Camp Garaywa has been a beacon of hope and happiness for young girls since the summer of 1947 when the very first camp session was hosted on the beautiful, secluded grounds in Clinton, Mississippi. It is owned and operated by the WMU and is part of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. Each year Garaywa welcomes an average of over 9,000 people through both summer camps and conferences, and many women both young and not quite as young can attest to how it has changed their lives for the better (Garaywa Camp and Conference Center).
Many young ladies from Blue Mountain College have served as camp counselors at Garaywa in the past several years, and this previous summer, Savanah Thompson and Molly Woolworth were among those who worked at the camp. Both young women took part in leading their campers through Bibles studies, times of worship, recreational games, and other fun activities. Girls could face their fears on the high-ropes course or relax and make crafts in their free time.
Bible study and worship, however, are of course the main focus at Camp Garaywa. This summer’s memory verse was Philippians 4:13, a well-known verse that, while often quoted, still has much to teach young girls about the power of God in their lives. Even the counselors can take away both lessons and great experiences.
Savanah shared that she felt her favorite experience over the summer was leading worship. “The worship leader had me come on stage and play my ukulele. It was neat getting to lead worship and see the kids worshipping along with you. It gives you a new perspective.”
Likewise, Molly Woolworth explained that what she enjoyed and valued most about the experience was when her campers would come to her with the more serious questions. “When a camper came to you to talk about something serious because they trusted you enough as their cabin leader, there’s something about that level of trust and friendship between you and your campers that is just indescribable.”
Both young women were very adamant that they would gladly recommend a summer at Garaywa to any BMC lady who felt the Lord’s call. Jordan East, the new Camp Director, is implementing lots of new ideas to keep Garaywa growing. Some of these things include the possibility of archery as an activity, a week for special needs children, and even a camp for boys as well. It’s so encouraging to see that camps like Garaywa still thrive in the world today and hold high the banner of Christ for young people to see.