Earlier this year, 36 men met at Camp Heritage for “Iron Man Camp,” a weekend filled with spiritual activities focused on Proverbs 27:17.
Doug Erickson, a member of the Sunnydale Church, had wanted to do a men’s activity for some time. When he was elected as the men’s ministry leader for his church earlier this year, he decided it was time to make his dreams a reality.
“It had been a burden on my heart for several years,” Erickson said.
Originally Erickson planned to hold a one-day event for just Sunnydale church members. However, when speaking to men from other local churches he learned they were interested too. He opened the event up to them as well. Shortly after that, other men from different areas expressed interest.
With 31 days until the event, Erickson asked Camp Director Denison Sager if the camp was available for the event. Sager said it was open that weekend.
Erickson then worked with Jason Vega, Columbia Church member, to market the event not only to district churches, but to the whole conference. Vega helped create promotional materials which were published on various social media platforms.
Leading up to the event, Erickson felt the devil was working hard to prevent the event from happening. His cellphone crashed and it took Erickson a full day to fix the issue. Later, he was in an accident which totaled his vehicle. He faced conflict as his daughter, who is currently studying in Canada, informed Erickson that she would be coming home that week. However, Erickson felt so impressed by God to go forward with the event that he pushed forward.
“I was willing to sacrifice time with my daughter to be [at Iron Man’s Camp],” Erickson said, crying.
With the help of others, Iron Man Camp took place. The event had several speakers. There was opportunity to spend time in nature through walks and bonfires. The final day, men helped with some minor construction at Camp Heritage.
Iron Man Camp organizers have heard positive feedback about the event. They also were encouraged to learn the camp inspired one of the attendees to start a Bible study.
The organizers want to continue holding events like this in the future. The group is currently planning for a springtime father-son camp.
“It will be for all fathers and sons of all ages, meaning an adult father and an adult son or an adult father and a young boy,” Erickson said.
The location is not yet determined for this event, but the organizers are actively looking at different locations, activities and speakers.