Greetings from Camp Wapo, Ox Lake, & Wilderness Canoe Base!

Our 2022 theme TAKE HOLD is based on John 16:33. It is a powerful theme for these days and so affirming of God’s promises for us. The Bible study curriculum that our campers will experience has been created by three wonderfully gifted writers, theologians, and lovers of outdoor ministry.  We are so grateful to Kristen Capel, Sarah Clark, and Marc Olson for sharing their talents and gifts with us and for the thousands of kids and families who will come to camp this summer to experience TAKE HOLD.  We hope you enjoy this devotional trio based on our 2022 summer theme. 

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take hold! I have conquered the world. (John 16:33)

Bible Reading: Mark 4:35-41 – Jesus calming the storm

This story is loaded for me. Is it for you? I’m guessing it might be. I mean, let’s be honest for just a second, there are all sorts of storms that Jesus isn’t calming right now. I’m writing this in March of 2022 – so I’m wondering aloud with you July…is war still raging in Ukraine? Is Putin’s threat of going nuclear till lingering in the air? Is our country still deeply divided? Are your kids still reeling from two years of in and out of school, fights over masking, fear of Covid? Has the explosive mental health crisis teenagers have faced in recent years disappeared? I wish I didn’t know the answer to these questions already in March, but I’m afraid that I do. So many times, it feels as though Jesus is sleeping while we are struggling. We pray and hope and hope and pray for storms to abate and life to become somehow less tumultuous. Are those prayers being heard? And if they are being heard, why is nothing changing?

I know this is deep water. But I want to encourage you to sit in the storm for a while. So many times when we are presented with a story like this from scripture, it’s easy for us to go straight to the calming of the storm and skip over the really hard part, where Jesus is asleep in the MIDST of the storm. If that’s where you are today, just be there. Share the hard stuff with a partner or friend, or write it down in a journal. And then notice and pay attention to the ways in which Jesus is at work calming the storms of your hearts and lives. 


  • How does Jesus’ invitation to neighborliness find you today?
  • What is the worst storm you have experienced? What did you do to stay calm?
  • Why do you think Jesus was sleeping through the storm?
  • What do you think the disciples felt after Jesus calmed the storm?
  • The disciples said to Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (which also means – do you not care that we are afraid and in a storm and feel like we are going to die). Have you, or has anyone you know, ever felt like God didn’t care about the troubles in your life?
  • Jesus ultimately calmed the storm. Can you think of a time in your life that seemed really hard, and then got better? Did it get better suddenly? Gradually? What happened to make it better? Where do you see God in your own story?
  • What part of your life has felt stormy or difficult lately?
  • What kinds of things make you feel calm?


Today’s prayer is a guided meditation. As you breathe, hear these words:

We all have storms that blow into our lives. We experience days that feel impossible. Seasons that feel too long. Sometimes the tension from these hard times settles in our bodies. I want to invite you to breathe deeply. As you breathe, notice what parts of your body are feeling tense. (take three deep breaths in and out)

And now as you breathe in, hear these words:
I receive the calm

And as you breathe out, hear these words:
I release the storm

Keep breathing as you repeat those words in your mind for several breaths. 

Grounded in grace, may you care for this world.
Rooted in love, may your heart get bigger and braver.
Growing in faith, may you trust God’s promises.
And blessed by all these gifts may you feed the hungry, bind up the brokenhearted, and bring joy to everyone you meet.