In 2013, Scott surrendered to a call from the Lord for full time Christian service. Not really knowing in what area God would call him, he began to pray and seek. After three years, God made it very clear that His call was for Scott and Jennifer was to build a Christian camp. However, God had not shown them where. So, like any missionary, they started survey trips and began to look in different areas, starting with West Virginia. While touring a camp for sale in West Virginia, there was just a feeling of unsettlement. Mississippi and other areas were also prayed about, but with each new state considered, God kept returning their hearts home, to Virginia. With the area settled, they met with lawyers to write the bylaws, put a board of directors together, and began the process to receive their non-profit 501(c)(3) status.
In the summer of 2016, after just three weeks, The Edge Christian Camp, inc. received it’s 501c3 status. Contacts led the Carsley’s to meet with a gentleman who was selling a piece of property in Louisa, VA. After walking this beautiful property there was no doubt that this land would make a beautiful camp setting. They quickly placed a deposit on the land to secure it. With one major issue on the table that could not be resolved; which was the ban of swimming in the lake connecting to the property owned by the county. It was decided, it was best to pull out of the contract. With mixed emotions, they waited to see what God had next.
In late December, Scott received a phone call from James Burnett with an interest in the ministry. With a time set up for everyone to meet, along with several meetings thereafter, God made it clear that this partnership was of His choosing and could not be more perfect. James and his wife, Stacey, came with four years of camp experience. James was a Youth Pastor for 13 years served as a deacon at his current church. It is evident that they had a love for serving the Lord.
In January 2017, our team of board members met to discuss the options. We were praying and asking for God to show us the next door. We had looked at land that was connected to the South Anna River as well as an older established camp for sale. We also spent a full day touring a large camp that was up for sell. The facilities were in every way a perfect example of our vision for The Edge Christian Camp. With a little cleaning, we thought, lives could be impacted for Christ immediately. The Lord blessed us with the ability to lease this camp property until December of 2017 at zero cost! We were truly blessed with the events and activities we were able to host. Over 500 heard the gospel and many decisions were made. However, in December we were notified that camp we had been using was going to be sold and our agreement would be ended.
In 2018, after much prayer and seeking, we were able to locate multiple properties for The Edge to call home. But the lord led to one property specifically. Through the generous donations of many people we were blessed with $225,000 to use as a down payment toward the purchase of the property. The sellers approved our offer, paperwork was signed and a few weeks later the Lord had finally provided a place for The Edge Christian Camp to call Home.
The Edge Christian Camp began its full year-round ministry in June of 2018 here on this beautiful 283 acre established summer camp. With a lot already going on from the previous ministry, there was much to do right away. The team got together and begin creation of our very first policies, procedures, billing worksheets, etc. During all this, the focus was to begin The Edge’s very first Summer Camp season. We were unable to have camp in 2018 as the schedule was already booked for the year. But planning got underway for the 2019 summer season!
As we worked through the summer and fall, we were able to host several Edge events such as banquet dinners and open houses. As the winter approached, we began traveling to the colleges to recruit for summer staff. Praise the Lord we were able to recruit our first 19 summer staffers for the 2019 summer camp season. Once June of 2019 came, we held our first summer staff training weeks then right into summer camp. In 2019 we had 3 weeks of camp, two JR weeks and one Teen week. We were able to sponsor 10 youth through our Compass Scholarship program that many donors helped support. Eight young people got saved during these weeks of summer camp in 2019. As summer camp ended, we continued to minister to many custom camps as well as some of our own retreats.
In the Fall of 2019, we were saddened with the news that the Lord was moving James and Stacey back home to Ohio. In October we had our last meal together, helped them load their moving truck, and watched them leave the camp one last time. We know that God is in control and he sees things before we even know it. The Lord has continued to bless the ministry here and has brought new staff to fill the gaps. We are truly blessed by what God is doing in the ministry.
We are grateful how God has led us, and for all the people He has allowed us to meet. Our team at The Edge is dedicated to keeping the mission of this ministry which is “To disciple men, women, and children for the glory of God, and to promote their spiritual and physical well-being through year-round camps, conferences, retreats and education”.
To some this may seem like the end of the story, but this is just the beginning. As this property is transformed into the new home of The Edge Christian Camp, we are excited to see how lives will be transformed forever through the work and ministry the Lord has established.