Ready or not, we are days away from turning the calendar on 2016 and entering a brand new year.
2017 is shaping up to be our best summer of camp to date. We are opening a stationary day camp location, adding exciting programming elements across all our camps, and offering more spots for campers than ever before. Sometimes I think, “can we just bypass spring and head straight to summer?”
Something I am most looking forward to in 2017 is hosting camp for the second summer at Cohutta Springs. As a camp designed specifically for high school girls, you can imagine how much fun we have. We get to soak up the sun on the lake, zip-line through the trees, and hang out at theme parties every night. Amidst all of that, we get to hear from guest speakers each night during Worship. Yes, you read that correctly. We get to journey through the same curriculum as the rest of the WinShape Nation brought to us by individual guest speakers who communicate in their own unique way.
We saw last year just how impactful this was. All four of our speakers ranked among the highest rated elements of camp. Our campers came to know the Lord in a new way, while some of them came to know the Lord for the first time. Our guests could be found engaging in deep conversations during meals, floating in the pool on a giant pineapple raft, and developing lifelong friendships with campers and summer staff alike. The relationships with these ladies were so strong that we stopped calling them special guests and started calling them friends.
And. . . (since I consider you all my friends) I was kind of thinking that I would like to share the lineup for 2017 with you before we say goodbye to 2016. Sound like a good idea to you? Great!
So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to our
Guest Speakers friends for Summer 2017. Drum roll please . . .
Week 1: Jo Saxton
Born to Nigerian parents and raised in London, Jo Saxton has spread her message for the past twenty years across the UK and North America. Jo serves with a ministry called 3DM and she and her husband, Chris, have recently planted Mission Point Church, in the Minneapolis area. In addition to speaking around the world, Jo has written several books, such as More than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World, High Heels and Holiness: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Living Life Well, Real God, Real Life. Jo’s message encourages people to engage in missional living and discipleship. Her message specifically equips women for leadership and influence and inspires all believers to engage the world in the same way God does—by going out rather than just reaching out. Jo loves running, good music, reading, and laughing loudly with family and friends over a great meal. Jo and Chris have two amazing daughters. Follow her on Twitter at @josaxton.
Week 2: Mo Isom
Mo Isom is an author, speaker and blogger. She was an All-American goalkeeper for the Louisiana State University soccer team and the first female to try out for an SEC men’s football team. She holds the LSU all-time goalkeeper record as well as the #3 SEC all-time shutout record.
She trained with the US Women’s National program, was honored as National Player of the Week, has appeared on ESPN SportsCenter Top-10 Plays, and has been featured in Sports Illustrated and appeared on Ellen, ESPN, CBS, The 700 Club, and countless other platforms.
While her life has been marked by incredible athletic successes, it has also been riddled with crushing personal adversity. Isom uses her unique experiences to challenge, encourage, and equip her generation to live boldly by the Word in the midst of a broken world. She, her husband Jeremiah, and their daughter Auden live in Atlanta, Georgia. Follow her on Twitter at @MoIsom.
Week 3&4: Annie F. Downs
Annie F. Downs is an author, blogger, and speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of a real and present God. An author of three books- Let’s All Be Brave, Perfectly Unique, and Speak Love, Annie also loves traveling around the country speaking to young women, college students, and adults. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her on Twitter @anniefdowns.