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Wanted Campference for now

Let me start with hello.


I am fine, health is good, just had my ninth grand baby and started my dream job at LLFC.  All is well. 


I decided to write this down cause I knew I would forget something, cry probably and want to share and remember some really good times… camp.


Wanted Campference has run its course as we know it.  I have worked hard on this vision for ten years.  But, the past five years to get traction, finding a permanent home as we grew, finding a good fit was not the easiest and throw a pandemic in there felt like plowing through cement.  Except for yall.  You made it easy.  During covid we did a virtual camp the best way we knew how.  I think it went pretty well.  That retreat will always be available to see on Marco Polo with skits, Katie singing, speakers sharing and messages from me.  


I have cried. I have agonized about saying its over for good, so I will say its on hold for now.  I have pushed pause.


Bottom line I don’t think I have the mental, physical or emotional capacity, (campacity) to say yes this year, gear up, etc..…. then have to cancel because of lack of interest, or nobody signing up til last minute.  I realized it's not healthy for me/us to operate that way.  Too much guessing.  I take full credit for not doing my due diligence in securing a place sooner, getting more info out etc etc all the things.  It is the worst feeling to disappoint. I am a one man show now, so praying, asking and hoping to remedy some of that soon. God is already moving in that direction. The first five years Wanted Campference got better and grew to almost 200 women.  Financially, numbers in attendance, and my capacity were working well.   I feel like Camp as we knew is over but could be taking a pivot, so I never want to say never, and have given it back to God.  If you recall I sat on this idea of camp for grownups for 13 years.  


I love camp and have so much fun watching people have fun, connect and heal because they were able to come to camp.  If it takes on a new path I am going to go with it.  I hope you will too. 

My sweet friend Luann from Florida said we need a Life After Campference Support Group called The LAC.  I had to laugh cause it’s true.  I miss camp and I miss yall. I miss the energy it gives me.   So I want to stay connected the best way I can with you and others.  I will be posting on Instagram, Facebook and Marco Polo. Please tune in if  you are interested by watching, commenting, sharing or liking posts and subscribing to website.  I want us to spend time building community and sharing testimonies of camp experiences or how it has inspired you in some way.


I can’t think of another group of women I would have wanted to do camp with than yall.  It has been an incredible ride, lives have benefitted and even changed . Yall have stepped up to the challenge every time.  I can think of a few fun stories and hope you will share more stories on Facebook, Instagram and website blog called Camp Stories, in comment sections.  

Camp allows us to get back to what we are created to do……build, create and share community with others. Because camp is only for such a short time each year, you want to make the most of your time together.  I am sad but also relieved in some ways for the pause.  I am so sorry for the roller coaster ride I put you on and the schedule plans you made to attend.  Please know this comes to you with great joy for the fun we had, and deep love for everyone who has made this possible.  It will forever be something I am proud of that WE accomplished together.   


To quote Beth Moore's new book, ALL MY KNOTTED-UP LIFE a Memoir,  something I read the night after my decision,   ” I ended up teaching the program and multiple classes for 12 years in the CLC at First Baptist and cried like there was no tomorrow when I had to give it up.  I’ve never in my ministry life done anything that was a bigger riot.  If pure fun qualified as fruit of the Spirit, we were as Spirit filled as women could get……I cannot think of one thing God appears to have done more strategically than move Keith and me to First Baptist.  The opportunities that would start coming my way as a result were by no means based on my credibility. I hadn’t had time to build any……every now and then God sends a prophetic word to one servant through another that has no immediate effect or manifestation.  It’s meant to be pondered humbly, not broadcast publicly.  It’s intended to be planted like seed in the fertile soil of the heart, deeply enough where the birds of prey can’t peck it away.  Those words can be forced to fruition, though we will inevitable try, even when we’re warned of the futility.  I gave the Lord a little time then decided he must be waiting for me to take initiative……Seeds need planting in order to grow.  It needs patience.  If the seed was cast from the hand of God, he will surely sprout it, in his time, in his way.  If it came from good human intentions, consider it no waste…….The thing about active mentors who have poured untold energy into you is how famously difficult it is to say no to them.”          


That last sentence hit me the hardest.  You all have been my active mentors and it is hard to say no to you…..or anyone who is wanted by God.  With nine grandchildren, a new job at LLFC, and a host of other personal things I think it is for the best to pause.  Please accept my heartfelt thanks and love for everything you brought to camp and poured into those women. I pray it will return 100 fold back to you. I am extremely grateful for each one of you. Please also read some of the stories below clicking Camp Stories.  It will take you back to what we have all come to know and love.  It's Camp!    

Love, Barbara 


LAST WORD: Two hours after “I” decided to pause Campference, and I had let my people all know,  I got an email from the camp, the one I was waiting on, saying yes we could come. I had gotten two other yeses, but they were not the right fit.  I had my hopes on this one camp since May.  TWO HOURS YALL!  I was like God what are you doing?  What is happening?   I had already sent out my text, and felt peace about it,  but also felt like hearing from the camp was God’s way of saying, just push pause.  So pause it is for now.  


Read about how the Lord has impacted the lives of so many through the years at Wanted Campference.


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