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Volunteer Story: Camp Medic Calla

During one of our recent Spring Recharge retreats, I took the time to sit down and talk with our volunteer medic, Calla Johnson, about how she came to know IOLBC and volunteer as one of our invaluable medics. Let's see what she had to say:

Tell me how you initially came to be connected with IOLBC? My first connection with camp was through my kids. The outreach program you had at the time had come to visit my church and as a result, I signed my kids up to come to confirmation camp.

When was that and what are some of the things you can remember about your kids coming to camp? That would have been in the late 1980's or early 1990's. As a parent, I really remember the closing program and feeling like this was a place that lifted people up. It was a good place for people to come and dig into what it meant to have a relationship with God. In my kids lives, I could see that their relationship with God had been enriched and deepened and they had a good enough time they wanted to invite friends to come back with them. Now its been fun to also see my grandchildren come to camp as well!

What about some of your first memories of serving as one of our medics? First off, as a parent, I was so glad to see that you had a medic on site to help care for the youth. I thought to myself, 'I could do that!' As a medic, I always feel appreciated and I know that you value maintaining a standard of care for your campers.

Is there any particularly memorable times from when you have been at camp? Well, as a parent, there was one Recharge retreat my middle son was at where we got a call from home that one of his best friends had been seriously injured in an accident. The counselors and the staff took such great care to check in with him to see how he was doing. Their compassion and caring was one of those times where I really knew God was working in this place.

As a medic, there was one time I had to take a camper to the emergency room to get some x-rays to be sure there were no broken bones. Everything ended up being fine and he was cleared to return to camp within a couple of hours but it was an interesting experience to take a child who wasn't mine into the emergency room.

You mentioned the time your son got some hard news from home as a time you experienced God's presence through camp. Is there another time you'd like to share? God's presence is just all over this camp. In amidst the trees and by the lake, it is so easy for me to know that he is here. One time as I was sitting outside a feather came floating down from the sky rather randomly. For me, it was God's way of say, "I'm here."

How has your time at camp influenced or impacted your daily life? I have often taken the small group leader guides home with me and have used them with my Sunday school classes or even in going back through the theme of the camp for myself. They have been a great way to get my kids started talking about what they learned at camp from the speakers and Bible studies.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse you'd like to share with us? Currently, my word of the year is "seeking," Psalm 139 really speaks to what this word means for me in my faith right now.

Is there anything else in general you'd like to share? One of things I have enjoyed seeing over the years is when the youth bring the songs they learn at camp back to the church. We have had the kids also often share with the church what they have learned and experienced while at camp which has increased the support from the congregation to sponsor the kids coming to camp.

Also, one year as a youth leader, I accidentally left my Bible at camp. When I realized it was lost, I looked everywhere but didn't think to call the camp and check there. Two years later, the Bible showed up in the mail. It had been found at camp, had my name in it, and they sent it back. It was a well loved Bible with lots of personal notes in it so I was so glad to have it back. It meant a lot that the camp took the time to look up my information and mail it back to me.

Thanks to Calla for sharing about her experiences with IOLBC! We have greatly appreciated both her willingness to bring kids to camp and to serve as one of our volunteer medics!

If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering as a medic at one of our youth programs, we would love to talk with you! Room and board are included while you are at camp as well as a free camper space for up to 2 minor children while you are at camp. Those interested should contact Kristin Reinhardt at 712-337-3306 or

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