The experience as Camp Director at Pleasant Valley Ranch, in Perrysville, Ohio
Since I had worked with youth for years, and having been to church youth camp many times, I was looking forward to this ministry. PVR was a ministry of Mansfield Baptist Church, and this was their first year in this ministry. We were on the ground floor and I was their first Camp Director. All this was a real challenge indeed for us.
Shortly after arriving at the Camp, Charity and I were able to go to THE WILD’S, a youth camp ministry in North Caroline. Ken Hay was the director. We had a wonderful time for a week of training in the camp ministry.
Our first Ranch Schedule was for the summer of 1977, on this 278 acres of land and plenty of wooded area for trails and hiking and evening campfires. We spent a lot of hours planning for a great summer of camp.
I personally enjoyed hiking in the wooded area of the Ranch and helping set up the Camp Schedule. The Ohio World Baptist Fellowship started using Pleasant Valley Ranch as their main camp. That first year, Troy Todd was the director and he directed the camp for the next twenty plus years.
My brother Don Whisnant, scheduled a week of camp for his youth group. He was a Youth Pastor at Calvary Baptist in Rittman, Ohio. We had a great week.
Dave Adams and his wife Becky, whom I went to High School with in Roanoke Virginia came down to the Camp with a group from Liberty Baptist College.
One of my camp buddies was Randy Webb, a young man who really loved the camp life. He and I had a great time around the camp fire. Randy is now in Mississippi, and we are still good friends. Randy was one of my main assistants when I was teaching the Young Single Adult class at Mansfield Baptist Temple.
One of the most gratifying experiences that we had was teaching the College and Career Class I still have a paper that we published, we called "The Searchers" One of the articles I had was:
- ARE WE GROWING AS CHRISTIANS?
Learning to believe His Word
Learning to trust His Direction
Learning to see His working in our living
Learning to plant seeds (love, time, concern, money) that will reap eternal results
Learning to thank Him for blessings
Learning to live by God’s eternal principles
Learning to live this life that will resemble the life in the Kingdom of God
Our class staff officers were: in April 1978
Sunday School - Frank Donato Unit/Outreach -Randy Webb
Activity/Mission - Steve Donato and Debbie Faugle Secretary - JoAnn P
We averaged about thirty each Sunday, and what joy we had teaching and working with each one of the young men and women.
Ministry to this age group is critical if you want to see them continue in church. Those in their 20's then and now in 2006 drop out at a 90% rate.