On Saturday, July 29, during Friends & Family Weekend, Camp Pecometh celebrated 70 years of life-changing experiences. So many lives have been radically changed for Christ over that time, whether it was at an impacting Galilean service or just through one-on-one heartfelt conversation.
Past campers, staff, and counselors, shared what has made Pecometh so special these 70 years.
Lindsay O’Day, who attends Avenue UMC in Milford DE, was here for Friends & Family Weekend with her daughter, Hadley, age 13, and her son Baylor, age 7.
Her Pecometh past includes working as a counselor here for 2 summers. Her mother was a camper in years past and her kids enjoy coming to camp today as well.
What does she think of Pecometh celebrating 70 years, and what makes Pecometh so special to her and her family?
“It’s all about the closeness to God. My daughter and I were both saved here.”
Rev. Kari Jones, Co-Pastor of Connection Community Church, a United Methodist congregation in Middletown DE, led the bible studies for the weekend. Her 35 year history with Pecometh includes helping to promote Pecometh in local churches in the 80s and volunteering as a nurse.
This summer, she and her husband Rev. Alan Jones, led a Creative Worship Design Retreat here at Pecometh.
Why is Pecometh so important to her?
“Something happens when you arrive on the property. Your heart slows down. But what really matters is the connection with God here.”
Also present for the celebration was Rev. George Godfrey, Pecometh’s first Camp Director from 1959-61. The Godfrey Commons at the Riverview Retreat Center is named in honor of George and his wife Carolyn.
George and Carolyn met on summer staff at Pecometh. He was a lifeguard and she worked in the kitchen. As one of Pecometh’s pioneers, what’s George’s memory?
“The kids had some wonderful experiences. Many times on Fridays, they just didn’t want to go home.”
Jamie Armstrong is in her third year on summer staff and first on summer Leadership Team. She attends Messiah College in Harrisburg PA, majoring in human development and family sciences. These subjects focus on personal skills, and there is a perfect marriage between her studies and what she’s learned while working at Pecometh these past few years.
Why has Pecometh been so special to her?
“The community that camp fosters is so important. Pecometh has really motivated me in my Christian walk.”
Sitting across the table from Jamie was Thomas Pennington. He’s also on the Leadership Team, and he’s in his fourth year as a Pecometh lifeguard. He’s working on a double major (information systems and criminal justice) at the University of Delaware.
Why is Pecometh so unique and special to him?
“I’ve been coming here as a camper for a long time. It’s the friendships I’ve made over the past 11 years, and also being able to develop my leadership skills.”
The 70th Anniversary celebration culminated with Pecometh’s signature Galilean Service. Storms required the service to be held in Fellowship Hall. Former staff from every decade of Pecometh’s history were there and each lit a candle, which was then placed on the floor in the shape of a cross.
It was purely the providence of God that showed up that night when we realized that exactly 70 candles were then on the floor.
The testimonies of those present, along with 70 candles, are an reminder that, with God’s grace and help, Pecometh will spend the next 70 years serving God and those entrusted to God’s care.