Sonlight Christian Camp: Exploring God’s creation away from the busyness of life

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Photo courtesy Emrys Tyler
Sonlight Christian Camp, an Archuleta County nonprofit, offers summer camps, backpacking programs and retreats.

By Emrys Tyler
Special to The PREVIEW
We are Sonlight Christian Camp, a not-for-profit ministry that provides a place for youth and adults to discover who God wants them to be.
We’re located 5.5 miles out Four Mile Road (County Road 400), and then a mile and a half down Sonlight Place. We especially serve youth ages 8-18 in our summer camp and backpacking programs, but also host adult retreats in the fall and winter seasons. We work to provide a place and a program in which youth can get away from the busyness of life, explore God’s beautiful creation and re-learn how to live in human, device-free community.
We are a small camp, serving about 70 campers and backpackers at a time. The summer resident campers have worship every day, great teaching on the Christian life and all the fun activities that come with camp. Our backpackers go out for five-day treks in the Weminuche Wilderness in groups of 8-13 high schoolers, to discover the joys and challenges of carrying your essentials on your back and leaving the rest behind. Our retreat season groups come with their own program, but get to experience Sonlight’s hospitality and excellent food.
Sonlight has a small staff in the retreat season (six people), but we bring on more than 20 enthusiastic college-age staff members for the summer. March and April are usually our slow-paced months, but right now we’re facing with all of you the challenges of planning in light of the coronavirus. We’re discerning right now how our summer season will look, given all of our concerns for safety and health. But we’ll make it through (and so will you), so we’ll just plan for every possibility and take each day as it comes. No matter what changes, the love of Jesus Christ in the Christian community will stay the same.
Our ever-present need is to keep Sonlight’s Scholarship Fund strong — especially this year, as so many families will experience a significant financial impact. The Scholarship Fund assists families who can’t afford the full cost of camp, in the hope that money will never keep a kid from coming to camp.
If you’re interested in exploring Sonlight’s ministry or donating to the Scholarship Fund, please visit SonlightCamp.org. Or, if you’re feeling isolated by a little too much social distance, give us a call — 264-4379 — just to chat. Ask for Emrys, the co-director, or Bryce, our “Boss of Fun.”
We’re praying for you, the larger community, and all those who are struggling with anxiety, financial stress, and health challenges in this strange and trying season. By the grace of God, we’ll make it through.