Monday, November 26, 2018




“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.” Psalms 107:1
These words were written thousands of years ago but they remain so true to this very day. There have been a lot of hard days in the last three month around camp, finding out Chief Josh has cancer, that Chief Matt would need to have brain surgery again, and still not knowing exactly what is going on with Miss Annie. But despite it all, God’s love endures forever and I know he is in control. I am thankful for Jesus that he came and died for us so that we may have life more abundantly. I am thankful for the way Chief Josh, Chief Matt and Miss Annie charge into everyday with faith and hope. I am thankful for this staff team that is my family and for how much they love and care for each other. I am thankful for each and everyone one of you boys, that you made the choice to come to camp, that you were able to recognize that you were in need to some kind of help and are now working on learning successful tools for living. I am thankful for Turkey in the Hole and the great spirited day it is and that so many people locally are catching the spirit of camp. I am thankful that Casey was able to be an auctioneer yesterday. Lastly, for now, I am thankful for my favorite chapel of all the year (this one) and being in this beautiful hammock listening to all of your articles.
Chief Tyler
Camp Supervisor

Things I’m Thankful For

I’m thankful for how my Chiefs never give up on my problems. Something I am also thankful for is my mom and grandparents never quitting even when things get tough or when I’m being stubborn. I am thankful for the cooks because they never have a quitting attitude and because of their delicious food. Something that I’m thankful for is that Casey always sticks in and forgives us no matter what. I am very thankful for my family always trying to cheer me up when I’m a bad attitude. I’m thankful for Jesus coming to earth to cover up all of our sins. I’m also thankful for my mom keeping a roof over my head and giving me clothes and food. I am thankful for all of camp and the people who support camp so we can make progress. I am also thankful for my education that I get every day. Something that I’m very grateful for is my relationship with my family and friends. I am very thankful for my family changing so it is easier for me to change.
Miccosukee Group

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Families Day

Families Day is an important day at Camp that happens once a year. It's a fun day where parents, siblings, grandparents, and even aunts and uncles can come to camp and see what life is like for their camper. When families arrive we have a program with of course, lots of singing, followed by tours and a big family meal. The boys work hard to make sure their campsite looks good and they give the tours and explain what a day looks like for them. It gives families a chance to connect even more with their sons as they get to experience what their sons are learning at camp. It also gives them ideas for how they can incorporate the structure of camp at home.  
This year every single boy had at least one family member come out and join in the day with them. What a praise and a blessing!

Below are a couple articles that were written by campers and read for their families.


The Best Family I’ve Ever Had
Good morning everyone. My name is Weiss. I am a camper from the Miccs, the middle-aged group from Gator Camp. I am going to tell you why my family is the best family I ever had. First, my mom is the first one of the best members of my family because she is nice, loving, caring, and is a really good cook. Second, my dad is also one of the best members of my family because he helps me when things are hard for me and he is also kind and caring and he takes me fishing. My sisters are the last ones of the best members of my family because they are kind, loving and caring. That is why I have the best family I ever had.

A Families Love

A family’s love is great beyond measure.

Higher than the clouds, deeper than the ground.

A families love is tougher than steel, lighter than air.

A family’s love is cared for, although it might be tested.

Tested through young ones, who take it for granted.

Young ones who don’t know the great power of love.

A family’s love can’t be faked, for it isn’t meant to be faked but cared for, forever.

A family’s love is meant to last, growing bigger and bigger with each member, growing with each mistake being resolved.

A family’s love is full of compassion, with a mother and a father a brother and a sister,

a grandpa and a grandma,

full of deep love from deep in the heart, bound to the heavens.

Take care of a families love. 

What I Like About My Family

Something I like about my family is they care about me. I like that my dad loves me and brought me to camp. Even though I don’t always get along with my step-mom I always appreciate all that she does and how she cares for me. I appreciate how my family sticks into my problems and helps me solve them.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Fishing Tournament

Gator Camp held its annual fishing tournament recently. The boys at camp love fishing and as many of you experienced fisherman know, it takes a bit of strategy to catch a fish.  You need the right equipment, knowledge, a significant amount of patience, but maybe most important, passion.
In Matthew, we read when Jesus called his disciples and how called them to be fishers of men. He called us to that too when he told us to go make disciples. We are called to action. Avid fishermen don't just wait around for the fish to find them, they find the fish and bring them in. 
It is important we don't lose sight of who we are really called to find -  the hurting, the outcast, and the lost and share the beautiful news of our Savior.
Thank you for the prayers and continued support as we serve here at Camp with these boys.
The winning group was the Miccosukee group with 59 points. The grand prize was $50.00 to share as a group in Trading Post.

Our GWCWC officials
(Gator Wilderness Camp Wildlife Conservation)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Pottery with Miss Tami

Every summer at Camp the boys get a special week where they learn to use their hands and create all kinds of things out of clay. Miss Tami comes down from Pennsylvania and teaches the boys everything they need to know. This year they learned how to make mugs, Christmas trees, cheese plates, and more! There were even birdhouses made! They all worked very hard to finish their projects and these pictures offer a few sneak peeks at what will be at the Turkey in the Hole auction this November!



Wednesday, July 4, 2018


Fourth of July is an exciting day at Gator Camp every year! This is the only day of the year the camp water slide is open for business. The groups have great camp spirit and our freedom is celebrated by eating good food, singing songs, and lots of fun in the water!

Today we got out to the lake at 9:45 am to go off the 4th of July slide. MJ and Landon did a lot of tricks and I completed a flying squirrel, flying Miccosukee, and a Micc flip. After we got done with our first time around, me, MJ, and Chief Matt decided to flip Miss Melissa out of her kayak. She had such good spirit that she got up and went off the water slide too. She probably shot out the farthest. Casey decided to try a flying squirrel but it ended in a belly flop and you could almost feel the pain when you heard him hit! In my attempt to have good spirit I put on three necklaces: red, white, and blue, and I put on an America hat and glasses. Me and Chief Jordan had a five star competition in the water and I won. Tonight after we eat Chief Greg and Chief Ross’s 5-star food, (which still can’t beat the cooks food) we will go to the Detwiler’s to see fireworks and eat supper. After we are done there we will set up to go down trail, to do ph, pow-wow, and go to bed at a good time so we can be setting up for tomorrow.

Article written by Christian, a camper in the Miccosukee Group


Saturday, June 30, 2018

South Carolina and Lake Jocasse

It is trip season again for the boys! When Florida starts to warm up, the groups tend to move north to escape the heat for a few weeks. The Cowboy group planned a 24 day trip to the South Carolina Foothills and Lake Jocasse! Life on the trail is a bit different from at camp, but the same principles and goals still apply. It is great to see them enjoying their time and seeing all their planning pay off.
Below are a few days of the trip as told by some of the Cowboy's...
Chattooga River
Today we woke up and took down our tents. We did devos and ate breakfast. After breakfast, we cleaned up our campsite. Then we left Mr. Gresham’s and we got back on the road. We are going to go hike the Chattooga River for 13 days. When we were hiking, we went on some bridges on the way. We also saw a tree snake on the way to campsite. We ate lunch and took siesta. After siesta, we had one more mile to hike. When we got to campsite, we set up our tents and got some firewood and now we are writing articles. We are also going to go fishing and swimming in the Chattooga River. We are going to eat supper that Chief Jimmy made. 

A Rainy Afternoon
Since I wrote my article last, we broke firewood, wrote articles, and ate supper. For supper we ate mac & sausage and pineapple tidbits. Then we brushed our teeth and played a game called look down, look up! Then we did pow-wow and bed! Hoya!
Today we had a great day! We woke up at 7:00! We took down our tents and did devotions, which were about following the bible the WHOLE way and not halfway! Then we ate breakfast. We enjoyed oatmeal, Nutri-grain bars, and chewy granola bars! Then we hiked for one mile and we reached highway 28! There was a parking lot on the South Carolina side! Mr. Chris and his kids brought us chicken nugget biscuits at our restock place! Thank you Mr. Chris! Then, after one more mile, Chief Jud was 4 feet away from an EASTERN RATTLE SNAKE! Chief Ross killed it! We cut off its head and rattle. We chucked the head and body. But we kept the rattle just in case a bear comes! Proven fact, bears are scared of rattlesnakes! Then we ate lunch! For lunch, we enjoyed cheese crackers, jerky, and Nutty bars! Then we took a 22-minute siesta because there was a thunderstorm coming! Chief Jimmy and I took off leaving the group in the dust! We needed to set up the walrus tarp! We had a great day!

The Fishy Day
We woke up and took down our tents. Then we ate a breakfast of grits, pineapples, and Slim Jims. Last evening we caught a brook trout and a rainbow trout and we ate them. We also saw a crawdad and let it pinch our fingers. Jimmy let it pinch his ears and Stephen let it pinch his armpit. Back to today, we hiked up to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery towards Ellicott Rock. It was a 2 miles hike. When we got there, we saw rainbow, brook, and brown trout. We saw big fish up to 26 inches! We also saw trout minnows and learned the life circle of trout. Then we ate a lunch of Slim Jims, pineapples, and ate N & J rolls and we took siesta at the pavilion. Then we went fishing and me and Chief Jud caught a little rainbow trout. We also found a fish head and some line. At supper yesterday, we saw an ant fighting a beetle. When we saw the crawdad, Shawn saw it first and thought it was a scorpion. Back to today, we got back to campsite and wrote articles. Then we will swim, eat super, swim more, and settle down and go to pow-wow and bed. Hoya!

The Cowboy Group and their Chiefs



Monday, May 14, 2018


At our annual Mothers Day Luncheon this year there were lots of hugs and kisses, singing and poems written by the boys for their mothers and grandmothers!

Loving Hand
She is a superhero that saves the day.
She is the voice when you’re led astray.
She is the hand that leads the way.
She is true to the heart
with you she shares a bond that shall
never be spread apart.
She is loving and kind.
She has the purest of minds.
In the thorns, she is a rose
On the trampled path, she grows.
Your feelings, she knows.
To her children she shares her special love
To the husband, she is a dove
She is not one to pick and choose
She builds me up when I lose
When there is strife
She applies her life and
Gives words of wisdom.
She is kind.
In her truth you will find.
She is great there is no debate
As sure as there is grains of sand
In her, you will find a loving hand. 

Things I Appreciate About my Mom
Something I appreciate about my mom is that she cooks really good food for me. I also really like the way that she helps me with my homework sometimes. I appreciate how she takes me and my brothers to do fun stuff. Thank you mom for all you have done for me.
Happy Mother’s Day mom!

Poem for Mother’s Day
Mother’s are lovers.
They don’t bother others.
They love to see each other.
They take care of one another.
My mother is dear to me,
As you can see.
She loves to help people in need.
And I know that she loves me.
Sometimes she wonders what to do.
And then she’ll get blue.
But I know she will always pull through.
We all know everything they say is true.
Mothers take care of us.
Even when we like to fuss.
But saying thank-you is a must.

Mother’s Day Article
Something I appreciate about my mom is that she’s always there for me and wants the best out of me. She always wants me to succeed in life. My mom has always stuck into my problems even when their hard.
A mom is a woman who can take anyone’s place but no one can take hers. A mom is the one person that you can go to when you need to talk out.
Something I want to make my mom proud of is graduating camp and high school and making her life easier.

What I Love About my Mom
I love my mom so much. She takes care of me and works really hard at home and at work. She helps sticks into my problems even if I treat her wrong sometimes. She is very graceful and gives me good warm hugs. She loves music and her dream was always to be a violist. I want to treat her better by not taking my problems out on her.

Best Mom Ever
What do I like about my mom? That my mom takes care of me and she is kind and loving. She sticks into my problems the whole way. She helps me solve them even though I am hard to live around. I love her because she cooks my favorite food. She is fun to be around, even when I’m struggling. I like her when she helps me have a good day. That’s why I love my mom.
Happy Mother’s Day mom!


Friday, April 6, 2018


Easter Weekend is always a fun time around camp. It is also a time where the boys ask more questions and are doing more searching as to why this weekend is so special. Each year we have a Good Friday service with the boys. Each group made a cross and displayed it at the service. This year each group used a different kind of wood for their cross. A perfect example of three very different groups coming together to be united in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The boys talked about the crucifixion and one by one campers and staff wrote down sins in their lives. We nailed those sins to the cross. But thankfully, we know they don't stay there, because our Lord didn't stay dead.

On Sunday morning the boys are up bright and early and we have a sunrise service full of yummy pastries, good singing and the gospel message. At the sunrise service we burned the papers that were on the cross. They are gone now. When Jesus died and rose again three days later, he took our sins and he erased them. The boys heard that we serve a living God and he defeated death once and for all. He defeated death for them, for us, and for you.

The boys then get to participate in a camp wide scavenger hunt.

Brunch was served at the Pavilion to a very hungry crowd after all that running around camp.

Please pray with us that we can guide these young men to the cross and continue to help them as questions come up.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Sweet Week

The boys had the opportunity this past month to learn how to make sugar cane syrup!
This new camp addition includes a sugar cane press and a boiling furnace, which were built by various work groups that have helped at camp this season. It has been in the planning stages for a while and we are so excited to have it up and going.

The boys harvested the sugar cane and learned how to press it to get the juice from the cane. This requires the sugar cane press and our camp horses, Carmel and Sandy. After all the cane was pressed we had 120 gallons of juice! After the cane is all pressed and the juice is strained, it is boiled for several hours and all the impurities are skimmed off the top. It is cooled and poured in jars.
What you have left is pure delicious cane syrup.

Here are a couple articles written by some campers about what they learned about sugar cane.

Gabe- Miccosukee Group
Sugar Cane
Well camp has been busy, but my favorite part was the sugar cane. It was a cool process. Step one was to cut the sugar cane. Step two you crush the cane with two large cylinders while a horse walks in a circle. Next, you cook it in a big metal bowl. You also have to skim the green stuff off the sugar cane. Then you scoop the cane into a cheesecloth so it can filter it. Well then you jar it, you let it cool, then you eat it. That was my favorite part of this week.
P.S. Sugar cane syrup is good on pancakes. 

Jayce- Miccosukee Group
Cane Syrup
Today after lunch, we went to the sugar cane cooker. While we were there, we watched sugar cane syrup get cooked. Then it was done. We got to put the lids on. Then we had to put them in a bin. I got the job of laying out the jars for Chief Curtis to grab, just to be helpful. It was a good time. We even got to try some of the syrup. It was good syrup. It was fun.

The Cowboy Group harvesting the cane.

This is the sugar cane press that is run by a horse and a few hard workers.

Skimming off the impurities and then putting it in jars.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Greetings from Gator Camp!

The New Year has been flying by at camp. January and February have been packed full of fun activities and learning experiences for the boys.
One of those fun activities has been learning more about bees!  In case you didn’t know, here at Gator Camp we have a couple bee hives that we take care of. This year the Cowboy group is learning all about bee keeping. Once a session they are going to check the hives with Chief Curtis and see how the bees are doing. They have been busy researching, recording, and evaluating the hives. Hopefully we will have lots of yummy honey to harvest soon!