Becoming a Sky Rancher – Brittney Lowey
When I was searching for what to do right after college, I did what millennials do best – refer to Google. I typed “camping ministry and master’s options” into the google search bar, and it took me only about 30 minutes of discovery and reading to know that the Legacy Fellowship program at Sky Ranch would be one of spiritual growth, challenge, and personal development. I loved what I read as far as the four foundational pillars the program is based on (work experience, community, ministry, and leadership), and from there I prayed and discerned over my decision to move 20 hours away from home. In May of 2016 I graduated with a degree in Biblical and Religious Studies from Grove City College, I packed up and moved to Northeast Ohio for a summer of program directing at a small camp, and then I packed up again and moved to East Texas in August to come down to Sky Ranch – a brand new place I had never been to and with brand new people I had never met.
I would say the hardest part about the fellowship for me has been moving far away from my awesome family in small town, central Pennsylvania and moving into a culture that just looks very different than what I knew growing up there. It definitely was difficult seeing all new stores and restaurants and also becoming acclimated to the different weather. It was hard knowing my family would be a flight away and not just a drive away. My comforts of home were no longer accessible, and I had to come to terms with that. I also had grown up at a very small camp, I had worked at two different very small camps, and Sky Ranch is obviously a much larger scale camp and conference center than many others. A lot of what I knew as camping ministry looks very different here than what I knew before, but it has been a blessing to know and learn the different aspects of both.
All that to say, the Lord has been incredibly faithful in my time here at Sky Ranch. I have grown closer to Him in ways I couldn’t have imagined by being a part of this community here. People push me to know biblical truth and to apply that in my daily life. I have gained a deeper passion for reading the Word. I have been cared for by others when I’ve gotten homesick for Teaberry ice cream, Sheetz, the mountains, and the snow. I have been called out whenever I am not pursuing my best self in Christ. Ultimately, I have been learning what it means that even if everything around me changes (or even doesn’t change), Jesus is enough. I truly believe with all my heart that intentional communities like the one I live in now, should be experienced by everyone. I believe programs like the Legacy Fellowship allow you to learn things about yourself you never could have in a life of comfort. The Lord uses this program in mighty ways to open your eyes through fellowship with others and the circumstances of working in a ministry. God is faithful in creating “home” in places you would have never imagined because He is home, He is comfort, He is strength in times of trial.
I love that the fellowship has so many aspects to it including retreats, school programs, recruiting, projects all around camp, summer camp, and so much more. This is any person’s dream for those wanting to pursue camping ministry. For all other people not thinking of pursuing camping ministry it teaches you so many life skills in communication, trust, business, cooperation, teaching, leading, and more. This program strengthens your relationship with Christ and allows you a safe space to learn what it means to be a biblical leader and a biblical follower.
The Legacy Fellowship truly is like none other in the world. Moving so far away from home for me has been difficult yet eternally rewarding. Following Jesus wholeheartedly is difficult yet eternally rewarding.
I love this place, and I love my job,
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:1-5