Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Favorites in Everyone's Hometown

Before the summer comes to an end, we wanted to highlight some of our staff’s favorite places and things to do in Prescott. When you come up for a visit, make sure you spend some extra time to enjoy what we love about “everyone’s hometown.”

Jim Trail, our camp director, finds Bill’s Pizza to be the best. (I must say that Ben and I do make this part of our Sunday ritual where we spend $2.75 for a specialty slice of pizza. Our favorites include the Elton John, roasted garlic infused olive oil, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cooked spinach, red onions and four cheeses plus feta!) For fun, Jim loves Prescott’s high school sporting events.

The Dinner Bell is Heather Trail’s favorite for breakfast. This small town diner boasts of comfort food. A cash only place, the prices are easy on the pocketbook. Heather recommends ordering the home potatoes and sitting in the quaint patio area as it is right on the creek side.

Cassie Clark, our guest service coordinator, is in love with Murphy’s. (Well really, she is simply in love.) She celebrated her birthday there where her husband, Chris, of three months treated her. She boasts of the service, “They even take a Polaroid picture of you for special events!” According to Cassie this steakhouse and seafood restaurant is definitely worth the price. What goes along with a steak? The rodeo of course which is by far Cassie’s favorite event in Prescott.

Do you love sushi like me? Laura Brown, our accounts manager, and her husband do too. Their favorite restaurant is Esoji. Laura loves it because this is where Doug always takes her for special events- including the night he proposed. The atmosphere is quiet and authentic, and the sushi very fresh. A great place for a date! Laura suggests that you start the day with a hike up Thumb Butte or head out to Willow Lake and rent a kayak.

As for Ben and I we love Papa’s Italian Restaurant. The specials are just that -special! Our favorite sauce is the rose – an alfredo-marinara mix. We love the staff and the ladies with their big Italian hair. On special nights, they serve you a complimentary bowl of minestrone. After dinner, you might find us on the rooftop of the Raven where we borrow their Scrabble board or at Monk’s in the back patio. This is often followed by a walk around the square where we might sit on the steps of the courthouse to enjoy the live music. And of course I cannot help but to mention the best coffee house, tucked away in the corner of a quaint courtyard near the creek – Wild Iris. Not only will you find the best coffee here but also me every Friday!

So the next time you come into town, visit some of our favorite places. You can bet that some of us would be more than happy to accompany you!

Do you have any places you love in Prescott? Post it below!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time Travel by Ben Maki

Yesterday, as I was deep in concentration over some new problem that had cropped up in our soon-to-be-released redesigned website, Laura came in to ask a favor.  “There’s a family here to visit the grounds and I need someone to take them around,” she asked. “You’re the only one available.”  Generally, it takes me a few minutes to switch to people mode when I’ve been coding web pages all day, but when the woman who hands you your check every other week asks a favor…well…

The family turned out to be from Utah and they had come all the way to Prescott for a whirlwind one day tour of all that was special to grandpa when he lived here as a boy.  Grandpa himself was leading the tour and from the smile on his face as we climbed into the golf cart I could tell this was going to be a fun trip.

Our first stop was the Chapel.  After a family picture outside the door, he stepped inside and began describing in detail how it had looked so long ago.  “There were pews and the front was on the end, over here.  There was a banner on the wall that said ‘I can do all things through Christ’ above the stage.  And I was sitting right here when I gave my life to the Lord.” He was standing right under the left projector, surrounded by chairs facing the wrong way and staring at a blank, banner-less wall, but you could tell that the decision he’d made so long ago on that very spot hadn’t changed at all.

Now I was born in the ‘70’s, so when people talk about coming to camp in 1948, it falls into that realm of history sometime after the Romans, but before the VCR.  And the difference between that time and this one seems like an impossibly long time.  But as we continued the tour (his level of excitement rising to an almost giddy level when he discovered his cabin is still—barely—standing), I was reminded of something a pastor once said to me.  “I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life, starting from a very young age.  What I was going to be, where I was going to live, what I was going to do.  But there is only one decision that has stuck with me for all these years: the decision to follow Christ.  I don’t know how, but I am who I am because of that decision.”

Like I said, I’m working on a new web site.  We just built a new dining hall.  We’ve got grandiose plans to make this place as unrecognizable in another 60 years as it is now compared to back then.  But nothing excites me more than this:  that when my own childhood joins the Roman Empire in ancient history, my work here will have helped people know the One Who Never Changes and who will still be loving me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Indentation by Yvonne Barreras

I came to Prescott Pines Youth Camp as a fill-in counselor for Youth Camp Week 1.  I didn’t know any of the girls that I would room with. Where would they come from? What kind of background? Spiritually, where were they at? The six girls were from two different cities, two different churches and the majority shared that they didn’t want to be there. *Sigh.* Anxiety and fear gripped me; this was going to be an interesting week! This situation was as uncomfortable as the mattress was that first night. I couldn’t do this alone so I asked for prayer from staff, counselors and even some friends from out of town.
  God didn’t waste any time. The second night one camper told me that God wanted her to share a message with the whole camp! We took time to pray that she would be empowered to carry out her task in obedience. She shared God’s message the next morning in chapel. (Later in the week I was told that two other campers made decisions for Christ because of the message.) Well, the rest of my campers were still resistant to just about everything even meals! They weren’t comfortable sharing at cabin times so it was time for me to pray some more.
  By Wednesday evening though, there was change - all the girls participated in everything and had a good time. They were excited and had smiles on their faces.  Yes! They were like that mattress that got more and more comfy cozy each day. Thursday night during chapel the music moved one of my most resistant campers to tears. This was the first time she sat with me during chapel. We took the time to leave the chapel and she was able to share her pain with me, but even after talking with her she was not ready to give her life to Christ. The seed has been planted though and more prayers surround her as she goes home. Her friend joined us outside and shared her story. She made a decision to rededicate her life to Christ.
Friday was bittersweet - knowing some of these girls would be returning to situations that I would never understand, but also knowing that they all had a wonderful memorable time and want to return to camp. It all so worthwhile!  By Friday, there was an indentation in that mattress after all, a reminder that Christ had made an indentation in their hearts and mine. There were no accidental or coincidental housing situations that week. I was so blessed!