I found Honey Rock Camp as a freshman at Wheaton College. With a long summer ahead and my parents headed back to Africa, I needed a home. Honey Rock Camp became that for me the summer of 1995. I had the privilege of being a counselor, taking kids on amazing wilderness trips, learning the ins and outs of lake canoeing as well as being part of a TRUE real community. Honey Rock Camp was where I learned to LOVE the outdoors – something that has stayed with me to this day.
I always wanted our kids to attend HRC and this summer, Caroline went. Flying by herself to Rhinelander, WI, and met by a total stranger, she headed to camp for three weeks. No phone, no technology, not knowing a soul.
The entire time she was gone, my heart’s prayer (after asking to keep her safe and meet friends) was to LOVE Honey Rock like I do. AND SHE DID!
I thought you’d enjoy hearing her share a bit about the three weeks of Advance Camp she attended. This camp is specifically designed for incoming freshman (high school). She’s already ready for next year’s 4 week (gulp!) 2:22 camp which includes a small little 8 day wilderness trip at Lake Superior.
Here’s Caroline’s summary of Advance Camp! by Caroline Monberg
A couple of weeks ago, I had the most amazing opportunity to fly out to Wisconsin to go to Honey Rock Camp run by Wheaton College. It was a totally new experience for me because every summer before this I would go to Eagle Lake Camp (near Pikes Peak in Colorado).
The day before I left, we dropped Tobin off at Eagle Lake and it was bittersweet for me. I knew that I was going to be leaving for Honey Rock the day afterward, but this was going to be my first year in a four years that I wouldn’t be at Eagle Lake.
Because of living in Colorado, I was definitely expecting dry air, pine trees, and bare land at HRC. When I first pulled up to Honey Rock, I was quite surprised to see huge tall lush green trees, and feel moist air. The biggest unexpected surprise (if you can call it that?) was the mosquitoes!
Everything that I had envisioned in my brain about this camp was totally different than what I got, and to be honest I was actually a little disappointed. At Eagle Lake, I always did the Excursion programs where boys and girls are all intermingled and were in the same group. (Most years I would be the only girl or one of two girls in our group.) I was definitely in for a surprise when I realized I’d be sharing a cabin with seven other girls AND that there would be three other cabins with that many girls.
The whole first day I was there, everything I saw just made me upset because it was nothing like I had known. I really came in with a lot of doubt because it was nothing like Eagle Lake and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to feel God like I do at ELC. So, for the entire first week, I may have appeared to be really happy to be at Honey Rock, but inside I was so disappointed. (This is also including the near death experience where I almost drowned attempting to do a wet exit in a kayak J).
The days went on, and not until an entire week did I really start enjoying camp. Over the three weeks at Advance Camp, the girls and the boys each go on their own separate wilderness trips for five days. The boys left for their wilderness trips the first full day of camp so it wasn’t until the five days later when they came back that I started liking camp.
On the first Sunday night the boys were back, we had this big Advance Camp worship night. Our whole theme for Advance Camp was being rooted in God and our theme verse was Colossians 2:6-7 ~ “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
We talked about what it means to be rooted in God, we worshipped, and some of the counselors shared their testimonies. During worship we were singing this song, “Come as You Are” and the words just hit me so hard. I was so overcome with love that I just started crying. My counselor came over and she prayed for me. Soon enough, almost all of the kids were crying on each other’s shoulders. At that moment I realized how heavy God’s presence was and how much love was in that room. At the end we all had tears on our faces but we were in this huge kick line laughing and smiling singing David Crowder’s, “I Am a Seed.” (If you’ve never heard the song, google it! It’s a really fun song!)
That was the first time that I had felt God’s presence and it had hit me so hard. This was the night I would say I became a hard core lover of Honey Rock. After that night, each day at Honey Rock just got better and better. That Tuesday, we left for trip. Five days, no shower, no deodorant, no hair brushing, no change of clothes, tents, backpacking, canoeing, solos, using the woods and a shovel as your toilet, and lots and lots of memories. I will say, that during trip it wasn’t necessarily fun, but looking back it was so worth it and the memories we made were so valuable.
There were so many great things that happened during trip like drinking bleach water, peeing on a mini island in a middle of a lake, late nights full of talking, singing songs at the top of our lungs, and the list goes on and on and on.
The couple things I took away from Honey Rock was this:
- People come in all shapes and sizes and different personalities, but we are all made brothers and sisters through Christ.
- Having a solid community of Christians to stand by you, help you, and serve by you is more valuable then you could ever imagine.
- You don’t need the lights, the sound, the performance, or the appearance in worship to feel God’s presence. It’s actually quite the opposite.
- After a total of 14 hours on solos, by myself, in the woods, I can definitely say that I am in no way, shape, or form an introvert!
- People are so so cool, underneath all that judgement, or first impression, or appearance. I know this is cliché, but don’t judge a book by its cover.
- Honey Rock is the most awesome place ever and you should all go or send you kids there next summer, because it is so totally worth it.
Honey Rock has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life and I am so thankful that I was able to go! If you got anything from that hodge-podge of memories I hope you realized that Honey Rock is an amazing place and I believe that everyone should have the chance to experience it!
If you are interested in learning more about Honey Rock, click here.
*Most photos were taken and shared by Hannah Logalbo (and are owned by her).