God’s creation is simply amazing. It wordlessly describes God’s glory.
At Twin Rocks Friends Camp people are introduced to Jesus through the beauties and wonders of nature. Whether staring at the stars, standing at the ocean’s shore, strolling among stately evergreens, or paddling across a spring-fed lake, Twin Rocks campers are offered a tactile connection to the God of creation. They hear numerous sermons preached at camp, but the most effective may be the silent ones, those emanating from the natural world that surrounds the camp.
King David put it this way: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands…. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world,” (Psalm 19:1, 3-4 NIV).
In the day and age in which we live it is difficult to trust what people tell us. Advertisers mislead. Politicians bluster. Employers distort. Parents divorce. Friends disappoint. Perhaps it is best that the Lord chooses to use his creation to speak to us—without words.
Maybe that explains why Twin Rocks Friends Camp remains so successful. Each year more than 14,000 people of all ages attend retreats and conferences on its grounds. About a fourth of these come from Friends churches, but the vast majority come to Twin Rocks from elsewhere, many from outside Christendom. Public schools, government agencies, secular social service organizations, and family reunions provide opportunity for those unfamiliar with the church to connect with God at camp, through God’s gift of creation. Kids unwilling to attend church on Sundays joyfully sign up for summer camp.
At camp, God’s still, small voice speaks loudly through his natural world. Encouraging kids to count stars or grains of sand enables them to witness God’s greatness and love: “…what are mere mortals that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:4 TNIV). A morning’s exploration of the tide pools goes a long way toward answering the question “Who is God?”: Creative, fun-loving, orderly, purposeful, awe-inspiring, caring, intricate, immense, incomparable. And taking in the simple magnificence of a newt or hummingbird helps campers believe they too are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
As Twin Rocks approaches its 2018 Centennial, it is obvious that, facility-wise, much about the camp has changed over the decades. Its 1918 founders would hardly recognize the place. And yet the core purpose of camp remains unchanged, as God’s elegant “words” spoken through creation continue to reverberate among a new generation of campers. May God continue to be glorified at Twin Rocks, heartily engaging campers through his great creation.