In the late 1960’s and into the 70’s, the four Gerdin girls (Bonnie, Beth, Beverly and Brenda) and four Pearson girls (Dawn, Cindy, Sue and Heidi) attended church together at Grace Community Church in Golden Valley. Because of Pastor Walter Benton’s early involvement with Camp, the girls attended Camp Lebanon each summer. After meeting at the Brooklyn Park Dairy Queen, they would make the trip to camp on a bus.
At Lebanon, the girls made many great memories, heard good Biblical teaching and were exposed to missionaries and their work. As they grew older, they became camp summer staffers and counselors as well. However, in the following years, the Pearsons and Gerdins ended up living in different towns and rarely saw each other.
This spring, Beth Gerdin Waller invited Sue Pearson Landmark, a nurse, to join the Health Team at Lebanon for a July Super Kids Week. Sue’s sister Cindy, now a resident of Honduras, decided to join them as a program volunteer, making it a great reunion at a place that is very special to all three of them. Cindy recalled, “I have so many wonderful memories of Camp! One of them that I remember is the theme of my first week as a camper was “Looking Unto Jesus,” and I can still quote Hebrews 12:1-2 that I memorized that week. Camp can make a lifelong impact!”
Sue agreed. “It was great to be back at Camp Lebanon, especially seeing people you’ve known from years ago. The culture of Camp is like when Herb Hazzard was here. This is to say that there is order and safety, but there is such grace also. It’s a beautiful thing to see. The staff and counselors are all about the campers. There aren’t rules for the sake of rules. The Message of the gospel was clearly presented in chapel and at the campfire and given in a very winsome way. Well done!”
Cindy added, “It was wonderful to be at Camp! I’ve visited a few times, but it was my first time actually staying there in close to 50 years! The Lodge and food are wonderful improvements. Camp seems like a well-run machine, which is the result of excellent, intentional leadership (Shout out to Bill and Lisa!). The focus is on the campers and the staff makes them the priority. It was wonderful to see how every change in the daily schedule was cheerfully accepted and every need met by someone in the morning staff meeting. The original purpose of pointing people to Jesus is still the ultimate goal, and this hasn’t been watered down or lost! Thinking of Camp makes me smile and be grateful for the impact it had on my life! It’s great to see it’s still there doing the same for countless others…campers, staff and volunteers. I love that there are plans to grow and improve it to reach and impact more people now and for eternity. That’s what it’s really all about!”