SPAM Camp 2017: a conversation with Camp Director Nate Hasty
Tom Loghry: Welcome to the conversation. We’re talking with camp director Nate Hasty.to get a glimpse of what is in store for Sports and Music camp 2017 and the overarching ministry aspirations of SPAM camp. Before we get to that, Nate would you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you?
Nate Hasty: I spent much of my childhood growing up in western Massachusetts attending Hope Church. Following high school I eventually attended BICS and then Lancaster Bible College earning a degree in Student Ministry. After graduating LBC and marrying my wife Kim we moved to Mapleton, Maine where I served as Youth Pastor for 6.5 years at State Road Advent Christian Church. As the Lord worked in our lives we felt called to leave State Road to return to Pennsylvania where I returned to LBC to work in their Admissions Department. During my time in admissions work the Lord slowly reaffirmed a call to pastoral ministry and opened up the opportunity to return to New England. I currently serve as the pastor of State Street Church located in Portsmouth, NH. My wife and 4 boys are grateful for the privilege of serving the church in Portsmouth and the people of the seacoast area.
TL: What is your history with SPAM camp? How have you come to be involved with it today?
NH: I attended SPAM in 1994 as a camper. It was immediately a place where I felt connected with other campers and a staff that had a genuine love for Christ and the ministry. Our home church did not have a local AC campground so for many of us this was our home camp. I continued to attend through my senior year in high school. Following my time as a camper, I eventually applied to counsel and then to instruct various sports. In 2007, I began to transition to the role of Director of Program and officially took the position in 2008.
TL: I personally never grew up going to SPAM camp. For those like myself, can you explain what SPAM camp is about?
NH: The name of SPAM would give the impression that we are a camp that is striving to help campers improve in specific areas of sports, music, and the arts. While it is true that we want campers to develop in the areas they are interested (basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball, ultimate frisbee, drama, video, vocal performance, guitar and percussion) we are more intentionally seeking to show and point students to Jesus. We are attempting to create an atmosphere that allows students to be safe and comfortable. We want them to know they can be honest about the questions they have about life, the Bible, God and the struggles they have. Ultimately, we want to point these students to Jesus as the source of redemption, hope, and salvation. This is the hope of the SPAM camp and we pray that through the relationships built with staff and our commitment in declaring God's word, the Lord will work in student's lives.
TL: To that end, is there a particular theme for SPAM camp 2017? What will be going on?
NH: Yes, the theme for 2017 is 'All For Good'. We will spend the week looking at the story of Joseph and God's hand on his life. It is common for all of us, including students, to at times feel like our lives are out of control and to feel like a situation is pointless. Scripture reminds us time and time again that God is continually at work and that any and all situations can be used by him. We are excited to have Luke Middleton back this year as our camp speaker and are praying that the Lord will use him to communicate this truth to our students.
TL: That sounds great. What are the dates for SPAM camp and the deadline for registration? Is there anything else we should know?
NH: The dates are June 25 - July 1 on the grounds of Alton Bay Christian Conference Center in Alton, NH and it is open to students entering 7th grade through graduating high school seniors. Registration will remain open until the day of camp and campers can register online at www.sportsandmusiccamp.org. We are committed to campers being at camp each year and we do not want to allow finances to prohibit a camper from attending. If a financial need exists we encourage campers to register and communicate their need to our registrar via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We believe that God can and does use Christian camps to impact students’ lives and would encourage students to consider attending a camp this summer.
TL: It sounds like a great opportunity to grow closer to God. Thanks for taking the time to share with us Nate.
NH: Thank you for the opportunity. I am grateful!
*editor's note: this conversation has been grammatically edited to ensure clarity