Monday, December 26, 2011

Spend Some of the 12 Days of Christmas at LC3!

The people walking in darkness 
   have seen a great light; 
on those living in the land of deep darkness 
   a light has dawned. 
Isaiah 9:2

Merry Christmas, friends!  Camp is quiet now, but we are gearing up for the gift of time together soon and would love to have you here!   Call the office (724.238.6428) if you are camper age (6+) and still want to get in on Winterpalooza festivities or if you are a college student or twenty-something looking to connect at WeConnect.  

We're saving a cup of cocoa and a space for you by the fire:) 

Winterpalooza: Dec 30-January 1
Staff Reunion: Jan 1-2
WeConnect: Jan 2-4

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Vomit Comet, firsthand

A friend of the camp sent us her student's college admissions essay, highlighting a high ropes experience.  How awesome to see God changing lives in our year-round adventure program, even among groups where his Name is unmentioned.  We thought you might like to see what it's like in the "off-season" from a participant's own point of view:

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk or dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

At that moment, it was my most dreaded obstacle.  No longer was it a matter of if, but rather when.  Dangling fifty feet above the ground, suspended by a rope that held me high above my classmates' heads, I was in a position to act.  I had to decide.

My class had come to Ligonier Camp and Conference Center on a field trip that served as a way to introduce us, establish our group roles and promote teamwork and trust.  Our first challenge course possessed a name so unusual everyone was thrown into a state of nervous anticipation before even seeing it.  As unpleasant as "The Vomit Comet" sounds, even more upsetting was the feeling induced in me; fear.

Rarely do I experience this sensation, primarily because I tend to avoid its causes.  I must be forced onto roller coasters, coaxed into tall buildings and reassured when flying.  By bypassing these situations, the temporary feeling of self disappointment is overridden by the happiness of remaining within my comfort zone.  But five stories up, with only one way down, presented little opportunity for reconsideration.

So there I was; heart hammering, stomach spiraling, palms dripping with apprehension.  I looked down at the encouraging faces anticipating my next move.  I looked up to the tree tops sweeping the clear sky.  I looked forward.  The instructor's advice to "Pull the cord down and left" echoed in my head.  Clenching fate in my right hand, I tightly adhered to safety with my left.  My closed eyes searched internally for any sign of confidence.  Then, without a second thought, I quickly yanked the rope and felt the clasp snap sharply, jerking my body downward in a fast, sweeping motion.  Released into the ravine, I soared forward with an air of accomplishment.  I could hear the congratulatory shouts; I could imagine the surprised faces.  But there was no reason to look back; I had achieved everything I wanted.

That sole risk, which most would deem insignificant, taught me an invaluable lesson my fears had always prevented me from learning.  Every instance of stopping myself from experience, limiting my boundaries, and avoiding my fears, was now instantly overshadowed by the realization that I'll never know what I'm missing until I take the chance.  My fears had been triumphed by this one decision to "let go."

At this moment, choosing and applying to colleges is my principal concern.  Here I am again; heart pulsating, stomach flipping, palms cramped from typing.  I look back to my years of preparation; the instructor's voice is now quieted by my own.  I look forward to my aspirations; they are as tall as the trees and as big as the sky.

This is my moment of release.  I am again held by the rope, about to venture into a new ravine.  The only difference is I now possess the confidence that I can overcome my fears, discover my strengths and realize my potential every time I decide to "pull the cord."

Do you have a story of how camp has impacted your life or the life of someone you love?  Is there a funny photo or poignant memory you'd like to share?  We'd love to here from you!  Drop us an email.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Work It: Camp Work Day in Photos

Ligonier Camp held its fall work day November 12 with thirty-five people working together get camp ready for the winter season. Project included leaf clean-up, removing old fence and fence post at the lake property, and putting up snow fence along the main camp driveway. Outside In school and Messiah Collage both brought groups and served generously.  A giant thank-you to everyone who came out to work; we accomplished a great deal together!

Jess, Braden, & Kaylin
Snow fencing
Oh, Patrick
Jess & Braden
It's a Wayne-storm
Jessie D!
If you, your group, or family would like to lend a hand with future work days or have time to volunteer for a project around the property or office, we welcome your help!  Contact Wayne Faber to set something up.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Calling All College Students & Post-Grads! WeConnect Jan 2-4

Have you heard about WeConnect, the retreat Ligonier Camp is hosting this January?

Around New Years, we host Winterpolooza for campers and as well as a staff reunion, but we wanted to program something that was just for college students.  A time to worship and dig deeper.  A time to fellowship, pray and ask hard questions.  A time to be silly and real and be encouraged in our pursuit of Christ together.  The reunion is over in a blink; plan to stick around this year for some intentional time of community and wrestling through issues of faith.

Friends, staffers, former campers, future staffers:  anyone in the demographic is welcome, and we would LOVE to see some new faces.

WHEN:  January 2-4, 2012
WHERE: Lodge at Ligonier Camp
WHY:  Worship. Community. Fun.
HOW MUCH:  $25

Questions?  Email Geraud or call 724-238-6428.

Can't make it?  Would you pray for our time together?  Could you spread the word?  Would you consider donating to keep expenses low?  Let us know if we can pray for you during our time together.

We are so excited for this opportunity to minister to and with college students and hope to see so many of you there.

Register today--and bring a friend.  Your couch won't miss you--but camp does:)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day of Giving is Huge Success {Thank You}

Thanks to you, Ligonier Camp and Conference Center was the number one non-profit in the Westmoreland Day of Giving that took place October 4.  Fifty-three donors gave a total of $31,505, and the community foundation matched $7,246.  Total dollars received were $38,751.


That money means more summer staff, dodge balls, sticky buns, belay ropes, building supplies, scholarships and most importantly--more kids who will challenge themselves, connect with community and creation, and encounter the love of Christ--many for the first time.

Over seventy non-profits participated in the county.  Our deepest gratitude goes out to everyone who gave so generously and to who continue to keep our ministry and community in prayer.  Thank you all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

McMurtey's Saw Mill Ministry Turns Fallen Trees into Valuable Lumber for Camp

We are each called to use our gifts and resources to serve the Kingdom of God, and John and Emma Lee McMurtey do ministry with one incredible piece of machinery: a hydraulic sawmill.
John and Emma Lee hail from Columbia, Missouri, and they have been bringing their portable sawmill to LCCC for several years.   Their heart for ministry takes them on the road  to various Christian camps and churches across the country, enabling organizations to use their equipment at no cost.  What a tremendous gift!

When the saw mill comes, we spend several days milling logs from our property into planks. Most logs are from tress that fell during a windstorm, so their usage is efficient and good forest management.  We've milled everything from poplar to pine from trees on property. 

The process is involved, so we get lots of help from staff family members, volunteers and year round staff.  Everyone pitches in rolling logs, raking sawdust and seeing that the wood that isn't sawn into planks is split and stacked for fire wood.
Planks cut in the saw mill were used to finish the dining hall and the downstairs of the lodge, and the conference center side of the dining hall was finished using cherry wood from our property. We would never be able to afford the cherry otherwise, so the McMurtey's gift is a true and luxurious blessing as we improve our property.

This year, we'll use white oak and cherry from the saw mill to finish the hallways upstairs in the lodge as well as for part of the restoration of the old summer dining hall porch.

Thank you to John and Emma Lee for your generosity and service and to all who lent hands on the mill projects last week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Even Rain Didn't Dampen Spirits: Golf Outing raises $16,000!

Last week on October 3, ninety-seven golfers rocked the greens at the Ligonier Country Club for camp's annual golf outing.  The weather was less than ideal, but everyone was a great sport and the event raised over $16,000--the second greatest net in its history.  Monies raised help to keep camp affordable for every camper.

Most called it a day at nine holes, as everyone was eager to come inside and sit down together to a warm turkey and ham dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, cheesecake and plenty of good conversation.

Thank you to all of our fabulous tee, green, and prize sponsors and every golfer that helped to make this event such a tremendous success. If you missed it this year, please plan to join us next fall. Rain or shine, the Ligonier Camp golf outing is always a great time for our community to gather, enjoy and support camp in its ministry to children and teens.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lookin' Sharp: New LC3 Sign Welcomes Guests

The front of property received a bright new face lift in the form of new signage.  It is top-lit by night and looks fantastic.

Did you think camp winds down once summer ends?  Not at all.  The driveway is buzzing with caravans and charter buses, and we're booked all year for adventure and retreats.  We'd love to have your youth group, soccer team, yoga retreat, or office workshop here, too.

Come see for yourself what we're up to in the "off-season."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"A Better Home Than We Could Ever Imagine"

Our time with Jack was too, too short, but I’d like to tell you a story about some bonus time I got with Jack that I cherished. One summer I was driving Jack to camp in Pennsylvania. When we pulled up at the gates, there was no one there. NO ONE. I looked at Jack and I was about to cry, because I had gotten the day wrong! He gave me a HUGE smile—a cross between “my mom is a nutcase” and “hey, this is pretty cool!” We got to spend a day and ½ hanging out in a little Pennsylvania town together, having rare one on one time, and we even went to Frank Llyod Wright’s Fallingwater, a dream for Jack, the budding architect. Bonus time. Precious time.

You’ve heard that Jack was a deep thinker. He wondered about a lot of things. In fact, as a five year old he said the first thing he would ask God when he died was why the heck He created mosquitoes. I think he knows now. The rest of us will just have to wait.

I want to tell you that the concept of eternity scared Jack. It just seemed, well, a little too long to him. Then, 2 years ago at summer camp, he had a conversation with his counselor. They discussed heaven and eternity in a way that helped Jack to stop being afraid. In fact, he was excited about heaven! He didn’t understand why people were afraid to die because he truly believed that there was no better place.

Please read more of the beautiful eulogy at Jack's mother's blog.  We'll continue to keep this dear camp family in our hearts and prayers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Our Community Mourns

We are grieving the loss of a camper, twelve year old Jack Donaldson, who was killed in flash flooding in Virginia on Thursday. He had just started seventh grade.

It's hard to find words at a time like this.  Please join us in prayer for comfort and peace for his family, classmates, and community.

Lamb of God
You take away the sins of the world
Have mercy on us.
Grant us peace.

For the toil of our sinful world,
We plead for remission.
For the absence from our beloved,
We plead for your comfort.
For the presence of death in your Creation,
We plead for the resurrection.

Lamb of God
You take away the sins of the world
Have mercy on us.
Grant us peace.

His obituary appeared in the Washington Post:
Of Vienna, VA; passed away on Thursday, September 8, 2011. Beloved son of Timothy Donaldson and Anna C. Whiston-Donaldson; brother of Margaret Donaldson; grandson of Robert and Mary Donaldson, David and Julie Whiston and great-grandparents Charles and June Whiston. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his grandmother Margaret Whiston. Jack loved God, LEGOS, baseball, acting, playing with friends, making people laugh and being with his family. 
Memorial Services will be held at Vienna Presbyterian Church, 124 Park Street, NE, Vienna, VA 22180 on Monday, September 12, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Samaritan's Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone NC 28607. Please view and sign the family guestbook at:

Flooding Claims Four Lives in D.C. Area

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Calling All Golfers & Potential Sponsors: Ligonier Camp Golf Outing Monday October 3

Summer camp may be over, but the year round staff are busily readying for the 10th annual Ligonier Camp Golf Outing scheduled for Monday October 3 at the Ligonier Country Club.  We would love for you to join the fun.

There are four ways to be a part of this event:

1.) Golfer- $125 entry fee includes:
18 holes of golf and cart
Continental breakfast, lunch, and banquet dinner
Sunday night accommodation at LCCC if needed
2.) General Sponsor
Make a donation to help offset costs of the outing
Sponsor a golfer who cannot afford entry fee
3.) Business Sponsor
$150 per tee
$100 per green
Donations include sponsor sign with company name, phone number, and logo 
4.) Prize Sponsor
Recognition in program.
Gold Outing Event Schedule:
Sunday October 2, 2011
5:00 PM Check-in at Lamont Lodge, if spending the night.  No meals provided. 

Monday October 3, 2011
8:30-9:15 AM Registration at Ligonier Country Club.  Continental breakfast.
9:30-3:30 Golf Outing. Lunch.
3:45  Banquet and program at Country Club.

Ligonier Country Club
929 Fairway Lane
Ligonier PA 15658 

Click here for more information and to get registration forms.  We'll golf rain or shine--so let's pray for shine!

{photo source}

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Support LC3 on October 4: Westmoreland Gives

The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County,
affiliated with The Pittsburgh Foundation, 
has made it even easier to help Ligonier Camp 
and other Westmoreland County non-profits.

Make an online donation (of at least $25) anytime between  
6am and 9pm on
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

and your donation will receive a portion of matching funds 
that the Foundation is making available.

Step 1: Go to on October 4. 
Step 2: Click on the "DONATE NOW" button to make your gift. 
Step 3: Complete the form with your contact information. 
Step 4: Choose "Ligonier Camp and Conference Center" from the drop-down list of organizations. 
Step 5: Indicate your donation amount and your credit card information and then click "SUBMIT" to complete the transaction.

Questions? Contact Patrick Myers at
or at 724-238-6428.

Thank you for all the ways that you support Ligonier Camp and make our ministry possible.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer 2011: An Incredible Encounter

One thousand eight hundred and seventy-one campers came to camp this summer--the second greatest number in camp's history. 1871 kids met friends, challenged themselves in adventure, experienced creation, and encountered Jesus and his Word--some for the very first time.

We'll be sharing more stories in this space of how God moved in the hearts and lives of kids and staff, but for now, we offer up praise for another incredible summer of ministry. Thanks to everyone who served, prayed, gave, worked, and trusted your children to us!
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:3-6