Shiloh Family & Community, we ask you to join us in a season of thankfulness. Reflect with us each day on how God is shining light to expose goodness in unexpected places and igniting hope in our lives.Read More
The Shiloh 65th reunion in July was a spectacular weekend as Shiloh Alumni and families gathered to play and reflect on the deep love that remains for Shiloh and the community God brings together through this ministry. The merry go round continued to bring joy ~ while alumni's children played their parents/former staff laughed about "previous" memories at that same spot. Pirate night and fireworks, followed by a late night campfire were favorites along with Celebration Saturday and Sunday (thanks to Ryan and Georgie!) Jane Richardson shared the latest on "Shiloh Voices" capturing the history of Shiloh back to the 1950s, followed by a walk through of camp to see a decade or two later the refresh that has taken place to the physical property. Ray Newton shared his personal story as a camper almost 50 years ago, and several alumni staff were able to reflect with alumni campers from the late 90's! Regardless of years passed, the experiences shared from decades ago remain vibrant and meaningful. The friendships and love for the Shiloh community have only grown richer while also taking root in so many beautiful ways into communities where Shiloh's alumni now live. Watching God work in and through the lives of His children brings much joy and healing, but most importantly, Hope.
Thank you to those who planned your vacations and time off to make sure you could join us as we loved seeing you and meeting your families. Thank you to Alison Koczanski for helping organize as the Alumni Chairman, to Jeff Parkinson along with Bethany and Matthew Vaughn who helped prepare amazing food to feed everyone, and the current staff who so graciously gave up their cabin spaces so many of the alumni could stay at camp. Don't miss our next one ~ mark your calendars for 2021!
In July 2011 over 125 former campers and staff were able to gather at the Woodridge, NY camp property to celebrate and reflect on Shiloh's 60-year history of building hope in the lives of thousands of children through summer camp and year round programs. As the "Shiloh Family" reunited memories were shared, relationships were built, and for a few, healing took place.
From Jill Businelle ('06-present), "It was incredible to hear generations of stories. Although the names and dates were different, our experiences have been the same. Our passions were the same. Our love for inner-city youth in New York City was rooted deeply in the same place. It was like spending a weekend with a sibling you had gone your whole life without knowing. I ended the weekend inspired by the legacy I am a part of."
Dirk Forrister ('74-'80) shared this: I'd been away far too long, so I didn't recognize much of Woodridge. Driving down the tree-lined entrance brought back tons of memories. I was thrilled to see how vibrant things seemed at Shiloh. I loved getting to know the staff a little - and was inspired by their dedication to inner-city missions. I was really impressed with their hard work in improving the facilities - the place looked great, even though my favorite tractor is now a piece of sculpture! I hope many of us "old timers" can find ways to reconnect and help out again in our own small ways.
Ashley French ('98-present), Chair of the 2011 reunion told us, "I was surprised and thrilled (and kind of nervous) when I found out that Odessa Thomas was planning to attend the reunion. She was in my Oral History group on Saturday and shared the most phenomenal story. She said when she was young she was regularly told at home that she wasn't loved and that she was worthless. She said her family regularly compared her to her deadbeat uncle that no one cared for or respected. When she got to Shiloh, everyone told her they loved her and liked her, in spite of her antics. So she made a conscious effort to test that love. She said she tried everything she could to get someone to tell her what her family told her, but no one would. She kept wondering how these people who weren't her family could love her more than her own family, the very people who should love her most. She kept testing and the Shiloh counselors and staff never failed. Despite the fact the she was sent home from camp, she kept coming back year after year. Each year the love continued. It took over ten years to find out that she -- truly the most challenging of campers -- was influenced by her time at Shiloh. Not just influenced though. She was changed forever."
Whether it's been one year or fifty-plus years since you've connected with your Shiloh family, we hope you take this opportunity to visit and see the great work that continues at camp each summer. We are excited to reminisce about Shiloh's past and look forward to its future. You will notice big and small changes around the camp property like a climbing tower and a chapel, but there are some things that have not changed. Celebration is still dynamic. The campfires still roast marshmallows. God is still covering campers in His unconditional love. Shiloh 65th Reunion celebration will be July 1-3 at our summer camp property in Woodridge, NY. We want to see you there. You are a part of Shiloh’s identity, and your service has helped to preserve 65 years of sharing God’s love in New York City.
Help us get the word out!
Share this with fellow staff and campers (over 21 years of age) from your Shiloh days and encourage them to join our celebration.