Camp Deerpark

Back in the winter when I put in the Mennonite Camping Association newsletter that I was going on the trail, Ken Bontrager from Camp Deerpark in New York contacted me and told me that I would be welcome to stay at the camp. He was willing to pick me up from High Point State Park in NJ. As I got closer I communicated with him and determined a time to meet. It rained that day and the rocks up to High Point were slippery. I was so glad to see Ken and Alison show up to wisk me away to Camp Deerpark and my zero day. It’s crazy how much I look forward to these zero days!

Camp Deerpark boys dorm

Camp Deerpark used to be a farm and it was a golf course at one time too. The buildings are different than you’d find at most camps – an old carriage house for a boys dorm etc. Most of the kids come from New York City and it was awesome to see them get so into worship. Swan Lake Christian Camp kids could learn some things about worship and joy from these city kids. A game show night was quite entertaining. It was so nice to be at a camp with campers. It made me miss Swan Lake. It was awesome to see Alison too.

Ken has been at Deerpark for 17 years and you can hear the passion in his voice for the camp. I know he is making a difference there. He and his wife Deborah have 6 kids and they open their home to many other young adults during the summer. Deborah made a huge meal and there were 15 of us at the table!

The zero was spent mostly with Alison hanging out and going to Middletown to eat and use the wifi at McDonalds. This is where I got my ipod. Well…an update there: we weren’t able to get songs downloaded onto it without updating itunes and then Alison’s computer software. So, I had Alison return it. So I still have no ipod. Guess I’ll have to deal with My Fair Lady songs for now.

the hiking crew!

When I hiked out the next day there were 3 adults and 3 kids that came with me. Alison slackpacked my gear and Kim, Deborah, Ken, Nehemiah, Jack and Elias hiked with me. It was fun to have others along to talk to and the pace was nice. 🙂 It reminded me what it would be like to hike for fun (and not like a job). Thanks guys!

I had an awesome time. Thanks Bontragers and Camp Deerpark!

About Renee

I enjoy adventures. Whether running marathons, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, working with Service Adventure, or working with youth as Program Director of Swan Lake Christian Camp for 9 years, I have encountered many an adventure. On this site I will try to capture the big and small ones for you. Enjoy!

Posted on August 1, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi Renee,
    We’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. About 2 weeks ago I told Rick I wanted to buy you an mp3 player and load it up with music from sing the journey, sing the story, the hymnal and other favorites as a way of showing our support and to give you encouragement to complete the journey. When I read that you had purchased an ipod I kicked myself for not being on the ball with my gift to you. BUT now I can follow through! Yahoo. SO, where do I send it and when. I plan to get it today and Rick can load it up over the next day or so. Send the address to me at or Either works well. When I think of you on the rocks I often think if were me I’d sing the Prayer for Peace……Peace (love, light, Christ) before me, peace behind me, peace under my feet.


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