Fun & Community at Issaquah Salmon Days

Posted by Christine Szekeres in Elementary Events on October 16, 2015

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Salmon Days 2015 was a huge success! How does one define success? Here at SAMBICA, seeing the joy on the faces of kids and youth, seeing families spend quality time together, and sharing Christ’s love in the community is success.

With five giant inflatables and our new 9-square-in-the-air game, the SAMBICA inflatable zone was packed with families from open to close. All team members (full time, interns, and volunteers) were encouraged to join in on the fun – and they did! It was exciting to see our new high school part-time team, interns, board members, and full time team remembering why we do what we do at camp – love our community.

I have been with SAMBICA for 6 summers and during this weekend I was reminded of the great community we are in. I’ve had the privilege of doing many different jobs on camp, some have been on the phone or behind a desk. It was overwhelming to have campers and parents come up saying hello that I know. Working at SAMBICA has been more than a summer job, it has allowed me to enter into the lives of our families and walk alongside them in this journey of life. It is an honor to be reminded of that great ministry.

Not only did I see families and faces that I know, I also had the chance to meet many new ones. We got to share SAMBICA with many new families in the area, many who had just moved to Washington in the past few months. I hope to see them again and be able to know them as family too. That is success!


Written by Liz “Happy Feet” Pearse

Mid-Winter Break Camp: A Week of Firsts!

Posted by Christine Szekeres in Elementary Events on March 9, 2015

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A few weeks ago SAMBICA held the first ever Mid-Winter Break Camp! It was an amazing week full of the laughter and joy of kids. Here are a few collected stories from the week:

Yummy! Our kitchen crew did a great job of making tasty deserts each day for lunch. Not only were they delicious, they were also very creative! With a theme of “Under Construction” for the week, the kitchen team created deserts that had each camper anxiously awaiting desert after each lunch.

First S’more! With all the beautiful sunny and dry weather, we were able have a campfire one day and build s’mores! We had one little camper who had never had a s’more before due to a food allergy. Our team wanted to give her the opportunity to taste that gooey goodness for the first time so our chef searched for a cookie that this camper could eat. As she built her first s’more with all of her friends watching her smile the “chocolate and marshmallow grin” was the best moment all week!

Daddy! Nate, one of our interns and a counselor this past summer, loves working with kids throughout the year. He had an amazing experience this past week that the campers might never have known about. At one point the campers started cheering, “Nate is a daddy, Nate is a daddy”. Wait, he’s not a dad! But in the moment, he felt the most precious gift of responsibility of taking care of these campers. He may not be ready to be a dad yet, but what training he is receiving by taking care of these little ones.

Everything! On Thursday, we had two campers that were able to join for just one day. They had never been to camp before and were in awe of all that was happening. Neither of them were shy and they jumped right into the action! Abe asked one of the campers what her favorite part of camp had been that day and this little girl had to think for a long minute. What is she going to say? She slowly turned to Abe, looking up with a huge smile says, “Everything.” Ok, no really if you had to pick one thing what would you pick? “Everything”.

Written by Liz “Happy Feet” Pearse

Reaching Campers & Families Where They Are

Posted by Christine Szekeres in Elementary Events on February 3, 2015

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As an intern here at SAMBICA, the nights can get pretty quiet. The guest groups are enjoyable and they shake things up a bit. But nothing really compares to the joy of seeing and hearing campers running around camp.

On Friday January 16th, we had Middle School Bash. This was the second-ever Middle School Bash and it was Hunger Games themed. It was such a fun night. Campers were able to gather for worship, fellowship, fun, and a feast of strawberry shortcake. SAMBICA becomes a place of solace for almost everyone who has ever been here. To open up that safe-place where you can be yourself because you’re among family outside of summer is a gift, not only to the campers and their families, but also to the team here at SAMBICA. I grew up going to camp week-after-week in Indiana and each time I return, I find a new piece of myself that I didn’t know existed.

Days after the wrap-up of Middle School Bash, the planning of Kid’s Night Out began. Kid’s Night Out is a night for elementary age students to come to camp for a few hours. While there was originally only one on the schedule back in the fall, we discovered there was a demand for at least one more. So on Saturday, January 31st we had almost 60 campers out for Super Bowl Training Camp. Twenty of the sixty had never been to camp before.

These nights make way for the vision and mission of SAMBICA to appear. As campers come for a night of Super Bowl fun at SAMBICA, they are also introduced to Hebrews 12:1 where they learn about what it means to run the race, or in this case — play the game, while looking to Jesus — our ultimate example. At Middle School Bash, campers learned what it means to put on the Armor of God and stand firm in who God calls them to be. Focusing on Ephesians 6:13-17.

It’s always such a joy to reunite back at camp, to see how our campers are doing, and to greet new faces, welcoming them into the family. Here at SAMBICA, our mission is to be a light on the lake and our vision is to inspire youth to a relationship with Jesus Christ. Events like these are one of the ways we fulfill the mission and vision by reaching campers and families where they are at. Whether by being ready with the armor of God at the Hunger Games event, or learning to focus on Jesus at Super Bowl event — God moves here, and I am blessed to be a part of it.

Written by Carrie “Nala” McCoy

Interns: A Shining Light at SAMBICA

Posted by Christine Szekeres in Elementary Events on January 23, 2015

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“SAMBICA Interns exist to make God known by being a Christ-like example to HIS people, loving God, and growing in faith so that God gets the GLORY.”

This is the purpose statement of the 2014-15 SAMBICA Intern Team. After a refreshing Christmas break home with their families, our seven interns are back at it and ready for a great 2015. Our interns, Chelsea, Mackenzie, Carrie, Gerald, Nate, Ryan, and Adam, are busy being a light on the lake through their work all around camp.

They started off their year by immediately jumping in to serve one of our largest guest groups, Seattle Autoharpers Week. It was very apparent by working alongside our interns that we have a very contentious group. They have servants’ hearts!

Chelsea has stepped up and is leading the team as they run Camp SAM, our Wednesday after school camp that is serving 25-30 kids every week and showing them the LOVE of Jesus. They are working through 1 Corinthians 13 and focusing on what the Bible says love is. They have games, crafts, and snacks each week along with a themed activity to finish off the day. My son and daughter have been blessed to participate in this program so I know it has been a blessing to other students as well. Eli’s favorite weekly theme has been Football and Abby’s was the Christmas Carnival. Tons of fun!

A few highlights of the internship have been camping on Whidbey Island, a day trip to Bainbridge Island, and the chance to host a boating day with a group of homeless youth from Seattle. We have also produced separate night out events for elementary, middle school, and high school students. It is awesome to see some of the connections with campers from the summer continue throughout the year.

God is good, all the time, and that is evident every day in the work and growth of the SAMBICA Intern team so far this year.

Written by Ryan “Gilby” Gilbert.


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