A Quarter of a Century

These are four OLD guys! Yet, their best friends are the Primary-age kids in the Children’s Amphitheater at our Gladstone Camp Meeting!

“We love our leaders,” the kids say. “They make our meetings really fun!”

Why is it that old guys can be such good friends with 8-10 year old kids?

“We love them,” the guys say.

The Children’s Amphitheater leaders arrive before the kids do each day, but it’s difficult because the kids are literally climbing the walls to get in an hour or more before the program starts.

“These kids are still young enough to enjoy wild programs, to sing REALLY LOUD, and to believe costumes are just fun-to-wear normal clothes. That gives us the privilege of making the Children’s Amphitheater camp meeting program an adventure in learning more about God.”

“We love the programs,” kids say. “We can hardly wait to get our exploring clothes on this summer!”

These leaders are all pastors in the Oregon Conference. Two of them have been working with the Primary age group for a quarter of a Century!

Dave McCoy – Pastors the Pleasant Hill andFall Creek congregations. He’s also been leading out in the Children’s Amphitheater for 25 years.

Walter Mancia – Pastor of the Valley View Adventist Church in Medford – and has been leading in Primary for 25 years.

Greg Middlestetter – Pastor of the Eugene church and Children’s Amphitheater leader for 23 years.

Ron Hart – He’s the youngest “old guy.” Currently pastoring the White Salmon and Hood River churches, he’s been working with the primary age group in the Children’s Amphitheater for 18 years.

If you drop by the Children’s Amphitheater during camp meeting this summer, you’ll find these four men, along with Dan Bates and an awesome team of other volunteers, dressed as Dr. Howard Carter, Leonard Woolley, and other explorers. There will be lost camels and sheep, treasures to be found, amazing discoveries, and big-eyed kids. Guitar music will be drowned out by the voices of extra exuberant children, and you’ll know they are Christians by their VERY LOUD VOICES.

Show up about the time the programs are over, and you’ll see scores of wild-hatted young people dashing back to their tents and trailers to show their folks the crafts they have made that day. These kids could probably build a bridge across the Willamette with popsicle sticks and orange pipe cleaners!

Even better than their newly-developed construction skills, each of these children has learned at least one new Bible memory verse at each Children’s Amphitheater program.

For most “old guys,” a week with a couple hundred Primary-aged kids would be totally exhausting and call for a full year of recovery! However, these guys claim that a week with their Children’s Amphitheater family is the highlight of their year. I even heard one of them say that he wishes we had several camp meetings each year!