Video: For some, it’s summer camp year round at Camp Lake Stephens

Will Corley
Oxford Stories

Just off of Highway 6 in Oxford sits a haven of sorts deep in the woods, isolated from the world. Camp Lake Stephens, a faith-based summer camp and retreat center, serves as a spiritual escape from the “real world.”

But this camp does not function by itself. The staff keeps this hideaway from dying, and Evan Wesson is an essential part of that staff.

Evan Wesson admires Lake Stephens during a walk around camp.
Photo by Will Corley

Wesson, an intern at the camp, posts on social media and creates promotional material for numerous programs year round.

“In working in social media, I always try to make sure that my message is genuine,” said Wesson, who is also the official photographer and videographer for Camp Lake Stephens. A camera seems to be permanently attached to his hip. After his internship, Wesson will be creative director at the summer camp, taking over all communications and media work.

As he stepped carefully through the brush, showcasing the camp’s course for their “Mighty Muddy 5k and Fun Run,” Wesson admired the sounds of nature. “There’s no telling what you’ll see around here,” he said, referring to the creatures stirring in a nearby bush.

Wesson and Joel Garrott discuss upcoming events at Camp Lake Stephens.
Photo by Will Corley

Wesson spoke about the projects and events coming up at Camp Lake Stephens. “We’ve been out getting sponsors, marking off areas of the course, keeping the runners on track,” he said just two days before their first annual 5k run, “We’ve also been working on a video project that we’re calling Bummer Camp.”

This video project came from the idea that, during the winter months, the staff misses the usual chaos of campers and summer camp, so they filmed themselves doing normal summer camp activities by themselves.

“It’s funny because it’s sad,” joked Wesson.

The sun beams down through the trees on a sunny camp afternoon.
Photo by Will Corley

Wesson’s role at camp is essential to its function. “He fits perfectly [into the team],” said Sarah Brister, another CLS intern. “Evan brings it all together in a very creative way that draws people in, and that’s why they want to come.”

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