Every spring break, Jenny Blackmon, camp director at Camp Peniel in Marble Falls, takes a small group of young adults on what they call a “Mission Tour.” Each day during the week they visit a different organization in Central Texas, serving in whatever capacity is needed. They chose to spend a full day at New Life Children’s Center in Canyon Lake, after Peniel Camp counselor Breanna Smith, who had interned at New Life, told Blackmon “so many fabulous things” about the residential treatment program for girls.
The Camp Peniel group helps organizations like New Life cross things off of their to-do lists: landscaping, deep cleaning, donation sorting, or putting together programs for the kids. Blackmon says it is also a way to show the youth group the need that is in their own backyard – “It’s an opportunity for them to use their gifts to serve their community and the Lord.” All the college-aged participants have qualified to work at Camp Peniel as counselors so are trained and comfortable working with kids.
The group went to work raking leaves around the New Life property … on a very blustery day! All day long they raked … and raked… with no complaints or prolonged rest periods. When the work was done the group paid a visit to the animal menagerie at the Serenity Barn. Getting ready to leave for the day, the group made an impromptu prayer circle outside the barn, where they prayed for New Life and the girls who live there as they heal.
It was not a “typical” spring break for the Camp Peniel crew by any means, but it proved to be a memorable and meaningful one.