Whitesburg KY

Camp Nathanael’s Family Week marks 75th anniversary

Camp Nathanael’s recent Family Week continued the yearlong observance of Scripture Memory Mountain Mission’s 75 years of ministry in southeastern Kentucky. A record-setting group of more than 380 people from 14 states gathered along the banks of Knott County’s Troublesome Creek at Emmalena for the event. Guests included Dean Franklin, David Franklin and Dick Franklin and their wives, sons of SMMM’s founding director, Garland and Ellenore Franklin.

Families from as far away as the Philippines enjoyed a week at Camp Nathanael’s 510-acre facility. They participated in a wide variety of activities. Daily Bible study with Dr. Ray Pritchard, president of Keep Believing Ministries, and a children’s program conducted by Christian storytellers, Tim and Bonnie (Bowers) Lowry of Sound and Fury Studios, were a highlight of the week. Meals were served in the camp’s recently expanded dining hall. At- tendees also experienced recreational activities including swimming, horseback riding, hiking and games, and the Family Game Night had 17 family groups entered.

The week was filled with a variety of presentations that took those attending through the history and development of this longtime ministry. Each day mini-dramas performed by mission staff were introduced by the whittling platform commentator, Larry Toner, assistant mission director. The mini-dramas included tales of horseback riding missionaries who taught Bible stories in one-room schools, the drilling in the late 1930s of camp’s “miracle” well that was paid for with one cent to spare, and humorous experiences of the early days of tent camping. A special written greeting was also shared from Ada Beckwith whose husband, Bob, was the mission’s second director.

Under the direction of Jeff McIntyre, summer camp director, the staff presented the areas of outreach which SMMM and Camp Nathanael conduct through community and camp programs which reach several thousand people annually from young children to senior adults. Roy Hodson, mission director, gave a glimpse of the future direction of SMMM and Camp Nathanael, describing several anticipated advancements for the ministry over the coming years.

A Camper Reunion and Homecoming is scheduled for September 22 to close out the year’s celebration and to reconnect with the thousands of campers who have been part of SMMM/Camp Nathanael’s 75- year ministry. Former campers individuals are asked to provide Camp Nathanael with current contact information. There is a “Reconnect” page at www.campnathanael.org or you may call 606/251-3231, write P.O. Box 129, Emmalena, KY 41740 or email smmmky@tgtel.com.

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