Garrett@calvincrest.com

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So far Garrett Marshall has created 37 blog entries.

Support Tree Removal

Help us reach our goal of raising $75,000!

Support Tree Removal

This money will be used to offset the cost of tree clearing and removal. How to donate:
1. Write a check. Make checks payable to Calvin Crest Conferences and include “2017 Tree Expenses” on the memo line.
2. Donate online by clicking the button below, and select the “Tree Removal Fund”.

  • $125 funds the removal of one tree.
  • $250 funds the removal of two trees.
  • $375 funds the removal of three trees.
  • $500 funds the removal of four trees.
Percent Raised 28%

We need your help with tree removal!

Calvin Crest is dealing with immense devastation from the drought and the onslaught of the bark beetle. Our ropes course is no longer operational, the trees that provide shade for Cedar Lodge are gone, and the landscape has been forever changed. Hundreds of trees still remain on our grounds and we are looking to remove them and begin planning for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Several years of drought caused trees in our section of the Sierra to become stressed and vulnerable to insect attack. Bark Beetles, which are a naturally occurring pest, had a population explosion and increased infestation resulting in 50% to 100% pine death in some areas. Read more about bark beetles and learn what they are here.

Many of the dead trees on our property were located in the main program area of camp. Over time as the standing trees rot they pose a significant safety risk to guests, and could destroy structures.  PG&E removed trees that were near power lines, but Calvin Crest remained responsible for the felling and removal of all the other trees. We contracted out to have the remaining trees taken down, and are in the process of removing trees that are scattered throughout Westview, Eastview, Mountain View, and in the area behind the office where the ropes course once was.

We have spent over $90,000 to clear and remove dead trees, and there is still much work left to be done. We received a grant from the department of agriculture for $17,000, which helped to offset some of the cost. Now we are looking to you to help us in this time of need, as Calvin Crest seeks creative and cost effective solutions for this problem.

Definitely! First of all pray for wisdom, guidance, and provision! We believe that God is not worried about this problem, and though it seems overwhelming to us, it is a small thing for Him to act. If you have skills or equipment, can work safely to help clear out trees, and are willing to volunteer your time, we would not turn you down. Please contact joel@calvincrest.com to see how we can partner together to meet these challenges and be a witness to the love of Christ at 5000 feet.

A Season Ends; A Season Begins

Attend Tony's Going Away Celebration

Celebration of 25 Years of Ministry

After 25 years of service to Calvin Crest Conferences, Tony Biasell’s season of ministry at this particular place has come to an end; it is time for another season to begin. Visit the event's page to receive more information on how you can thank and celebrate with Tony for the time he has spent at Calvin Crest.
Attend Tony's Going Away Celebration

A Letter From Tony

Living in the Central California all of my life, there have been many people, mainly from the North Eastern States, who would make comments about we don’t have any seasons out here. “Pitty-posh,” I say! (Sorry for the strong language). Our seasons don’t come from the maples or other trees, ours come from agriculture, grasslands, forests, and weather.

But everywhere and for everyone there are seasons, that have a beginning, middle, and an end. As for me, I am at the end of a season of ministry, that will have lasted 25 years at the end of August, at Calvin Crest.

Back in 1992, Rick Harrison, the new Executive Director, had invited Christel, my wife, to come up that summer to direct the staff choir for the end of summer celebration. Rick followed that with, “Oh, and Tony you can come up and be the staff counselor.” I was teaching high school and thought that a summer at Calvin Crest would be a wonderful experience for me and the family. Later he told me they were looking for a new program director, and asked if I would consider throwing my hat into the mix for that position. Watching as highly qualified people came up to interview with years of camping leadership, a seminary education, ordained, and great hearts, I was confident I didn’t stand a chance. But God spoke clearly to Rick and his team, and I was invited to join the staff at Calvin Crest. I was speechless. It started the new season of my life September 1992 as a part of this team and… a presbyterian!!

I am grateful that my family and I were able to serve with incredible young men and women for 17 years as a program director and the last 8 years as the executive director. Who would have thought that God would place us here for so long?

I wish I could take the time and space to name off all of the people who made a difference in my life as a staffer, camper, counselor, speaker, or the random people who came through the gates delivering packages, asking for directions or picking up their children. There are so many stories I would love to tell of how Jesus transformed people’s lives during their time at camp. People who were wandering lost, met and began following Jesus and became disciples of the One who calls us to His way, truth, and life and puts us into service in the Kingdom of heaven here on earth.

Christel and I along with our adult children, Simon, Taylor, and Hillary are all grateful to those who listened to God’s calling who founded or who came alongside us to love all of His Children in a most beautiful place, Calvin Crest. I love you and will be eternally humble and grateful for your trust, laughter, shared mourning and that which is yet to be.

Tony Biasell
Tony BiasellExecutive Director

A Letter From The Calvin Crest Board

With gratitude for 25 years of service, wistfulness about the passing of a season and trust in God’s providence for the future of our ministry we share with you the news that Tony Biasell is finishing his service as executive director August 31, 2017. We are immensely grateful for the way God has worked through Tony as executive director and program director for two and a half decades. It is our hope that you would join us in celebrating his tenure this summer and thanking God and Tony for the ways you have been touched by and through his ministry.

This summer Tony will be working with Joel Gist, our head of operations, and David Chumley, our head of programs to run the camp in preparation for this change in the fall. We would like to express our tremendous faith in Joel and David to lead the camp as we initiate a search for a new executive director. It is our intent that a new executive director would begin in Summer of 2018.

This timeline is the product of mutual discernment by Tony and the board. We as the board have been and continues to be supportive of Tony’s leadership. Tony’s commitment to the camp and his heart for ministry brought stability in the midst of some difficult seasons. Tony has been instrumental in helping to clarify a mission that preserves a gospel focus for ministry at 5,000 feet. Furthermore, Tony has hired and worked with many outstanding individuals who bring to Calvin Crest a breadth of experience and a commitment to our mission that were essential for Calvin Crest’s survival. Tony has been the bearer of the heart and history of our mission. There is much to be grateful to God for and this is nothing more than an acknowledgement that a new season of leadership is in store for Calvin Crest.

Our mission and ministry continue in part because of the many selfless contributions by Tony. We trust that God will lead Calvin Crest into our next season and we know that the fruit of Tony’s contribution will continue to be witnessed in the months and the years ahead. Thank you for your partnership and continuing support of Calvin Crest.

Pat Sheahan
Pat SheahanChair, Calvin Crest Board of Trustees
Letters From Tony & The Calvin Crest Board (PDF)

Celebration of 25 Years of Ministry

After 25 years of service to Calvin Crest Conferences, Tony Biasell’s season of ministry at this particular place has come to an end; it is time for another season to begin. We would like to invite you and your families to a celebration of Tony’s 25 years of ministry. Food and beverages will provided. If you would like to contribute any pictures, or notes to the presentation, please send them to Mary Pearson.  Also, please consider contributing a brief video message.

Event Registration

As of 8/14, we are no longer accepting RSVP’s for this event; we are at maximum capacity.
Share a brief Video Message
Event Donation

We would like to encourage our guests to donate $10 to cover the cost of the event. Calvin Crest does not want the cost to deter anybody who like to come to the event away. If you are able to make a donation, please consider contributing for those who are not able to.

Event Information

  • Date: Saturday, August 26 @ 3pm
  • Location: Calvin Crest
  • RSVP: We are no longer accepting RSVP’s
  • Price: There is no cost to attend, but we do suggest a donation of $10 for each adult attending. Children are welcome.

Lodging Options

Lodging is available for those who are traveling long distances and spaces are limited. Please call our office at (559) 683-4450 if you will need lodging accommodations after the event.

Detwiler Fire Update

Thursday 8/10/2017

2:08 PM

As of today, August 10’th, 2017, the Detwiler Fire is at 98% containment. We are in no danger and the fire is of no threat to our location.

Tuesday 7/25/2017

9:30 PM

The Detwiler Fire is now at 65% containment, and does not pose a threat to Calvin Crest. For the most recent news, please visit Sierra News Online.

Friday 7/21/2017

4:52 PM

For those who are curious about road conditions, please visit Cal Fire’s website to see if your route is affected by the Detwiler Fire.

Wednesday 7/19/2017

11:12 AM

The Detwiler Fire is still far away from Calvin Crest. Smoke is still present but it is not thick. Guests are being cautioned to drink water and limit rigorous activity still. Everyone who uses an inhaler are carrying them. Below is a condensed version of our evacuation plan. Pictures were taken Wednesday morning, 7/19/2017.

Evacuation Plan

Tuesday 7/18/2017

4:32 PM

Calvin Crest is in no danger from the Detwiler Fire, which is currently in Mariposa. If you are curious about finding out more information about the Detwiler Fire, please visit Sierra News Online as they are reporting on the event. We will be continuing to update this page as we learn and receive more information. Pictures were taken on 7/17 and 7/18, respectively.

Summer Theme Nights

Family Camp Theme Nights

High School Theme Nights

Sherwood Speakers 2017

Sherwood Week 3

Alley Kelley

Alley Kelley has been involved in children’s ministries for more than ten years–most recently as a Children’s Pastor at a large church in Portland, OR. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies, and another in Human Development and Psychology. Alley loves Disneyland, dramas, songs with hand motions, and posing for ridiculous selfies. This is Alley’s first time to join us at Calvin Crest so make sure to help her come up with an awesome Sherwood Forest name!

Sherwood Week 4

Sylvia Sloas

Sylvia Sloas has had the privilege of spending many years involved with Calvin Crest.  She grew up as a camper, beginning in Sherwood Forest, and served on staff for many years after high school. She considers it an honor and a blessing to still be involved in the ministry at Calvin Crest.  She is married to John and has four children that love being at camp as much as she does.  Along with being a mom, Sylvia loves her job as a teacher in Coarsegold teaching first grade.  She is looking forward to once again having the opportunity to speak into the lives of Sherwood campers the truth and love of Jesus Christ.

Crestview Speakers

Family Camp and Middle School 3 Speaker

David Chumley

David has pursued a life-long calling to minister through local church ministry, denominational administration and studies in higher education. He has been involved in youth ministry for more than 30 years in a number of churches throughout California, and during that time he also earned a Doctor of Missiology from Fuller Seminary focused on relational youth ministry. Having had the opportunity throughout the years to speak at a number of Calvin Crest camps, David is excited to follow the call of the Lord to disciple at Calvin Crest. He believes that every guest will be met by Jesus exactly where they are at, can grow in their knowledge and experience of God, and should be encouraged to develop into a life-long disciple of Christ. David is married to Lucinda and has three beautiful daughters.

Middle School Week 4 Speaker

Mike Collins

Michael Collins serves as the Youth Pastor for Southpointe Christian Church in Sacramento.  He has been actively working in youth ministry for over 15 years. His passion is to see youth come to know Jesus and have a lifelong relationship with Him. He and his wife, Denise, enjoy teaching students the Word of God and leading them in worship, as well as helping them learn to joyfully serve God with their lives and gifts, while reaching out to others and making a difference in the world around them. They believe that reaching students for Christ while they are in Jr. High, High School and College is key to building solid faith foundations for life. Michael and Denise have been married for 8 years and have an amazing 3-year-old boy named Noah who loves sports and Jesus, and a dog named Briley that can give you a high five or lick you to death.

High School Speaker

Mike Dobes

Mike has been in pastoral ministry since 1997 and served various churches in children’s and youth ministry, as well as being a teaching pastor. He recently graduated from LIFE Pacific College with a Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership. He is currently the Supervisor of Church Relations for Joni and Friends and is an advocate to the church for disability ministry.  He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their five incredible children near the beach in Camarillo, CA.

The Speaker for Middle School Week 3 will be announced soon.

Meet This Year’s Summer Staff

Ryan Foster
Ryan FosterCrestview First Aider
“This year I have been playing hockey in Southern California for the Long Beach Bombers, which has been an absolutely amazing experience getting to know people from all around the world working toward a common goal: winning a championship and getting a college scholarship. This summer I’ll be the Crest View First Aider! I’m a member of the Crest View team and I can’t wait to see new and familiar faces! I attended Aim and High School Camp and couldn’t wait to work on staff! I love everything about the summer at Calvin Crest but specific