Recent College Graduates - we are hiring for our Master's and Fellowship Programs! Go to for more info.

SkyMoms > News & Events, Parenting Tips, Scripture

Family Camp at home - Tamara Willmann

One week a year I get to spend uninterrupted time with my family at Sky Ranch Family Camp. This is my favorite week of the year. We are together in Colorado, having fun, learning more about God with other Christ-loving families and staff. We long for this week each summer, and we usually show up exhausted - looking for rest and to remove all the distractions of the world. Emptied of all our energy, we go to Family Camp to refill our tanks with love and fellowship with others, and to grow in our faith.

As we got word of ‘Y’all Stay Home’ (this is the Fort Worth version of ‘Shelter in Place’), the first thought that came to my mind, was that this was a little like Family Camp - at home! Could this stressful time in the world be a gift from God to our family (is summer here early)? I believe it is, so let me tell you how they are similar:

  1. Mornings: We wake up early - the sunrise is beautiful and my husband and I go for a walk - this is something we do every day at Family Camp. We have time to talk, feel the cool air, hear the birds and admire the flowers in bloom. His mercies are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness (Proverbs 3:5)

  2. Meals: We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We eat a lot! We talk around the table and share stories. We make desserts. And the peanut butter and jelly station is always open. (Maybe I need to recreate the salad bar soon!) Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)

  3. Worship: We play praise music and a read a devotion or passage from the Bible. We also share prayer requests. Worship the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2)

  4. Play: We play games. We go outside and sit on the porch and just stare at the beauty before us, together. (I am missing those rocking chairs!) One daughter always does a magic trick at game night and we’ve even been invited to her magic show a couple of times this week in our living room! Our other daughter loves to play Nuke ‘Em for hours at camp and has managed to practice softball every day outside on her breaks. We do have a carpet ball table so maybe God knew we would need that for times like these. #survivalkit 
    Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17)

  5. Connecting: I see our counselors on Instagram and reach out with a text to see how they are doing and remind them how much we love them. I see families we have met over the years on Facebook and we message each other with how we are getting through this time, share parenting tips and we pray for each other. This is my commandment that you love one another (John 15:12)

  6. Rest: We have quiet. We are still. Sometimes I take a nap. I am trying to learn to paint and play the piano. He refreshes my soul (Psalm 23:3)

Some things I still need to incorporate: putting on a barn dance, having a date night and sleeping under the stars. This Friday we are planning on putting up our tent in the backyard to shield us from the crane flies and mosquitos (which we don’t ever see at Family Camp). Oh and I need a dinner bell to ring when there are 5 minutes until we eat, but I bet my phone has an app for that. I don’t have a mountain where I can build a campfire, but I do have a fireplace where we can roast s’mores and gather around and give a shout out to someone who has done something special (Thank you, Kyle, for modeling these things so well)!

Family Camp may feel different this summer - if we pull in the gate already rested, refreshed and filled with God’s spirit, I think it will be an even richer experience where we can share answered prayers and how God worked in our lives during this time. We will not take for granted the fact that we are healthy, that we get to gather together as a group. Our kids will be extra happy to play with the other kids and we will be extra happy to hug and spend time with the other families and staff. We will look different. We will be stronger because we are together.

I hope you can make your time together at home feel a little like Family Camp: worship, play, connect and rest and eat more! Thank you Sky Ranch for teaching us how to be better together. 

*We continue to pray for all those who are sick and for our leaders and medical personnel who work so hard each day to fight for our safety and lives. We pray for a cure and for the Coronavirus to stop spreading.

~Tamara Willmann of Fort Worth, Texas