Leaders Transforming,” is a retreat for church leaders produced in partnership with Denver Presbytery. The retreat will feature great keynote talks from Dr. Jinkins, fellowship, worship, great food, and lodging in Highlands’ comfortable retreat center. “Leaders Transforming” is for elders, pastors, and other church leaders – bring your whole session. You’ll have opportunity to reflect and be re-energized for your quest for transformational leadership. Rev. Dr. Michael Jinkins (Photo by Ralph Homan, courtesy of Louisville Seminary)

Dates & Times: Friday, November 16 at 4 pm through Saturday, November 17 at 3:30 pm. Cost: $62 for full lodging and meals from Friday night through Saturday afternoon; $32 commuter price for those who will not need lodging; $17 Saturday only, for those driving up for Saturday’s events. Transportation options from Denver and limited scholarships will be available for this event. Visit, or call Scott at 303-747-2888 for more information.

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ome and join us this winter from Friday, January 4 - Sunday, January 6th, 2013, for what promises to be an exciting opportunity for faith and personal growth under the majestic Mt. Meeker - The Next Level 2013! “The Next Level” retreat is a wonderful weekend of fun and Christian fellowship. Come and make new friends, renew old friendships and explore what it means to take your faith to “The Next Level.” Through large and small group discussions, times of personal reflection and recreation opportunities, young adults will start the New Year refreshed and renewed. Come and join us. Save the date! “The Next Level 2013,” is for college students and young adults. Call Scott at 303-747-2888 with questions.

See you in January!

Joel 2: 28-29 “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.”

In a world filled with disappointments at every step... Do we as followers of Jesus “Dare to Dream?” How does the Gospel make a difference in our lives? How does the hope of the Gospel change everything? Come away to Highlands this November to explore these questions through worship, Bible study, great keynotes, games, fellowship, and fun. Early Registration Cost: $120/participant (before October 10th) Late Registration Cost: $135/participant (after October 10th) For more information and to register visit: or call Scott at 303-747-2888.

See you in November!

faith, food, and family retreat


ave the date - January 11-13, 2013 for a weekend of culinary fun in the full-service Highlands kitchen; preparing great food together with your family. Featuring time for fellowship, fun, and Bible studies, led by Phil Goerner on faith, food, and theology. It promises to be a great time spent together with those you love, in Highlands comfortable retreat center gathered around warm ovens in the company of those with warm hearts. More information coming soon. Call Scott with questions at 303-747-2888.

Looking Ahead . . . . The Annual Highlands Christmas Party and Auction will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2012. Please be sure to mark your calendar for this annual celebration of ministry and volunteers! We would love to have your hand-crafted quilts and items for the auction. If you are planning to donate something for the auction, please let Maria Shupe know by emailing Page –7– August 2012

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


Address Service Requested

Omaha, NE 68102 Permit No. 1951

P.O. Box 66 Allenspark, CO 80510

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what’s inside: Highlands Summer Camp 2012: The Secrets of The Kingdom The Parables of Jesus.................................................................... 1 Partnership Day Camps.................................................................... 1 Executive Director’s Letter................................................................ 2 Wish List.............................................................................................. 2 Thank You to Our Volunteers.......................................................... 3 Was Your 2011 Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit Denied?....................................................................... 3 Unique Challenges and Wise Stewardship ... A Financial Update....................................................................... 4 Fall Work Day..................................................................................... 4 In Memoriam - David Allen Strom.................................................. 5 Letter from Highlands Camp Committee Chairperson................ 6 Leaders Transforming - Leadership Retreat.................................. 6 2013 Highlands College & Young Adult Retreat........................... 7 Dare to Dream.................................................................................... 7 Faith, Food and Family Retreat........................................................ 7 Annual Highlands Christmas Party................................................ 7 Page –8– August 2012

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

August 2012 Highlands Newsletter  
August 2012 Highlands Newsletter  

August 2012 Newsletter