Read to the end for our SPECIAL announcement!
By Jessica Summers - HTH Board Secretary
When I take a few minutes to reflect on all the changes the world’s experienced in the past year and a half, I’m amazed. Things are rapidly changing that’s for sure—and it seems to be coming at us fast and furious from every direction!
Keeping ourselves and our families grounded in the truth of God’s Word has never been more important than it is right now. Thankfully, we have a God who never changes.
In the book of James, chapter 1 talks about facing trials and temptations with joy and thanksgiving. In verse 17 James tells God’s people, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Malachi 3:6 says, “I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”
Take heart! In this world of constant change, we can be assured that God is unmoving, unchanging and faithful. He is able and willing to take care of all our needs. He has great plans for our lives and no matter what’s happening around us we need not fear.
At His Thousand Hills we’re dedicated to living the unchanging and absolute truth of the Word of God and showing that hope to as many people as we can.
Blessings of 2021
By Tai Petrofsky
His Thousand Hills was a flurry of activity this summer, as we hosted many groups and activities, as well as our own kids’ Day Camp again, for the second year in a row!
To recap: We started off the summer with an awesome update for the gym - new sound reduction panels were installed by Gelnett & Associates of Northumberland, PA!
Our first HTH Open House towards the end of June was a lot of fun, and we were thankful for each person who came out to see our beautiful property, and experience the improvements we’ve been able to make around the camp property.
We also hosted 2 full weeks of North Country camps for teens and youth, which were well attended and greatly blessed.
During the first week of August we were glad to be able to provide a beautiful location for Child Evangelism Fellowship to hold their Day Camp here on The Hill. We followed this week up with our own week of Day Camp, focused on learning about the lives of 5 different missionaries from history - including Mary Slessor, Paul the Apostle, and Gladys Aylward.
We welcomed several different ladies retreats this year, including a small group of ladies all the way from Lancaster, PA, who enjoyed a quiet weekend here.
A Trail Life USA Troop stayed at our primitive camp for a week, and also took advantage of our Low Ropes Course, which is always a highlight for kids - as well as teaching them about valuable communication and team-building skills.
We also just recently hosted another movie night in the Stone Chapel, of Sight & Sound’s production of “Jonah”.
One of our great joys of this summer has been an increased use of our beautiful facilities by LOCAL churches and groups! We are so pleased to be able to be a resource for our community!!
Local Ultimate Frisbee and Frisbee Golf groups used our soccer field and Frisbee Golf course throughout the summer! We were so pleased to be able to host several pastors at different times, for short periods of much-needed quiet refreshment. The local ENRICH homeschool group was able to schedule a High Ropes event, using our climbing wall and zipline, which the kids absolutely loved! Area homeschoolers used our gym and roller skates to host a monthly skate night. Vineyard Church of Wellsboro set up a huge blow-up screen, and hosted an outdoor community movie night on our hill. Wellsboro Bible Church utilized our beautiful pavilion setting for several church events, such as a picnic, and a ladies’ flower swap. Partners in Progress used the camp facilities for an overnight retreat. Some of the local sports teams found great comfort in having the ability to use our gym for practices on multiple occasions when the weather was unfavorable. Our expansive trail system was used again for the second annual Heart of Tioga (pregnancy and parenting resource center) 5k Trail Run, which had an amazing turnout!
We were greatly blessed by a number of individuals and volunteer groups who came out throughout the summer to help clean, repair, and rebuild things for us, including First Baptist Church’s youth group, who came out multiple times this summer to help with various tasks. The Mission Possible group came up from southern PA/NJ to stay for the greater part of a week, and they accomplished an amazing amount of work while they were here! They were able to construct a new walkway to Phippen, install new metal siding on the primitive cabins to fix the damage from our porcupine friends, painted the insides of the primitive cabins, and build new decks for the cabins as well! We also just have to say a special thank-you to Carol Wetmore who has come out to help us clean weekly since spring.
We would also like to say a HUGE thank-you to Norm Gerhart, who has faithfully mowed and kept the grounds looking beautiful all year! Every person who volunteers makes a huge difference!!
Looking forward for the coming months, we are glad for the ongoing use of our gym for roller-skating nights with the ENRICH homeschool group! We were also excited to host the North Country Leaders in Training group here in mid-November, as they worked to equip more future leaders with the tools they need to succeed. Towards the end of November, we also had the annual Living Hope Hunting Trip, who stayed with us for 4 days.
Whether you’re local or not, if you are a church group dreaming of holding your own getaway event, there are still retreat weekends available early in 2022 here at HTH, and we would LOVE to host you up here on our beautiful property! Call or send us an email for more info.
Watch for dates for future family movie nights, and other community events - we have some great ideas in the works! The best way to keep track of our upcoming events is to follow His Thousand Hills on EventBrite.com, follow our Facebook page, and to check the “Camps and Events” page of our website regularly.
Staff Updates & Changes
Saying goodbye is never easy….
In the last three years we’ve watched Ben and Michelle Polczynski grow, flourish and work really hard here.
Ben’s been in charge of Maintenance and Grounds while Michelle’s spent the time hosting our guest groups, managing cleaning staff, building our volunteer base and helping Ev in the office. (All this in addition to Ben’s full time job outside camp and the fact that Michelle’s also been home-schooling two of their three small children!)
We are thankful for their service on behalf of the kingdom here and we’re often amazed by their “can-do” attitudes and seemingly boundless energy.
They have both been a huge asset in this time of growth and development at His Thousand Hills. But they feel God’s urge to move on. Ben and Michelle will move off-site early in 2022. They plan to live locally, and hope to volunteer at HTH in the future.
Even though their leaving saddens us, it is testimony to the commitment and sensitivity they have for the plans God has for their lives.
We wish them the very best in this new season of their lives and we are grateful that God placed them here for the amount time we’ve had them.
Coming to His Thousand Hills from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Gabe, Tai Petrofsky and their children, Hope and Micah, are no strangers to the hospitality industry.
Gabe’s younger years were spent helping in the kitchen and registration desk at his family’s inn in New Hampshire. Later, he and wife, Tai, spent much of each year traveling all over North America performing with the family’s Christian singing group.
Tai is a local girl from Mansfield, PA. Her gift of creativity is put to use well here for the creation of our Summer Day Camp programming as well as all of our media releases and website design. Tai’s a very gifted photographer who spends a number of weekends taking wedding portraits. Additionally, she schedules sessions for area families.
Gabe has become a huge help in the hospitality department here at HTH. A true jack-of-all-trades, he’s jumped into the fray to help wherever he’s needed—he’s even been known to clean between camps! Gabe’s gift for teaching has led him to help Tai design and run the Summer Day Camp series.
Together they’ve become very active in their church, where they help to lead the Wednesday evening children’s bible study program, small group, homeschool group, etc.
We’re glad God chose His Thousand Hills for their kingdom work!
God knows our needs, and He certainly has the resources to provide for them…
Our greatest financial need is for the continued monthly financial support of our donor and support base. As we continue to build back our revenue streams from the Covid era, we continue to be very dependent upon the generosity of our existing church and individual supporters. We also would welcome any new financial supporters.
Donations may be sent to: His Thousand Hills 458 Phippen Road, Wellsboro, Pa. 16901
As always, we have a number of building and maintenance projects (both big and small) on our “wish list” of improvements. There are currently painting projects as well as firewood cutting and splitting.to be done! One immediate need is for a used four-wheel drive pick-up truck that can used around camp and running to town for building and maintenance supplies. A donated truck would be a blessing!
If you want more information about any of our ongoing project lists and needs or would like to discuss volunteer opportunities, feel free to call and leave a message at our office (570) 724-2366.
Prayer is a very powerful thing and we do appreciate your prayers for continued wisdom and discernment in this time of God’s incredible blessings at HTH. Above all, it is our desire to follow God’s plans for HTH in all we do.
Thank you for your continued support of the work at His Thousand Hills!
The HTH Board of Directors is pleased to announce that HTH has recently reached an agreement with Planted Ministries which will allow for increased utilization of the camp for ministry during our slower months of the year. “Planted,” a new Gap Year program for college age students will lease certain parts of the HTH facility for their course of study that will run late August though early May.
The course of study of Planted involves Biblical training and discipleship, hands-on farming activities, outdoor adventure, and life skill development in an intentional Christian community setting. Since the program involves instruction during the week, it will fit in nicely with the weekend retreats that HTH typically hosts in the Fall and Spring, while leaving the summer months free for the normal camping season.
Although the student body will not be large, they will be living on-site and will be volunteering as needed to assist HTH with the cleaning, kitchen work, snow removal and other operational activities that serve the retreat groups that utilize the camp.
The Planted program and the HTH retreat/camping program share many of the same staffing needs for food preparation, maintenance, and leadership. The two programs, working together in an integrated staffing model, will be in a much stronger position to meet these needs than either organization could do alone. Planted staff will begin arriving at HTH this spring to prepare for their anticipated start date in late August of 2022.
After much prayer and consideration, the HTH Board of Directors feels strongly that this is an opportunity that God is presenting HTH to allow for increased staffing and greater utilization of the camp facilities for ministry while strengthening HTH’s traditional program of retreats and summer camps.