What Victory Valley Did For Me

Since 1956, Victory Valley Camp has touched thousands of lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are a few excerpts of testimonies about the impact of this ministry in the lives of campers, parents, summer staff and church leaders. If you would like to partner in this gospel ministry for boys and girls, here's more information about how you can do that.

Parents | Campers | Staff/Summer Missionaries | Church Leaders

 

Campers

"Victory Valley is an amazing place to learn about God, discover friendships, and do many fun activities. If you send your child to VVC, you will not regret it. It is the best place in the world!" --Louise Morrissey, 5-year veteran camper

"Victory Valley has had a great impact on my life as a Christian. Not just in the overnight camp but at the small weekend seminars also. For example, the 48-Hour Core Challenge last year really challenged me to be a better Christian in the world and not just in my private life. -- Erik Carlstrom, 4-year veteran camper

"Victory Valley Camp has had a profound impact on my life.  As a little girl, I would sit next to my brothers, in the back seat of our family car, on the way to Victory valley Camp every summer.  We would ride for an hour and a half (what seemed like an eternity) and I would listen to them singing the Victory Valley songs and telling the stories from years past.  I longed to go where they had gone and finally when I was 8 years old, I was able to go too!  I understood what all their joy and excitement was about as I too made memories at Victory Valley Camp! I have many fond memories of camp, too many to list.  Victory Valley Camp has been to me a little slice of Heaven here on Earth!

I enjoyed making friends there as a child, friends I would write to each year until we could meet again at Victory Valley Camp in the summer time.  I appreciated all the spiritual guidance I received as a child there too, from my counselors and also the other staff.  I learned a lot about the word of God and how I was to apply that to my life.  I can't say that I was one of the children who received Christ at camp because I had already received him at a young age but I rededicated my life to his service at Victory Valley Camp.  We had very thought-prevoking talks at Sunday evening chapel services.  It always helped to get you in the spiritual mindset for the week of camp." -- Carolyn Cruise, former camper, former staff, camper Mom, church leader

 

"Victory Valley has provided the same core Christian immersion that I had the opportunity to enjoy when I was a kid. There was always a tremendous feeling that was left with me after a week at Camp. The feeling that this is how God intended us to act and interact with each other, while at all times giving thanks and praising him. During these busy days it is more important than ever to just sit, relax and praise God. As the psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God”. That stillness fills an opening that has stayed with me for decades. Now I know my Children are enjoying that same feeling and have establish the same base core foundation from having spent time at Victory Valley." -- Mark Eliasson, former camper, camper Dad, Summer Missionary Dad

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Parents

"Over the years, I have sent 7 of my 9 grandchildren to V.V. as a combination birthday/Christmas gift.  Five of them came to know the Lord thru their stay at camp. One story bears repeating:  one granddaughter, griped the entire way to the camp, saying she didn't want to go, wasn't going to stay, etc.  I practically had to drag this child out of my car once we got there, and she stood, arms crossed, and a pout on her face as I took her things out of my car. Tears flowed, and she begged me not to leave her there.....The following week when I came to pick her up, she begged to be allowed to stay another week!!!!!  That child is now a senior at Penn State, and very active in Disciple Makers on campus!  She will graduate in Dec. and plans to teach English to inner-city children at a 7th-8th grade level. The other children (adults now) are active members of their respective churches, and fondly recall their time at Victory Valley!  So my thanks to the devoted staff there - keep planting the seeds - you never know how they'll sprout!  May God continue to richly bless your ministry." -- Pat O'Connor, camper grandparent

"For the past three years my daughters have attended summer camp at Victory Valley.  Just one week in the summer provides stories and experiences that are recounted over the whole year! Victory Valley Camp gives them a fun, safe, Christian environment with motivated, energetic staff that shine God's light as an encouragement and example to the children in their care. God Bless Victory Valley." -- Joy Clingain, New York, camper Mom

"We picked our daughter up from Victory Valley this year and expected the normal ride home -- a ride full of stories of Mission Impossible fun, Goliath challenges, new paddle boat rides, and all the awesome fun our daughter had.  What we heard was an enormous blessing from the Lord. Almost the entire trip was filled with our daughter sharing about Friday night around the campfire.  She told us of all the children’s testimonials, and shared the struggles these teens were having, and the faith in Jesus Christ that was sustaining them. And she shared how she had cried hearing these testimonials and what an impact that night had on her faith in an Almighty God. The next week our daughter updated her Myspace profile to include one sentence that had not been there before. That sentence read “I LOVE JESUS!!!!!!”  We are and will be forever grateful to the Lord our God, and Victory Valley camp for helping to renew faith and change young lives for eternity." -- Katherine Foster, camper Mom

"We had been looking for a home church for a few months.  It's easy to get out of the Sunday and Wednesday routine when you are in that position and it happened to us.  I was concerned about Elizabeth because she was 11, just entering the preteen years.  I felt God's faithfulness when I remembered she would be loving Victory Valley for the third year in the summer.  Not only did she love it, she came home this year wanting to attend church and read her bible.  She discovered that "our purpose here isn't about living here.  It's about having a future in heaven."  She told me she cried one night with one of her cabinmates who was having some problems that she shared during devotional time.  I was so blessed by how God used Victory Valley to teach Elizabeth the meaning of discipleship in the midst of our struggle to find a church and live out our faith." -- Judi Gibson, camper Mom

"We have really appreciated the ministry of Victory Valley Camp! Our son Erik attended 4 summers and one weekend and has loved every minute of it!  He could have gone to other camps, but always wanted to go to Victory Valley. He didn’t want the fancy skateboard parks and the big Christian bands.  He liked the simple fun and the craziness and traditions at Victory Valley.  His counselors have truly cared for him and exemplified Christ to him. Each summer we have seen him come home encouraged in his walk with Christ and wanting to follow Him more closely, which we are thankful for especially as he attends public school. It was a bittersweet time picking Erik up from camp last year.  He is now 14 and will be too old to attend as a camper next summer. From the moment we brought him home, though, he talked about going back to help. We are excited about that possibility as we know your leadership and involvement in his life, as well as the chance to serve others, would be a great opportunity." -- Tom and Shelly Carlstrom, camper parents

"I'm so happy that our children today have the guidance and leadership to enhance their lives -- with the dedicated people that you have at your camp to promote their well-being. Our children are learning very valuable lessons in this troubled world. So many other children are going in the wrong direction -- children that don't have the church, school and good people to teach them right and wrong. Thank you so much in making a difference in our children's lives. -- Gloria Crownover, camper Mom

"I am now a mother of five children and I long for the opportunity to send my children to Victory Valley Camp and have them receive the rewarding experiences and adventures that I received there.  Many of the lessons I learned there have helped to make and mold me into the person I am today.  They strengthened my faith in the Lord.  I will also be proud some day if my children decide to choose Victory Valley Camp as a place to serve the Lord." -- Carolyn Cruise, camper Mom, former camper, former staff, church leader

"Victory Valley is a 4-hour drive each way from the mid-Hudson region [upstate New York], but for several years in the 1980's, we made that annual trip with our 3 sons.  We did it, even though there were Christian camps much closer. Our reasoning was that it worth it, not only because our kids enjoyed camp, but because as Christian parents, we were impressed with the quality of the staff, program and the grounds." -- Pastor Jim Wickstead, Valley Bible Fellowship Church, LaGrangeville NY, camper Dad

"I am thankful to VVC, first, for its impact in my family. All 3 of my kids attended camp, but it was our oldest, Jonathan, who was really transformed spiritually when he began working at the camp as a junior counselor. Coming from a small church, it was at camp that he met other teens who were spiritually vibrant and growing, and his spiritual life really moved forward. Our youngest, Joel, who inherited his Dad's shyness, also worked a couple of summers, and came out of his shell quite a bit." -- Pastor Dennis Spinney, Bible Fellowship Church of New England, Thompson CT, camper Dad

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Staff/Summer Missionaries

"I went to Victory Valley as a camper in Outpost. There I met some of the most wonderful Christian leaders, every summer my counselor impacted my view on life. I remember being in the tents at Outpost thinking that when I was older I was going to be a counselor. It took some time before that happened but when I was 20 I came for my 1st summer. I learned a lot about myself in my summers as a counselor.  It developed my love for kids and my desire to help them see Christ's love. The summer I was asked to be Program Director changed my life. I learn A LOT about leadership and absolute faith on God. I loved that summer, as trying as it was. The leadership team that year taught me about Christian leadership and being not only accountable to each other but to God. I have had the privilege to watch people who loved God impact kids' lives and then, in turn, see those kids grasp what having a relationship with God is. I love it when I wear my VVC shirt somewhere out of the Zionsville area and someone recognizes the shirt and then connects me with the camp. I work with Foster Kids now in Philadelphia and often times am reminded of the kids that I met at VVC who were foster kids or were from the city. -- Casia Cutler, former summer program director, counselor, and camper

"God used Victory Valley Camp to increase my confidence in him and build my own self-confidence. VVC improved my leadership skills as well as my public speaking skills. I also learned to take greater initiative. -- Mike Harper, former counselor

- "As a teenager, I worked at camp for 2 summers.  Those were 2 of the best summers of my life.  I worked hard but they were extremely rewarding!  They were definitely mountaintop experiences.  I grew in my faith during those two summers and felt a true burden for the lost!  We ministered to so many children from so many walks of life.  It was a great opportunity to teach children and teens about God and his word.  I have made many friends at Victory Valley Camp and several friendships still exist from my time at camp as a camper and counselor. I believe it's fair to say that they will be life long friendships!" -- Carolyn Cruise, former staff, former camper, camper Mom, church leader

"What did Victory Valley do for me? As a member of the staff for 3 summers, I can't tell you the number of times I was ministered to when I thought I was the one that was supposed to be ministering! I met my best friend at Victory Valley (still friends after 15 years and going strong!!!). Victory Valley stretched me for ministry after camp and taught me how to trust God more and more. I became a better person and a better follower of Christ because of Victory Valley Camp. And I know I'm not the only person God has changed! I've met many more..." -- Maureen Roth (Aunt Maureen: '93,'94 and '01 Head Cook), former staff

"What did Victory Valley do for me?  To answer that in words seems so inadequate.  Victory Valley molded me into the person that I am today.  I began attending Victory Valley at the age of 7.  I never missed a summer or winter camping experience from then to the age of 15, at which time I joined the staff.  I worked two years as a counselor assistant, two years as a counselor, three years as program director, and one year as outpost coordinator. As a camper, my counselors challenged me to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ.  They showed me what it looks like to actually live for Christ.  They modeled how to make my relationship with Jesus a reality in my life. As a staff member, I grew even more.  I learned how to step up to the next level and be an example for others.  I learned how to effectively teach the Bible to children.  I had the amazing opportunity to develop relationships with campers and challenge them to grow.  God also blessed me by allowing me to be a part of many campers' salvation experiences.  I will never forget sitting on a rock behind the Stone House explaining to a camper how to become a child of God.  I will never forget her joy and excitement when she did take that step of faith, putting her trust in Christ alone for salvation. I will also never forget the staff, who challenged me - sharpening my faith as iron sharpens iron.  One staff member in particular became a mentor to me.  She constantly challenged me to grow and encouraged me along the path.  It is because of her and many other staff members like her that I am currently involved in Christian ministry. Working at Victory Valley showed me that I have a love for children and for teaching them.  I now teach 3rd grade at a Christian school in New York.  I also found out that I love teenagers.  Therefore, I am now a youth leader at my church.  Victory Valley Camp is an amazing place, full of fun, fellowship, and opportunities to grow.  I miss it terribly and I am so thankful for the time that God allowed me to be there, for the friendships I made, and for the difference that it has made in my life and the lives of others." -- Bekah Manwiller, former staff

"Victory Valley Camp gave me a tremendous opportunity to humbly serve God in the midst of his beautiful creation. It inspired my passion for ministry and so much more." -- Matthew Laube, former Summer Missionary

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Church Leaders

"I spent three summers at Victory Valley as a staff member from 1976-1978. I was a very young Christian at the time, was a seminary student, and was involved in my first Christian ministry. The lessons I learned were formative for everything I have done since -- the priority of personal devotions, the power of prayer, the sovereignty of God. Thank God for Victory Valley!" -- Pastor Randall Grossman, Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Reading. Former Chairman BFC Annual Conference, Former Churchplanter, Kutztown Bible Fellowship Church

"Victory Valley had a tremendous impact on my life.  I served 5 years at Victory Valley. I started as a boys counselor when I was 17.  I was introduced to reformed theology through the other male counselors and Jonathan Reynolds who was the director at the time.  We had many late night discussions and was encouraged to read a number of books among which was Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (J.I. Packer). I had the privilege of leading many children to Christ.  It was at Victory Valley that my call to the pastorate was really confirmed. I have nothing but wonderful memories of the camp.  It was there that my gifts were developed and my appreciation for theology was ignited." -- Pastor Calvin Reed, Lebanon Bible Fellowship Church for 30 years.

"It was at Victory Valley that I first learned about God's calling on my life and His gifting of me for ministry. That first summer, standing up in front of a campfire and sharing the Gospel -- and actually having children listen and respond -- showed me that God was calling me to ministry and had gifted me to teach and to preach.  I thank the Lord for Victory Valley and for all He taught me there." -- Pastor Ron Kohl, Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Quakertown

"Victory Valley Camp is a place, but more than a place. God's place and God's people have shaped my life, my ministry, my worldview. He has used His creation to remind me of His greatness, His majesty! He has used Christian leaders to point me to His Word, to remind me of my hopelessness outside of His grace and mercy toward my soul! I am thankful to our Sovereign Lord for guiding me to VICTORY Valley Camp! May His name be praised and God's people be encouraged and strengthened through this poor sinner's recounting of his experiences there!" -- Pastor Clyde Bomgardner, Jr., Calvary Bible Fellowship Church of the Northern Lehigh Valley, Walnutport

"I am a leader of the scripture memorization program in our church whose proceeds go to Victory Valley Camp when children memorize verses and are rewarded by a week at Victory Valley Camp.  I have encouraged many to go to Victory Valley Camp in the summer and in the winter to Sno Valley! I appreciate the privilege that I have had to experience Victory Valley Camp and I pray that that privilege will remain for so many others in the years to come!" -- Carolyn Cruise, Lebanon Bible Fellowship Church, former camper, former staff, camper Mom

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