My Black Diamond Journey

Christ-like change through outdoor adventure, authentic relationships, and Biblical truth. I didn’t realize it as a camper, but my whole camp experience was shaped by this mission statement.  

When I was nine, I started coming to Day Camp and it became like my second home. I begged to come back week after week, summer after summer. Once I was old enough, I became a counselor-in-training, and it was during that time that I truly accepted Christ. I can vividly remember sitting in the grass on our old mini golf course as the counselor was talking about not just talking the talk of being a Christian, but actually living it. It was there that I knew I wanted to make a future here and provide others with the same opportunity I had to encounter Christ at camp.  

I went on to have just about every job on camp from summer counselor and activities staff to full-time retreat guide and sales. I loved each job in different ways but what they all had in common was the ultimate goal of spreading Jesus to as many campers as possible. 

I worked with camp full-time from January 2016 until March 2020. The pandemic affected camp in the same way it did a lot of businesses, causing us to have to downsize in staffing, myself included.  

My wife, Kayla, and I moved away from Camp which was something we didn’t see happening anytime in the near future. We were sad to leave but remained faithful that God had a plan for us. About two years later we were talking with some friends who were still at the camp, and we were asked if we had ever thought about coming back. At the time my answer was no but after talking and praying about it, my wife and I realized just how much we missed this place.  

We missed the community we had around us and the feeling of purpose that came with sharing the Gospel with the guests that came onto the ground. I applied to be the Youth Program Manager shortly after and that’s where I am now!  

We are beyond stoked to be back and are excited for the future. Being here again has reminded me how important camps like this are. Students can come to escape from their normal lives here, whatever their “normal” may look like. They come here to a place they can feel accepted, seen, valued, and cared for. They can see they’re not defined by what has happened in their lives, but they are loved and cherished by God.

They can see they are significant.  

-Tyler Petras, Youth Program Manager