I was having lunch with a friend last week and we were both relating over how God uses Camp to bring people into our lives who better us. She said, “There is something just different about Camp friendships.” I couldn’t agree more. As summer is up to bat, I find myself wanting every Coach to make friendships that God uses to show them more of Himself. I find myself wanting every Coach to find a friend like Grace.

I first met Grace during a puzzle-like game that put us in our covenant groups during training week in 2019. We didn’t know each other before, though we had many mutual connections through Texas A&M (WHOOP!). It didn’t take long for us to laugh hard together, which is one of my favorite parts about our friendship to this day.

Grace served the first half of summer but returned for an extra week to be a Coach with me in our dearly beloved Southbay at Camp Travis. We have countless stories from that one week when I got to see her firsthand love campers that needed a listening ear and compassionate heart. We also laughed a lot (a recurring theme with us). The next summer, I was honored to step onto the Travis Leadership Team where Grace was in the convent group I got to walk with. Lots of stories from that summer involved masks and distance yet still, lots of laughing together. In 2022, God placed both of us back at Camp Travis on the Leadership Team and we got to serve alongside one another once again. We joked that we have been co-cov members, my co-Coaches, my cov girl and co-workers.

Grace is now in graduate school studying Speech Pathology at UT Dallas while I have gotten to jump on full-time here at T Bar M. Though our time on summer staff has come to an end…for now (who knows what God will do), Grace has continued to be steady friend and someone who reminds me of Jesus. There really is something different about a Camp friendship.

So ... let's link arms with this summer's coaches!!

As these groups gather this summer, let's send them encouragement, prayers and a bit of fun from those that have served as they will.

We have 68 covenant groups serving at Base Camp, Camp Travis, Family Camp, D252 and Day Camp. Isn't that amazing!

It's as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Simply email alumni@tbarm.org and we will send you the information you will need. Covenant Group Leader and Coaches names and terms at which camp and the camp's address. (we will send amazon links to make it even easier 😉
  2. You will send them one care package in June and one in July as well as encouragement notes or emails throughout the summer.
  3. We will all watch God use these coaches in the place we love to do MIGHTY things this summer ... the Glory Days!

Email Abby & Kelli at alumni@tbarm.org if you would like to adopt a cov!

Covenant Groups are an intentional foundation of the discipleship of T Bar M, fashioned after the covenant that David and Jonathan made in 1 Samuel 18:1-5 and still a foundational part of the DNA of coaches’ summer experience.

With the days getting warmer and the sun setting later, it sure does make us wish for the summer days to arrive! Moms thinking about slower mornings, not packing lunches and no homework. Kids thinking about playing late into the evening, not eating at school, and no homework.

And Camp. Summer approaching makes us think about Camp.

T Bar M Camper (and Alumni kiddo), Campbell, thinks about the friends, the fun, and all she gets to do at Camp. There is a smile on her face that shows she can't wait to be back to Base Camp in June ... with friends, yellow meal, and no homework!

There is a bit more she is excited about ... Campbell's friend is joining her at Camp for the first time this summer. She can't wait for Leah to experience the "fun and exciting (and awesome) week because you get to have so much fun while you learn about God." (She's also pretty pumped about her friend doing the high ropes course too!)

Experiencing Jesus wrapped up in all the fun, has her counting the days to this summer, but remembering how she felt about God at Camp has her thinking about last summer. "For me, it's different at Camp, being cheered on and encouraged by the Coaches all the time is just good to be around. God uses it to help us in our homes, with our friends, and at school."

Coming back summer after summer, yields another sweetness: Camp Friends. Another friend, Kallie, (& Alumni kiddo) and Campbell have come to camp before together. "I love it because I don't get to see her except at Camp, and when we are together, we go BIG with everything ... playing together, worshipping together, playing together. We go all in!"

There is indeed something sweet about going to camp. A home away from home with new friends and old friends that form family for a week ... and longer.

The days we remember that shaped us, the day we are living in right now and all the days to follow ... we will rally this summer around what God does in our ... GLORY DAYS.

As adults, feelings of nostalgia about years past when we were younger, a few pounds lighter, and unencumbered by the cares of the “real” world.  A time when our minds were not consumed with mortgages, work stability or the heavy responsibility of parenting. Thoughts of, “if I could just go back” or “those were the days” that often leave us disappointed and discouraged.

For kids, the idea of “Glory Days” will often fill their heads with thoughts of sports icons, celebrities, money, fame and all that comes with it.  They are constantly being bombarded with images that only serve to remind them of what they don’t have and will likely never attain.  “Maybe if I work hard enough, I’ll be able to play like him” … “If I can just look like her, then maybe they’ll like and follow me” … Always chasing significance and acceptance through the avenue of MORE.  But the only thing they are left with is more fear and anxiety.

The problem is not what has been missed in the past or what is just beyond our grasp in the future.  The key to living and experiencing our Glory Days is by shifting our perspective of what true Glory is where it can be found.

The Bible says that glory is even more exclusive than we think — only God himself is glorious. Compared to God, humanity is a mist of vapor and a fleeting breath. We are reminded that “all fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23).

And yet, while God alone is the object of our worship and praise, from the very beginning of the world, God has made mankind to reflect his glory. As Psalm 8:4-5 puts it, "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You have crowned him with glory and honor." In the Hebrew, "glory" implies weightiness or significance. Essentially, God has bestowed upon us a unique and profound importance, making us reflections of His divine glory.

Our Glory Days are not confined to the past when we were younger, more athletic and full of optimism.  In the same way, our Glory Days are not off in the distant future never to be realized.  For those of us who have experienced the glory of God through the person of Jesus Christ and the hope that he brings ... our Glory Days are to be lived NOW and FOREVER.  

NOW, as we look to live our current life aligned with Jesus' Kingdom that he brought when he walked the earth.  A way of life marked by forgiveness, peace, joy and love.  Living your Glory Days NOW is to walk with Jesus and seek to live and love as He does and experience all the freedom that comes only through a relationship with Him.

FOREVER, as we live in the hope of eternity spent with our loving Creator.  As Jesus taught his disciples, "I go to prepare a place for you ... that you may also be where I am."  To live in the full presence of the glory of God for all eternity ... that is what awaits all who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ.    

This summer, we will delve into how to live a life without the burden of regret but with an abundance of joy, anchored in the promises of God. When we focus on living for God's glory rather than our own, we can discover a life filled with remarkable purpose and meaning, not just for the present but also for the eternity that lies ahead.

So, will you stop living in the past?  Will you stop daydreaming about the future and the fleeting glory that this world offers?  And instead realize that the invitation is open to live out your Glory Days: Now & Forever

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1

I didn't know the value of good o manual labor until that first Training Camp at T Bar M in 1993, but it did set foundations that I continue to use today. The outcome of two hours of painting fences and moving rocks was quite more than two checks on the "to do" list. It is where I (and countless other college and high school students) learned much, much more.

T Bar M Camps is offering that very opportunity for High School students each summer ... and this summer it is growing even more. We are committed to (and excited about) our dedicated Work Crew, comprised of high school students who are eager to serve, lead, and deepen their faith. These students play a vital role in enriching the camp experience for everyone involved. It's a unique opportunity for them to forge connections, gain valuable leadership skills, and leave a lasting impact on our community. And we are confident these all transfer to their daily life way beyond this summer.

It will be an experience that is built on these five components:
--Strengthening their Faith
--Building Community
--Apprenticeship in Service
--Weekly Bible Study
--Leadership Development

(and did we mention it would be so much fun ... words just don't do justice?)

We believe that our summer work crew program offers a unique opportunity for high school students to grow personally, spiritually, and socially while making a tangible difference in the lives of others.

-Austin Mankin, Base Camp Director

For all the details and how to apply, read below.

They say a picture says a thousand words. And this one sure does. Paige (Nowlin) and Hudson High, lifetime campers as well as Coaches, would never have dreamed they would be standing in the T Bar M gym with their own kiddoes back when they were campers in the very same space. 

Yet, there they were … cheering on the Alphas in an Alumni Dodge Ball Games. You know the drill, Alphas lined up under one basketball goal and the Omegas under the other. The music starts, everyone runs (or takes cover) and the balls begin to fly.  Alphas and Omegas were picked off pretty evenly … in the beginning. Then, we look up to see five-year-old, Eden High as the lone Alpha against a team of Omegas.

The game continued, and her parents tell it well. “In the face of the blue wave, she stood her ground and continued to rapid-fire dodgeballs indiscriminately to weaken the offensive front. Never once did her sight stray from the task at hand: holding down the Alpha front. This is the way.”  says dad, Hudson High.

Her mom, Paige, continues, “I looked up to see Eden as the last remaining Alpha, somewhat expecting her to just run to the sideline, but that girl held her own. (Against a very, very, kind Omega team). She never gave up.

No doubt there was an air of competition, but that was superseded by the cheers from the Alphas and the kindness of the Omegas.

Isn’t that the way many days feel … an air of competition from the world, and what it asks of us. But, when we walk with the Lord closely … we are cheered on, and see His kindness and grace as we continue to face the enemy.

How is God encouraging and giving you grace today? How are you doing the same for others?

"Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

(and yes, the Omegas won.)