Ocean Park: Spiritual Growth

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“Most Magical Place On Earth”

Written by Lacey Kelley (long time camper and volunteer), 


Growing up at camp my friends and I would always say, “Ocean Park is the most magical place on earth, Disneyland is second.” This is the kind of magic that changes people’s hearts and is a driving force in people’s spiritual growth. I have been honored to see this first hand in my best friend, Michelle Krug.


Michelle and I met when we were attending Jr. High camp and have been attached at the hip ever since. Over the years I have watched her grow into a fantastic human with faith like I have never seen. She is a youth leader at her church, helps out at Ocean Park every chance she has, and inspires me with her faith everyday.


Our freshman year, Michelle and I were sitting on our bunks during B.O.B. (Body on Bunks) passing notes back and forth. I remember being surprised that she thought she “wasn’t very good at being a Christian” because she didn’t know all the bible stories. I remember telling her that, at least for me, it was more about living Christ-like than memorizing stories. I wrote that learning the stories would come with time and besides, she knew Jesus loved her and wasn’t going to come down and quiz her. I feel like it didn’t got resolved in that moment, but it was the start of Michelle’s drive to figure out what she wanted in her faith and the beginning of a really strong relationship with God.


Michelle started counseling every summer, arranging work weekends, for the camp and sharing her love of God with those around her. She has learned not just the stories, but also how much her faith can do in the world.


Camp provides an opportunity to figure out what you need in your faith, where you can grow, and most importantly provides you with the unconditional love of those around you to ask the hard questions out loud. I am honored to be Michelle’s friend and so thankful I get to watch her grow in her faith everyday.

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