Challis Changers: Summer Camp '07

Last week Jana and I loaded up my truck with four of our students and drove seven hours to Challis, Idaho to participate in Challis Changers. What? You've never heard of Challis Changers? That's because we made it up. Yeah it's a cheap rip-off of World Changers, but no other name would seem to stick. Plus the whole alliteration thing was irresistible.

Here, in brief, is the story of how Challis Changers came to be.
Back in the dark and dreary winter months Jana and I were dreaming of a sunnier time. A time when the sun would not be covered by cold gray clouds. We were thinking about summer camp. Jana grew up on a steady diet of Student Life, and I am a Fuge poster child. But, they weren't offering any summer camps near our location. (Although, I have heard that Centrifuge has a traveling team somewhere in our vicinity, but they sure didn't advertise it.)

Anyway, left to our own devices we found ONE camp facility in Idaho that could meet our needs that wasn't booked for the summer. Living Waters Ranch near Challis. Upon looking at a map we realized Challis is about an hour away from Salmon, Idaho which is (da da da daaah) the home of Salmon Valley Baptist Church, our "mother" church. So I called Micheal, the youth etc. minister at SVBC and discussed it with him. At first he was reluctant. They were planning on doing a mission camp like World Changers. I told Micheal about my experience with MFuge where we did kind of a hybrid summer retreat/service camp. He liked it and work began.

Fast forward, after many God-ordained events, we had a camp with great worship and preaching. We had a service project where we put a new roof on an unbeliever's house. We took 74 religious surveys in a town with 900 people. We helped the Challis Chamber of Commerce organize the 4th of July Parade. (Jana was a judge) We decorated a float for the parade. We did face painting, balloon animals, free water, free cotton candy, and free popcorn at a festival in the park. We floated on the Salmon river (I saw three deer, seven ducks, and a whole family of skunks). We made lots of new friends.

Most of all we hope we did two things. We hope that we have planted the seeds of a new church in Challis where at least 90 percent of them do not go to an Evangelical church, and we hope we have ignited a flame of excitement and devotion in the lives of our students.


  1. Jana has all the pictures from Ironman and Challis Changers, so it is her fault if they don't get posted.


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