The Navigator: 3.21.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 3/24 – Jason begins a new sermon series…

Preacher:  Jason

Text: Passages from Judges 13 & 14

 

COMING APRIL 7TH…

I cannot express in words how excited I am about this ministry event.

Three times when I was in Youth Ministry I invited Dr. Ross to come speak, minister to, and work with our parents and students.  God has extraordinarily gifted this servant in the area of strengthening families.  Here is the schedule for the day:

SCHEDULE:

9:15 – All adults in the Worship Center with Dr. Ross

10:45 – Combined worship service (overflow seating will be available).

Noon – Special Event luncheon for parents and their teenage children

 

Discussion & Questions about the 2019-2020 Budget

Sunday evening, March 24th; 5pm; Worship Center

Final Vote on Budget:  3/27; 6:30pm; Rm. 108

 

FYI – We had 24 students attend our first class this past Tuesday evening, all of whom were diving into the deep end of the gospels.  I couldn’t be more thrilled.  When you stop learning, you stop leading.  And, with this opportunity, learning has never been easier (or cheaper.)

 

NEWSWEEK:  CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION WORSE THAN ANY TIME IN HISTORY

I touched on this during this past Sunday’s sermon.

The recent butchering of Nigerian Christians is merely another reminder that Satan is turning up the heat on his futile attempt to destroy our faith in the risen Christ.

“Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution,” the report said.

Read the article in its entirety here.

 

WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?

“I’m too tired.” “It’s too cold.” On and on, ad nauseum.

Our North American excuses for not attending a local church are lame and laughable compared to the devotion demonstrated around the globe.

This church in the Philippines flooded – but not even a flood could stop them from coming together to exalt Christ.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Which one are you?  A or B?

 

GRACE NOTES: The Decline of the Bible in North America

I have a burning question.  Read about it here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

The Navigator: 2.28.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 3/3

Preacher:  Jason

Primary Text:  1 Peter 4:12-19; Jason continues his series, Stand Firm

 

WE. ARE. SO. CLOSE.

Still need photos, brief bios & a brief description of current curriculum from:

BASE CAMP – Isaias Martinez

UNIVERSITY/YOUNG ADULTS – Shawn Coleman

I know this has been a pain for some, but I am confident you will be pleased with the end result as this information you’ve submitted will strongly help guests navigate what we are presently offering in our small group ministry.

 

THE MATH OF GOD

World-renowned theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku, stirred up the world of mathematics in recent years when he concluded that the order of the universe proves there is an intelligence behind it all.  This is significant given that Kaku is not a professing Christian.  You can read about his conclusion here in an article published by Science World Report.  (View a related article on this topic here.)

Renowned scientists concluding there’s an intelligence behind the order of the cosmos is nothing new.  It just makes bigger headlines today.

Author, Andrew Miller, once shared:

“I am impressed by the number of scientists who believed in Intelligent Design. Newton, Faraday, Kelvin (physics), Dalton, Ramsey, Pasteur, Agassiz (biology), Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Maunder (astronomy), Pascal (mathematics).”

 

CLASS IS FILLING UP!

We’re having a strong response!  If you’ve not registered yet, please pray about doing so.

When you stop learning, you stop leading.

So, if time permits you to attend, please prayerfully consider this opportunity to study deeply the four gospels. Theological learning has never been easier.  And it’s absolutely free for BHBC members.

Dr. Matt Baird is scheduled to teach New Testament I – The Gospels (SWBLI 5211).

The term ‪begins Tuesday, March 19. Final class is Tuesday, May 7.

Here is the course description: An introduction to the Gospels. These writings will be studied in terms of historical setting, religious background, literary composition, theological message, and interrelationship with the Old Testament.

This is meaty content for equipping pastors, teachers, and lay people.

Textbook:  Should you choose to purchase the textbook you can click here.  The book, new, can be a little pricey.  But Amazon, at least presently, offers several used copies from around $20.  (and the used copies are usually in great shape.)

Dr. Baird has given me the Course Syllabus which explains in detail what will be covered week-to-week.  We are working on getting that document uploaded to our web site so you can  read through it.

Click here to register through BHBC to audit the course.

 

IMPORTANT – FRIENDLY – REMINDER

One of my biblical responsibilities as a pastor is to keep “banging the drum” on vital issues.  Why?  Because human nature dictates we forget the simplest of fundamentals from time to time if we’re not occasionally reminded.  When I played football and baseball in high school not a practice went by that we didn’t begin with the fundamentals.  Of course, this also applied to my training on the piano.

That said, remember to implement the following two fundamentals of small group shepherding each and every week.  (I will most likely simply include this once a month in this publication.)

1 . Briefly welcome all guests.  We pray for hurting and searching people to join us.  So, every single week – just as we do in “big church” – we need to devote just a minute to welcoming guests and encouraging them to complete a blue Connect Card (see pic below).  The biblical term “pastor” means “shepherd.”  As a class leader you are also a shepherd of the flock – this a “calling” entrusted to you by God. Our staff contacts these guests every single week and then we funnel names to respective class leadership.  Make sure guests know there is no “pressure” to complete a card.  But that it helps us better shepherd them.

2 . The Gospel. Never assume that, just because a person attends a small group, they’re saved.  A simple statement like the following – or something similar – could change someone’s life: “You’ll make no greater decision in your life than to trust Christ as your Savior. If you’ve never done that please know that myself, or one of our leaders, is available after class and would love to pray with you about this topic.”

 

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

A hauntingly beautiful cover of this Simon & Garfunkel hit from the 70’s.  Listen to Pentatonix render their take on the song – completely a cappella.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“Tell me about the God you don’t believe in. There’s a good chance I don’t believe in that God either.”  Timothy Keller

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Forgive me, ladies!  This was just too good not to share. 🙂

 

GRACE NOTES:  A Lesson We Tend to Miss in the Story of Jonah

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 2.14.19

enter-joy-graphic

 

THIS SUNDAY, 2/17/19

Preacher:  Jason

Text:  Matthew 25:14-31  (last sermon in Jason’s series on “generosity.”)

 

SUMMIT GROUP BIO’s!

We’re sooooo close to getting this wrapped up.

I still need photos, brief bios & a brief description of current curriculum from:

BASE CAMP – Isaias Martinez

UNIVERSITY/YOUNG ADULTS – Shawn Coleman

FORMERLY “PARENTS OF YOUTH” – Michael Dain, Gail White

OPEN DOOR – Tom Heath

THE MIX – Mel & Dormye Halbrooks

 

BACON-FEST REPORT

Don Baldwin expressed great thanks.  The student ministry brought in just under $4000.  Don says it is twice as much as they raised last year.

Thank you for your generosity!

 

MINOR PROPHETS with a MAJOR MESSAGE

This past Wed., we mined the message of Amos.

One of the reasons God sent Amos to the northern kingdom of Israel was to rebuke them for disregard for genuine worship of God.

It is easy to skim over the biblical passages citing God’s abhorrence of fake, ritualistic worship. But we should heed them with great fear.  In Amos 5:21, God thunders,

I hate, I despise all your pretense – the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

One scholar offered commentary on why God used both “hate” and “despise” describing his disgust for pretentious worship.  He states:

Two Hebrew words here combine to express the attitude more forcefully than either could by itself.  The result can be translated, “I reject with utter hatred.”

May our worship of the Almighty be always sincere.  nw

 

A DIGITAL CHURCH DIRECTORY

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Have you accessed our Online Church Directory?

1. Click here and establish an “ACS Login”.

2. Download the Church Life App for your mobile device.

3. Log in using the ACS email and password you created.

4. Make any preferred changes to  your profile and/or add a photo.

Don’t have an email in our system?

Complete the Connect Card in your Worship Guide on Sunday and either place it in the offering plate during the service or in the gray box in our Commons.

 

 

Registration is now open!

Dr. Matt Baird is scheduled to teach New Testament I – The Gospels (SWBLI 5211).

The term ‪begins Tuesday, March 19. Final class is Tuesday, May 7.

Here is the course description: An introduction to the Gospels. These writings will be studied in terms of historical setting, religious background, literary composition, theological message, and interrelationship with the Old Testament.

This is meaty content for equipping all believers as well as teachers.

Please promote this among your respective classes. BHBC members can attend for ZERO dollars. It’s never been easier to receive graduate level training.

Click here to register through BHBC to audit the course.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Church.  Does it really matter?

An entry from last week’s Navigator dove-tailed into a blog I wrote a couple of days later.  It must be a topic of great debate and interest because the blog created quite a bit of online activity.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Navigator: 2.7.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 2/10

Preacher:  Jason

Text:  Matthew 6:1-4

 

HEEEEEYYYY! 

THANK YOU to all who have gotten me your info regarding your class.  Please know I am not going to launch the SUMMIT Group Web page until I receive all class info I’ve requested.   PLEASE help me succeed. 🙂

I still need photos, brief bios & a brief description of current curriculum from:

ROYCE WILLIAMS (A)  – Glenna Applewhite

SINGLES – Mike & Susie Harendt

BASE CAMP – Isaias Martinez

UNIVERSITY/YOUNG ADULTS – Shawn Coleman

FORMERLY “PARENTS OF YOUTH” – Michael Dain, Gail White

OPEN DOOR – Tom Heath

THE MIX – Mel & Dormye Halbrooks

 

WHY SATAN HATES YOUR SMALL GROUP

I stumbled across the quote below on my Twitter feed.  19th century British preacher, Charles Spurgeon, is one of my favorites.  Note his words here as to the vital spiritual nature of community and fellowship within the Body.  Where do people find community and fellowship?  Not “big church”.

They find true believers fellowship (koinonia: κοινωνία, cf. Acts 2:42) in the small group.

That’s where they connect with people on a deeper level.

That’s where they begin to open up and feel safe.

It’s the relationships they make within the context of the small group that keeps them coming back. nw

 

BACON FEST: THIS SUNDAY, 2/10; 8:30 am – 1:30 pm

Location:  FLC

500 flapjacks! (gluten free cakes available) 100 Lbs of bacon!

What is “Bacon Fest?”  a Student Ministry Fund-Raiser to help offset costs of the following 2019 events:  (no cost; donations only): 

Winter Retreat – Telluride, CO;

Mission Trip: Washington, DC;

Middle School Camp: Capitan, NM;

High School Camp: Windermere, MO

 

MINOR PROPHETS with a MAJOR MESSAGE

This past Wed., we mined the message of Joel.

Following a devastating locust invasion – unprecedented in its amount of damage – God instructed Joel to use the locusts as a living illustration of the judgment to come on Judah if they did not repent of their luke-warm, indifferent approach to God.

One passage we camped out on for a few minutes was 2:25, in which God says to Judah,

“I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten.”

This is an extraordinary statement because God doesn’t say he’ll restore “stuff”, but “years”.

Can God actually restore joy to our lives that pain and heartache have stolen from us over time?  What about the broken spouse who’s just ended a 20 year marriage?  Or, the guilt-ridden addict who, after spending most of their adult life in chemical bondage, has finally decided to get clean?  Or, the grieving family whose son took his own life after losing his battle with depression?

Can God “restore” the “life” we’ve lost.

God says, emphatically, “I not only can – I will.”

From the moment we put our trust and faith in Christ, the “restoration” is put in motion.  Some of us see tangible evidence of “restoration” here on planet earth.  (Job’s livestock and wealth were restored to him twofold on earth.) Others of us won’t see restoration until we leave this planet. (Job’s children who were  lost in 1:18-19 were restored to him in heaven.) But the promise of restoration remains – and is in effect.

Because of the Cross and the Empty Tomb, our redemption and restoration is now possible.  The risen Jesus Christ was our preview of the restoration to come.

Hallelujah!

 

MIGHTY CROSS

New song I’ll be leading this week in the early service.  The lyrics are so powerful.  Enjoy.

 

 

Registration opens ‪February 11.  (That’s Monday!)

Dr. Matt Baird is scheduled to teach New Testament I – The Gospels (SWBLI 5211).

The term ‪begins Tuesday, March 19. Final class is Tuesday, May 7.

Here is the course description: An introduction to the Gospels. These writings will be studied in terms of historical setting, religious background, literary composition, theological message, and interrelationship with the Old Testament.

This is meaty content for equipping all believers as well as teachers.

Please promote this among your respective classes. BHBC members can attend for ZERO dollars. It’s never been easier to receive graduate level training.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“The problem with modern disrespect is simple: Kids today don’t know the fear of hearing leather rapidly being removed through 7 Wrangler belt loops.”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Why is there Something Instead of Nothing?

Thinking deeply about the argument for the existence of God.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

 

 

 

The Navigator: 1.31.19

 

This Sunday, 2/3

Preacher:  Jason

Topic & Text:  GenerosityActs 20:17-38

 

SUMMIT GROUP PHOTOS & BIOS:

Okay folks, the deadline is this Sunday, Feb. 3rd. (Just let me know if you need more time – I’m a nice guy.) 🙂

I have received what I need from the following classes:

Agape

Special Friends

Travelers (still need photo & bio of Dr. St. Clair!)

I still need photos, brief bios & a brief description of current curriculum from:

ROYCE WILLIAMS (A)  – Glenna Applewhite

WELLSPRING – Vicki Blundell, Laura McGrew, Beth Honeycutt

SINGLES – Mike & Susie Harendt

BASECAMP – Isaias Martinez

GENERATIONS – Danny Broyles, Bruce Cottrell, Wayne Dickerson, John Gardner, Paxton Rautis, Randy Rogers (Bruce promised me your stuff this Sunday!)

UNIVERSITY/YOUNG ADULTS – Shawn Coleman

FORMERLY “PARENTS OF YOUTH” – Michael Dain, Gail White

OPEN DOOR – Tom Heath

ROYCE WILLIAMS (B) – Larry Vialle

THE MIX – Mel & Dormye Halbrooks

 

MINOR PROPHETS with a MAJOR MESSAGE

Each week I’ll include a snippet from the past Wed evening’s lesson on the minor prophets.  This week we mined the message of Hosea.

Hosea beautifully – and frighteningly – describes God’s loyal/covenant love for a stubborn, rebellious people.

Like any parent who loves their child more than anything, God uses Hosea to warn Israel of punishment to come so as to protect them from horrible pain. They refused to listen.

Below is a beautiful quote I used from the 5th century theologian, Theodoret of Cyrrhus. Keep this in mind: even God’s judgment is driven by his love to get us to snap out of our prideful behavior and return to his love and protection.

 

THE RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Below this entry is a reminder of the upcoming BH Carroll class on the Gospels.  I visited with professor Matt Baird this past week.  (Matt will be teaching, in person as opposed to remotely, each Tuesday evening.) Please consider attending.  It’s absolutely free to BHBC members.

Biblical illiteracy is embarrassingly high among Christians.  But so is a lack of knowledge as to the evidenced reliability of how we got the Gospels. If the Bible is our sole authoritative resource, shouldn’t we be able to confidently defend its reliability when it’s challenged?  Yes, we should.

Here is Dr. Mike Licona.  Dr. Licona was a professor of mine during my graduate studies at HBU.  This video is 19 minutes long.  I’m asking you to simply watch the first 6 minutes.  I commonly show this clip while teaching on the reliability of the New Testament.  Dr. Licona is a brilliant historian and debater.  One of the books I was assigned to read was his 700 page tome, The Resurrection of Jesus.  Enjoy.

 

Registration opens ‪February 11.

Dr. Matt Baird is scheduled to teach New Testament I – The Gospels (SWBLI 5211).

The term ‪begins Tuesday, March 19. Final class is Tuesday, May 7.

Here is the course description: An introduction to the Gospels. These writings will be studied in terms of historical setting, religious background, literary composition, theological message, and interrelationship with the Old Testament.

This is meaty content for equipping all believers as well as teachers.

Please promote this among your respective classes. BHBC members can attend for ZERO dollars. It’s never been easier to receive graduate level training.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Doubting God (It’s ok to doubt)

I was asked just this past week, “How do you help someone who’s doubting their faith in God?”  Read my blog on the topic here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

 

 

The Navigator: 1.24.19

 

THIS SUNDAY, 1/27

Preacher:  Chris Liebrum (pronounced LEE-brum)

Below is a photo of Chris and his wife, Cindy.  I’ve known Chris forever.  He presently leads the Cooperative Program Ministry of the Baptist General Convention of TX. Chris will be preaching in both worship services.

 

Help Us Welcome “Aspire” This Sunday by Attending their Open House.

Aspire, a year in the making, is our new ministry to mentally-challenged adolescents.  And this Sunday, 1/27, is our launch-date and Open House.

The leadership of Aspire has asked if we could adjust our teaching time so as to be able to allow our folks time to drop by and visit this new ministry.

The official Open House time is: 10:15-10:45.  Location is LL (Lower Level), Room 9.

So, all classes meeting at 9:15, if you could dismiss a little early?  And all classes meeting at 10:45, if you could begin just a few minutes late?

Can you help us make this happen?  Those leading the new Aspire Ministry will be so very encouraged by your visit and interest. nw

 

There is a reason I chose the passage from Psalm 139 at the top of this week’s publication.

I don’t address politics in this publication.  However, we’re not talking about politics here.  We’re talking about heinous sin run amuck.

This past week the state of New York passed a law allowing abortion up until birth.  The passing of the law was met with thunderous applause from NY political leaders.

In an act of arrogant, self-righteous disrespect (to all New York residents who are vehemently opposed to this law), Governor Cuomo directed state landmarks like the spire of One World Trade Center to be lit up in pink to “shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”

Even as I type this I find myself sick to my stomach.  Social media is ablaze with outrage.  Like you, I have read powerful comments like the following:

Kill an eagle’s egg and get a fine of up to two thousand dollars and up to two years in jail.  But kill a pre-born baby and it’s legal.”

“Honey, were gonna have a fetus”- said no one ever.

Blogger, Matt Walsh:  “Late term abortion is now legal in New York while capital punishment is illegal.  Which means it is ok to give lethal injection to infants.  If that seems moral or rational to you, you’re a psychopath.”

Dr. Alveda King (Martin Luther King’s niece):  “I know in my heart that if Uncle Martin were alive today he would join with me in the greatest civil rights struggle of this generation:  the recognition of the unborn child’s right to life.”

The “bright light” Governor Cuomo is seeing is the “light” Paul warned the Corinthians about:  Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

God have mercy on us.

 

SCIENCE & FAITH

From a book I’m currently reading on this topic by friend/physicist, Dr. Michael Strauss:

“The Big Bang was not an ‘explosion’ (as we define ‘explosion’) because nothing natural existed to cause an explosion.” Dr. Michael Strauss, Particle Physicist

Ironically, after reading this statement – my head exploded.

It’s right up there with Augustine writing, “We wonder what God was doing before he created us. This is theologically wrong thinking. With God, there was no ‘before’.”

 

 

FRIENDLY REMINDER…

LEADERSHIP BIO’S:

These continue to trickle in.  But I still need the majority of you to get this info to me.

  1. a photo of  you and your leadership
  2. a brief personal bio (4 sentences, or so)
  3. a brief introduction/overview of your present curriculum (4 sentences, or so)

Deadline to have your stuff in is Sunday, Feb. 3rd.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“If you are pronounced dead when you’re heart stops, why are you not pronounced alive when it starts?”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

It took me a minute to get this.  But when I did – I laughed out loud.

 

GRACE NOTES:  The Relationship Between the Old Testament Law & the New Testament

What is with all of those seemingly arbitrary rules and regulations of the Law?  Why are we, under the new covenant, commanded to obey the 10 Commandments, but not the Law, given to Moses from God, just as the 10 Commandments were given to Moses by God?

This is an all-too-commonly misunderstood theological topic among not merely non-
Christians, but Christians ourselves.  The answer appears murky and difficult to sort out.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Read my introductory answer to this question here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

The Navigator: 1.19.19

Sorry!

This past Tuesday (1/15) i finally went to the dr and was diagnosed with bronchitis, upper respiratory infection, and what the dr described as “this head stuff going around.”  I ended up getting a shot and a load of prescriptions – including cough syrup with codeine which I have come to quite enjoy 🙂

All that to say, I hadn’t forgotten about sending you this weekly Enews.  Honestly, I simply do no remember much of the week.

So, rather than wait until the publication of next week’s Navigator, here are just a couple of quick notes/reminders for you:

 

This Sunday, 1/20:

SonShiner Choir

Preacher: Jason (final sermon in current series, “Sacred Selfies”; Luke 6:27-35)

 

LEADERSHIP BIO’S:

I’ve received what I need from Agape & Special Friends.  For the rest of you guys,…

It’s time to begin getting me the following:

  1. a photo of  you and your leadership
  2. a brief personal bio (4 sentences, or so)
  3. a brief introduction/overview of your present curriculum (4 sentences, or so)

Why are we doing this?  I’ve had guests tell me they’re having to visit numerous classes just so they can know who’s teaching what.  This very thing I’m asking you to do here is a result of my conversations with those guests.  In this age where everyone goes to their phone/device for information, this will help greatly.

Deadline to have your stuff in is Sunday, Feb. 3rd.

 

WEDNESDAY EVENING CLASSES RESUME January 16th @ 6:30pm!

NOTE:  I want to thank Jason Atchley for covering for me this past week due to me being ill.  He will also cover for me this coming week.  See below for explanation.

Class options:

Lord, Change My Attitude – Jason Atchley; Rm. 109

Minor Prophets with a Major Message – Nick Watts; Rm. 108

Put Your Warrior Boots On – Wellspring Sisters Women’s Study; Rm. 215

Baptist History – Michael Dain; Rm. 219

GriefShare – Tom & Diane Heath – Rm. 209

Divorce Care – Isaias & Sonya Martinez; Rm. 211

Strength to Love (prodigal child support – Cam Johnston; off campus, call for details

 

THE SUICIDE EPIDEMIC: AWARENESS & INTERVENTION

The above heading is the title of my talk I present for public schools and churches on the topic of suicide.

I declined accepting invitations to speak on this topic in 2018 due to the overwhelming number of speaking engagements I accepted in 2017.  (It did not take me long to understand how large an emotional toll these engagements take on me.)

At present, I have only accepted two for the Winter/Spring of 2019.

The first one is next Wed., 1/23, at Lubbock Cooper High School’s Summit Regional Student Leadership Conference.  To have someone speak on the topic of suicide was actually voted upon by the teens themselves.  Over the course of the day, I will present my talk 4 times to hundreds of teens and adults.  By the end of the day, I will be an emotional mess.  So, Jason has graciously agreed to cover my Wed. night class on the 23rd.

Your prayers are appreciated.

 

 

Registration opens ‪February 11.

Dr. Matt Baird is scheduled to teach New Testament I (SWBLI 5211).

The term ‪begins Tuesday, March 19. Final class is Tuesday, May 7.

Here is the course description: An introduction to the Gospels. These writings will be studied in terms of historical setting, religious background, literary composition, theological message, and interrelationship with the Old Testament.

This is meaty content for equipping all believers as well as teachers.

Please promote this among your respective classes. BHBC members can attend for ZERO dollars. It’s never been easier to receive graduate level training.

Student Ministry Fund-Raiser: Feb. 10, 8:30 am – 1:30 pm
500 flapjacks! (gluten free cakes available) 100 Lbs of bacon!
Donations are accepted to assist cost of youth experiences for:
Winter Retreat – Telluride, CO
Mission Trip: Washington, DC
Middle School Camp: Capitan, NM
High School Camp: Windermere, MO
Nick