Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center Little Rock, Arkansas
February 21, 2013
Its hard to fathom a camp that has more to give than Ferncliff. We were warmly greeted by Rev. David Gill. He has a lot to share and a compassionate patient way of listening. The first thing that caught our attention was the way in which they built their cabins. After the architect comes up with the initial plan they bring in the Youth Advisory Construction Committee, this group of campers sits down with the plans and makes amendments. Some silly imaginative things were suggested like Dr. Pepper in the water fountains, as well as real changes to the plan, for example, carving out a space for your legs so that they don’t rest on the wood once you sit down. (See picture) Ferncliff is dedicated to the environment and are in the process of building a giant straw bail construction building to house their environmental programing. Across the field from the construction sight is a large red warehouse. This is the Disaster Awareness Center, here they create school kits, hygiene kits, and other packages that are then sent to sites of hurricanes, tornados, floods, and other natural disasters. This building really houses the crux of Ferncliff, to extend the unconditional love of the camp environment to the outside world. I feel I could talk forever about the fun programing things they have at camp as well, like the Hammock village, or the tree houses with fireman pole exits, or the mud pit, but the point is that fun is everywhere at camp and so is the overwhelming amount of love. There is a beautiful labyrinth near the old stone chapel, David stopped here to tell us how each stone in the center of the labyrinth is from the kids that went through a violent school shooting. First as a local hug to the kids in Arkansas the hug that is Ferncliff has grown to include victims of Columbine, refugees from waring countries, kids that come to camp for a week to heal and be loved.. Everyone needs camp and as we left Ferncliff with hugs from David, we are, more than ever on our way to pay it forward.