We arrived in Winnabow, NC on a beautiful spring day and were welcomed by our gracious hosts, Brent and Jennifer Bishop and their two precious children. We spent a week neighboring alongside them experiencing a fantastic glimpse into the world of OneLife and all that it has to offer the youth who participate. OneLife is ideally located on a large plot of land off Town Creek next to the Brunswick Nature Park and currently offers week long camps for 8-13 yr olds, two week high adventure expeditions for 14-19 yr olds and a 90 day leadership development and training course for 20 yr olds and up.
The wealth of knowledge both Brent and Jennifer Bishop have for the outdoors and the way we fit into the creation around us, is inspiring and trustworthy. They, along with their staff, are trained in a variety of fields and have a deep love and passion for God and His creation. They carry a Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder certification and have a strong sense of respect for the creation around them and a heavy focus on Good expedition behavior (EB) at the core of every successful trip. They guide students in learning responsibility, with an emphasis on hard work, compassion, and teaching “Leave No Trace” (LNT) ethics, where campers learn how to keep wild areas wild. They also engage spiritual growth and hope that through the course of the weeks campers are ignited in their faith.
When you sit with Brent even for even a moment you can’t help but be excited about his vision for this ministry. As cool as OneLife camp is, it isn’t trying to be the next national outdoor camp organization. What makes OneLife so unique is Brent’s focus on the local student population. We learned about his generosity in offering scholarships to youth who wouldn’t normally have the resources for a camp excursion. Also, his desire to pour into the local youth culture by not only teaching survival/adventure skills but giving them the time and space to be outside under open skies and starry nights, camping on islands, riversides and beaches…watching amazing sunrises and letting God’s dream for their lives take root.
For us, one of the coolest components of OneLife Camp is the Coastal Outdoor Leadership Intensive for college age and adults. Over the course of 90 days, participants are guided through an intense spiritual boot camp for outdoor leadership development. As well as, a focus on training in physical, leadership, and outdoor skills. The leaders then continue serving during the seven weeks of camps and expeditions and are offered opportunities to expand and forge an identity as an outdoor servant leader.
There is something pretty special about meeting people who are humbly walking in their calling. With their skill set, Brent and Jennifer could easily be making bank by working for a nationally run outdoor organization or trying to grow their camp prematurely for personal financial gain. But, these kinfolk see greater value in patiently growing, stewarding what they do have and moving forward when God sees fit, and, that friends is swimming upstream!
One of our favorite days at the camp was spent on the Town Creek just off of the property, learning to kayak. Brent was an awesome guide both dealing with the practical/physical nature of kayaking, as well as, spurring us on in our faith.
If you’d like more information on OneLife or would like to care for The Bishops by making a donation please visit www.onelife.org