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Ladore Senior Conservatory 2015
June 19-29
Report by Ronda Atwater

Pendel Senior Music Conservatory is just one of the three music camps that are provided to young Salvationists during the summer at Camp Ladore in Waymart, Pennsylvania. It usually operates as a 14-day musical and spiritual intensive camp for young Salvationists, aged 12 to 17, who come to challenge themselves and grow musically and in their Christian faith. This year the conservatory was four days short, running June 19-29, due to the International congress in London, running June 19-29, 2015.

Before students arrive, they choose between being piano or brass majors. This year, we had a special guest Brindley Venables from Canada with us. He led the conservatory’s band and brought much light to devotions, chorus and private lesson times. All students took part in chorus as well as sight singing groups, theory classes, and private lessons each day.

Though the students, instructors and counselors focus all day on each of their musical journey, we set aside periods of time to focus solely on their spiritual lives.  Each morning started with the trek to breakfast, a very special time for everyone. The 20-minute walk was accompanied by the beautiful scenery of Camp Ladore. There were even sightings of a bald eagle swooping down to catch his breakfast!

Since each day started with God’s creation, we proceeded to continue in that manner. After the walk back to our village (instructional areas and sleeping quarters), we took time for small-group Bible study before coming together for a time of corporate worship.

This year’s Bible study around how teenagers in today’s world are faced with moral confusion. The scripture passages were taken from the books of Psalm, Job, Ecclesiastes, 1 Kings, 1 Samuel and Proverbs. Each day was focused on a portion of scripture and a theme, including Delighting in God, Friendship, Fear, Physical Appearance, Trust, Inner Beauty, Loneliness, and The Sanctity of Life. We also had the privilege to be led in worship by special guest Becky Phillips, who presented a special thought each day.

When the students weren’t practicing or studying their music and scripture, they were participated in fun summer camp activities offered at Camp Ladore. These were boating, hiking, sports, ropes courses, swimming, and many others.

Each evening, a program was scheduled which were planned and carried out by the instructors and counselors. These included Staff Night (where staff members performed for the students and the students got to know them through question-answer interviews), Talent Night, a Solo Recital Banquet, and a campfire with stories and skits, among others. Last year, our campfire night was rained out, causing us to use the indoor fire site. Since the students enjoyed it so much, we decided to do something similar again this year. Instead of the fire and s’mores, we had an indoor ice cream party.

The final day of Senior Conservatory was a full concert held in the Ladore Lodge Chapel, an opportunity to display all that was learned over the 10-day period and to minister to all who had come to experience this event. Many family members, friends, and corps officers (pastors) were in attendance, as were many seniors who had been visiting that week at the Lodge. The items performed had become much more than just an opportunity to showcase the students’ talents, but had become a true offering of love and adoration to our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we continue to work with these beautiful young people throughout the years, it is our hope and prayer that they continue to grow in their knowledge of Christ as they dedicate their many talents to His glory!