Ruth E. Huff
A Tribute From Barry Huff -
Thanks for the wonderful, uplifting, and meaningful notes that have been written about Nana Ruth. While a book could be written about Nana Ruth's deep love for Christian Science, her family, CedarS, and its alumni, I'd like to share several lessons that I've learned from her example and from conversations with her during the past year.
"Jump for joy!" This was one of Nana Ruth's favorite sayings, and it resonates with her love for square dances. She would often end a conversation by saying it and would always chuckle when I responded by jumping up and clicking my heels in the air. She suggested several times that the image of someone clicking her or his heels together in the air should be one of CedarS' logos. She also often asked if I was having fun in my work and life. She firmly believed that CedarS' Fifth Fundamental, "We expect to make camping at the CedarS fun!", should be applied to one's entire life and that one should find joy in whatever one is doing. Appreciate the beauty of God's creation. Nana Ruth interpreted a breeze as a kiss from God and loved flowers and being outside. One of her favorite statements by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is, "The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity." (pg. 240) Don't let material limitations prevent you from doing what you love. Even though it sometimes wasn't physically comfortable for Nana Ruth to go to certain events during the past few years, she so loved the people at these events that she didn't let material limitations prevent her from going to CedarS, a baby shower for her great-granddaughter, Christmas with her family, bridge games with her friends, and even a Principia Upper School Girls' Basketball Game. Let others know your appreciation and love for them. Nana Ruth consistently communicated her love and appreciation to others. She also created memory books for each of her grandchildren and was keenly interested in preserving camp photo albums and alumni records due to her love for her family, campers, and alumni. She even wrote books about the history of CedarS and about the wonderful adventures that she had with her grandchildren while we were growing up. Not only did we have a blast hearing her imaginative stories about a kitten named "Fluff Ball," going to the park with her, and playing games together, but with every paper I write I give gratitude for the typing lessons she gave me. Similarly, she would tell us about Mary Baker Eddy's life and about the lands of the Bible, helping plant the seeds for what would become my academic interests.
She is an inspired leader, joyful friend, dedicated Christian Scientist, and loving grandmother who I'm sure is saying to each of us, "Jump for joy!"
With infinite gratitude and love,
A Tribute From Warren Huff -
We invite you to join as a family to go to God to meet with and celebrate Ruth Huff, my amazing mom who (at 98) "changed her address" as she would say. As Mary Baker Eddy says: "Where God is we can meet, and where God is we can never part" (My 131:20-21). So, just because CedarS cherished Founder chose to quickly and quietly "step off" the planet," doesn't mean her adoring family and friends, and the many admirers of her fun-loving, generous spirit, need to feel any sense of grief or separation. At the passing of others Mom always chose to stay far from grief. At CedarS Hymn Sings Ruth always sang with gusto one of her favorites that says:
"From tired joy and grief afar,
and nearer Thee,--
Father where Thine own children are
I love to be." ("Christ My Refuge", 257)
Ruth loved to be at CedarS and always will be there with God's own children, drawing ever closer to our true Father-Mother. Last summer, the 50th since she founded CedarS, Ruth helped to call every Square Dance with pure joy and vigor. She invites us to always choose to join her in the joy of such giving. Much like the "Whos down in (Dr. Seuss') Whoville" who awoke on Christmas morning without any physical presents, we are awaking without her physical presence. Like the Whos, we can join hand-in-hand in singing and in her praises by living the true meaning of her life work. We can unselfishly "pay it forward" by doing "daily good... to Thine for Thee" (as stated in the closing of Hymn 257 below):
"My prayer, some daily good to do
To Thine, for Thee;
An offering pure of Love, whereto
God leadeth me."
The unselfish, bright light of Ruth's life and of the spiritual sense that she lived to give can never be put out, but will be forever celebrated as we help to pass it along to each new generation.
No public service, but a memorial webpage planned:
As Ruth wished, her family warmly welcomes written and financial contributions from all who wish to celebrate her by paying tribute to her and her life work. We are very grateful that at CedarS Jubilee Ruth got to hear from hundreds and hundreds of alumni their testimonials of how much impact her 98 years and 50 full summers at CedarS had on so many friends. This permanent "Remembering Ruth"webpage on CedarS website will feature a collection of tributes (with or without names as you wish.)
Instead of spending for flower or travel, gift for camperships or "Ruth's Run" ("R2"):
At CedarS Jubilee Ruth got a beautiful bouquet of 50 yellow roses to honor her life achievement. Spear-headed by a Matching Grant to further her legacy, CedarS Board, started a "Ruth Huff, Founder's Campership Endowment Fund". Sending a gift to that fund in lieu of sending more flowers, will support Ruth's enduring love of CedarS and will bring to full bloom in coming generations of Christian Scientists and Bible-lovers (of all ages) the perpetual petals of "an appreciation of spiritual sense and an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity." (Ruth's stated purpose of CedarS)
"R2" or "Ruth's Run" will be a fun "Back to the Bible", year-round activity:
The metaphysical foundation for side-by-side zipline rides named after Ruth will daily take scores of children of all ages to and from CedarS Bible Lands Park. Its metaphysical foundation comes from this passage in "Pond and Purpose" by Mary Baker Eddy that was one of Mom's favorites and that is comforting us about her "transition to a new address": "The encumberingmortal molecules, called man, vanish as a dream; but man [Ruth], born of the great Forever, lives on, God-crowned and blest. Mortals who on the shores of time learn Christian Science, and live what they learn, take rapid transit to heaven..." (Miscellaneous Writings 205:28) Mom especially liked my linking of the "rapid transit to heaven" with two parallel ziplines that I proposed building from "Mary's Chapel" campfire to CedarS Bible Lands Park (BLP) and its heavenly life-lessons. She gave a hearty "thumbs-up" to my proposal to name one of the ziplines "Ruth's Rapid Transit System" (RTS) and the other as "Ruth's Run" ("R2"). "Ruth's RTS" is being funded by her children and a close friend. "R2" funding is up to Ruth's fans. This activity, its funding and naming seem "altogether fitting and proper" given Ruth's three cherished tours to Israel with Cobbey Crisler groups. On her third and last trip she showed her spunky spirit by arranging to surprise the group with a special "spiritual aha moment" by catching up to them in Bethany at Lazarus' tomb. On Cobbey's loud, call of the Christ to "Come forth", Ruth did so, wrapped head to foot in a bed sheet! So we invite you to help us underwrite this activity as a way to have regular fun, reminders of her legacy of quickly going to the Bible for every major decision to seek its divine guidance and its spiritual sense examples of answered prayer. The ride will land near a large rock engraved with the 1st important point or tenet of Christian Science: "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (Science & Health 497) A history of Answered Prayers (A.P. History) will be shown on the Time Travelers Trail as Travelers climb up granite risers of Bible characters arranged chronologically from Abraham to Jesus to Paul and the apostles and then from a platform at the base of 3 crosses across Crown Lake to a tomb with an open door and crown above it saying: "He is Risen!"
To close here are a couple more of Ruth's favorite lines from ymns that our lives can sing:
"For all of good the past hath had
Remains to make our own time glad,
Our common, daily life divine,
And every land a Palestine." (238:2)
"I awake each morn to a brand-new day,
Singing Hallelujah! as I go on my way,
For my heart is fixed on this one guarantee:
The Love that is All holds me tenderly." (445:1)
With immense gratitude, new inspiration and infinite love,
Warren Huff, Executive Director
The CedarS Camps
Tel: (636) 394-6162
PS CedarS' Purpose & Five Fundamental Concepts (from Founder Ruth E. Huff)
"The Purpose of The CedarS is to give each camper an appreciation of spiritual sense and an abundance of wholesome, joyous activity."
The Five Fundamental Concepts of CedarS are:
- We regard each individual at camp as a child of God, who reflects alertness, joy, peace, ability, love...
- We respect each individual Christian Science young person as a future active worker in the Christian Science movement.
- We stand firm in our desire to use Christian Science in all of our actions and to be good examples.
- We believe that all have certain interests and talents, and we want to do all we can to further these and at the same time to introduce new activities and interests.
- We expect to make camping at the CEDARS fun!
Mrs. Ruth E. Huff, Founder, 1962
A Tribute From Jan Duke -
Ruth has touched our family's lives in countless and priceless ways. Several years ago I volunteered to teach a class on real estate investing during Cedars' Family Camp. Precious Ruth attended the class and was so attentive, interested and supportive. Months later Ruth called me and told me I was suppose to sell her Turtle Cove home for her. I lovingly explained to her that I bought and sold just my own properties, but would be happy to help her locate a realtor to assist her. After having her home on the market and it not selling she contacted me the following year and again kindly asked me to assist her. I understood better this time this was instruction coming to her from God. When I met with Ruth to discuss her plans and where she intended to move, she told me she wanted to live in the townhouse across the street (ranch level instead of two story). I asked her if it was on the market and she said, "No." As we talked further I learned she had needed to reorder more checks for her checking account, so she had the bank print the address of the townhouse across the street on her new checks, feeling so certain it was to be her new home. What trust and faith! Later that day I was able to find the owner and she was thrilled to hear from us, stating she was thinking it was time for her to sell her townhouse and move to Florida to be closer to her sister. We proceeded to enter a contract which closed very quickly. We put Ruth's home on the market, and again Ruth's inspiration led the way as a buyer came directly to us. It was a privilege watching the whole process unfold before us so easily and effortlessly. There was no toilsome effort, just pure apprehension of God's plan. I witnessed first hand the manner in which Ruth founded and ran CedarS CampS. She never let the material channels govern, but relied solely on God's direction. It has been a joy to see Ruth demonstrate, "With God all things are possible!"
A Tribute From Holly Huff Bruland -
I could write so much about my beloved grandmother, Nana Ruth, and all she has taught me through her words and example. Her book, Laughing Eyes, wonderfully captures many adventures we shared and is a testament to her dedication to her three grandchildren. But I also know that her mothering and grandmothering have extended to hundreds and hundreds of CedarS campers and counselors, and that she always considered each person who walked through CedarS' gate as family.
I believe the following anecdote illustrates the Christly way she embraced each member of the CedarS family-- as well as her terrific sense of humor. When my husband-to-be and I were considering CedarS as a potential site for our wedding, he suggested that we visit camp together, as he had never yet been on CedarS property. At the time, Greg was attending graduate school at Duke University, and that day he happened to be wearing a Duke t-shirt with an image of the school's mascot, the "Blue Devils." After welcoming Greg and me with hugs, Nana Ruth pointed to Greg's shirt, explaining that there are no devils at CedarS Camps, only children of God. Later that day when we posed for a photo with her, Nana Ruth jokingly reached across Greg's t-shirt to block the word "devils" with her hand. That photo captures the wonderful childlike twinkle I have so often seen in her eyes while she simultaneously conveys a deep spiritual lesson. I will cherish Ruth Huff forever for both her shining example and her gentle twinkle, and I know her bright light is continuing right on!
A Tribute From Christy Boemer Johnson -
Ruth Elizabeth Buchanan Huff. What a woman! I am sharing my favorite story about Mrs. Huff with her permission. She shared it with me multiple times, at my request. A family member compiled a list of the many accomplishments of various family members. Ruth’s brother was extolled as a Baptist minister with many talents. Her sister achieved an advanced degree in library science, was an accomplished librarian, and earned many awards. Everyone had numerous accomplishments listed. When it came to Mrs. Huff, the history read: “Ruth Elizabeth became a Christian Scientist.” That’s it. That’s all. I always laughed at this point. Mrs. Huff also had an advanced degree, was a dedicated teacher, and was an enthusiastic coach. Mrs. Huff accomplished so much that we are all so grateful for! She did become a Christian Scientist (see her book for the full story) – thank you God! And she established Cedars Camps to share her love for Christian Science. What a gift! She was a wonderful daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, grandmother-in-law, and great-grandmother. Special thanks to Ann and Warren for sharing their Mom with so many of us! Mrs. Huff to me was a camp director extraordinaire, a boss, a mentor, a mother, a friend. I admire, respect, but most of all love her.
A Tribute From Norman Robertson -
Ruth, I am forever grateful for you and your Life’s work, which is truly Christ’s work! Thank you for being receptive and taking action. CedarS continues to spread Christ’s message so that we may all “have Life, and have it more abundantly!”
A Tribute From Liz Vander Velde -
I loved hearing her tell of CedarS' supply. Personnel and groceries appeared just in time because of right thinking and knowing. And I loved her calling the square dances even through her last year at CedarS.
A Tribute From Debbie Burdett-Dodd -
I have over 40 years of memories of Ruth, from my time as a young Bobolink, to CIT training, to being a member of the Housekeeping Team who lovingly kept her Cedars Home tidy. I am so grateful that she was able to see three generations of Burdett/Dodd's become part of the Cedars Family. My fondest memories are sitting with Ruth and hearing stories about finding the property in Lebanon and going through the scores of photo albums from years gone by. Ruth you led by example and now the throngs of Cedars Alumni whose lives you have touched will keep the Cedars Light burning bright for generations to come. Thank you!!!
A Tribute From Robbin Mills -
Mrs. Ruth Huff is one of my life’s true heroes. I had the privilege of being both a camper, counselor and adult volunteer under her watchful eye.
I started going to Cedars in 1969. Then, there were only a few cabins then and we all ate in Old Settlers house. Governor was king of the corral, and all of us girls used the Bird Bath. Fast forward to today—Cedars looks a lot different, but it doesn’t feel different. It is still that place that was always my refuge, my home, my very favorite place to be in the whole wide world. It’s a still a place where everyone is loved, appreciated, and seen for what they really are. And a place to have fun!
As a somewhat sheltered only child, Cedars offered me opportunities to do so many things. I rode horses, barrel raced, hiked, camped, built fires, shot arrows, learned to swim, rode my bike all over the Ozarks, lived in a tipi, grew my own food, spelunked, rappelled, milked cows and goats, raised ducks, canoed, drove a tractor, played all sorts of music on all sorts of instruments, water-skied and sailed—the list could go on and on. As a counselor and Program Director, I learned how to be a teacher, leader, manager and practitioner all at the same time. The confidence those experiences gave me was priceless.
Most importantly, I don’t think I would be a Christian Scientist today if it hadn’t been for Cedars. I was often the only Christian Scientist in my school, and I often felt weird and different. But, during the summer, I was surrounded by Christian Scientists—people who loved the Movement, people who were “cool” talking about it—oh, and we were all using it! And it worked! And it was fun! One only has to attend a Wednesday Evening Testimony meeting at Cedars to see what I’m talking about.
Those that came after my Cedars generation don’t quite understand why I could never call Mrs. Huff by her first name. Those that were active at camp along with me understand completely. She was and is a larger than life figure, and one whom we never wanted to disappoint. Of course, sometime there were those times I did disappoint her! One thing I loved and respected about her is she addressed the issue, then she forgot about it—a true Christian characteristic. She always made me want to do my best job, and to be the best Christian Scientist I could be.
She was always listening to God’s guidance. If God indicated a path, she didn’t think “how am I going to do that?” She just started making it happen. As an older camper, I asked her one day if we could have a special High School program. As was her custom, she mentally asked God about it. I guess God gave the green light, as that day Junior Leadership was born. That program has grown from four tipis and a retrofitted barn into the “must do” program at Cedars. Mrs. Huff always graciously acknowledged me as the founder. But, let’s face it, she is THE Founder and she made that happen! I just got to reap the benefits. I had the privilege of sending my boys to camp and JL as well—and they had just as much fun as I did!
My heart overflows with gratitude and humility when I look at all Mrs. Huff accomplished. I, and thousands others like me, are the blessed recipients of the fruitage of her life’s work. Her dedication to Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy is the foundation of Cedars, and shines forth in each aspect of Camp. Mrs. Huff is the most unselfish person I ever knew, and the Huff family today continues in her selfless tradition. Having her example to hold before me is a high goal. I hope I can live my life in a way she would make her proud.
A Tribute From Ed and Laura Fisher -
Few people have had the positive impact on children and families that Ruth Huff and her family have given to years and years of campers! Thanks, Ruth!
A Tribute From Ashley Wolfe -
Cedars taught me what living Christian Science feels like. Mrs. Huff changed my life and will always be adored and loved. Thank you Mrs. Huff!
A Tribute From Scott Haefner -
Mrs. Huff was a very special lady. Stern, but supportive, someone you could discuss whatever and there would be no judgement passed. My experience at Cedars is one I will never forget and am blessed to have know Ruth, Warren, and Gay.
A Tribute From Linda Bargmann -
As Cobbey and Janet Crisler led our 1987 tour group into Bethany, we were surprised and delighted to see Lazarus, all wrapped in a sheet from head to toe, standing outside the tomb to greet us! "Lazarus" turned out to be the newest member of our tour, and later that evening, everyone sang, "Well, Hello Ruthie, it's so nice to have you back where you belong..." This was my first introduction to Ruth, although everyone else seemed to know and love her already! Cobbey (who I knew from California) always gave Holy Land tours in March, which was tax season for me, so I was thrilled when he told me about this one in July, set up for families. After I returned home, I learned that the trip to Israel and Egypt I had been on was arranged by Cedars and I had met and spent time with Ruth, the wonderful founder of the incredible camps... What a lady!
A Tribute From Gary Duke -
At Family Camp 2001, we first met Ruth and were immediately struck at being in the presence of a very spiritually minded and lovely lady who had accomplished so much in the establishment of CedarS-our tremendous experience at Family Camp that year confirmed everything we felt.
Starting in 2002 to the present, our summers have begun at Memorial Day Camp and ended at Family Camp, with a water-ski session tucked in between...a glorious way to spend each summer. In addition, I have been given the privilege of serving as camp practitioner at each of those sessions. Every year I end up telling the story of Ruth starting camp and repeatedly being in awe and so gratefully humble for her vision, obedience, and love.
During the many practitioner talks I've given it's been a joy to often see Ruth in the audience. When she wasn't present, I would often go to Founder's House, give her a private rendition of the talk, and invariably end up staying to enjoy her company, learning more about her remarkable life journey.
When my daughter, Brittany, was about 8 years old, Ruth asked her to read a draft of her new book, Laughing Eyes, a story about a grandma and her grandchildren, based upon Ruth's tender relationship with Holly, Barry, and Amy, her grandchildren. Brittany sincerely and honestly exclaimed, "This is the best book I've ever read!" The first book off the press was lovingly inscribed by Ruth and given to Brittany-a family treasure.
We continue to treasure and daily be blessed by this modern day prophetess. She gave the Five Fundamentals of CedarS which have circled the globe because of Ruth's stellar example of living them so beautifully... including Fundamental #3: "We stand firm in our desire to use Christian Science in all of our actions and to be good examples."
With eternal gratitude, respect, and deep love for you dear Ruth,
Gary Duke and family
A Tribute From Carol Boemer Napper -
Mrs. Huff was and is my beloved camp mom. She called my sister and me her "CD's"- "camp daughters". I feel so privileged to have had her as a part of my life - first as a friend of my family, then as counselor when I was formulating my belief system while in college, and then later as a mom when I had to learn to radically rely on Christian Science. Mrs. Huff was there as a living example of how to truly live love.
It was my privilege to be a helper for her at the time that she desired to stay in her home but required some practical assistance and companionship. I learned so much about Christian Science from our chats because Mrs. Huff understood so well how to take things to the Father and rely upon Him for guidance and supply. We often laughed together remembering Cedars stories but quite frequently these stories turned into "teachable moments" in which she pulled out the spiritual significance of the incident.
I spent one summer with her at Founder's House as her personal assistant culminating in a visit during Family Camp by two of her good friends. There were supposed to be three ladies on that visit but one could not make it so I was asked to be "the fourth" so that they could play bridge. I was so nervous to play with such experienced bridge players and I really had to pray my way through relying on divine intelligence for guidance! From then on I was a "regular" at bi-weekly bridge games learning so much, making new friends, and feeling so glad to be included in making Mrs. Huff so happy.
I can never say enough about all the good that has come to me and to my family through our association with CedarS. I have had significant healings there that I will remember all my life. Also remembered are all the friendships and good times and most of all laughter. Joy is a foundation of the Cedars way and that was established at the top. Mrs. Huff was a disciplinarian when she needed to be, but she always enjoyed a good round of "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes" and she could turn a blind eye to a shaving cream fight when she saw how much fun we were all having.
Most of all, I am grateful for her example of selfless giving. She embraces us all as Love's children and she continues to give so much to us all through her living legacy that is CedarS CampS.
A Tribute From Anne Thomas -
It was our privilege to not only bring our children, Greg Thomas and Deborah Thomas but our 1972 or '73 Chevrolet Station Wagon also had room for several more boys and girls.
We also hitched our boat and a small trailer to hold the kids' luggage, etc. Mrs. Huff was also in the driveway welcoming everyone. When she would see all the kids exiting the car, she would say "camp can start - the Thomases are here!
Ruth Huff was an inspiration to all of us. That was our vacation taking the kids to camp and having a quiet house for two weeks! Then we drove back to pick up all of the kids. Such good memories - we are so grateful that Greg and Deborah had that opportunity.
Lovingly, Anne & Horace Thomas
A Tribute From Sandi Justad -
What a joy to read these tributes!
While I didn't have the privilege of knowing Ruth personally, her legacies in Cedars and Warren and Gay, whom I do know, certainly shine as unlimited expressions of continually unfolding good. Cedars has grown from one good idea after another, revealed as blessings to be realized.
From the thoughtful tributes published so far, it appears that Ruth was a prophet. When she had visions of specific good, she acted on them, and they came about as they had been revealed to her. And perhaps even better.
It's a privilege to discover Ruth through those who knew and dearly loved her.
A Tribute From Dorothy McGrew Hood -
Several years ago while driving home from a visit in Wisconsin, I decided to stop at the CedarS camp. Phoned them and with their instructions found this beautiful, complete camp in every detail.
After supper with all the campers, I inquired of accommodations for the night and was pleasantly surprised to be able to stay in Ruth Huff's home. Words would be inadequate to express the joy of getting to know this dear lady who enabled me to love everything about CedarS.
I also want to thank Dee Mahuvawalla ofo Australia who e-mailed my first CedarSCamp letter many years ago. Since then it has been a daily inspiration as I study the Bible Lessons - plus it has been shared with many since then - both by e-mail and 'snail'-mail. THANK YOU RUTH HUFF !
A Tribute From Sandra Richard Kharma Libby -
It was a warm loving greeting we Always got, when picking up our sons and now grand daughter from Cedars every summer. Our son Jeff was there for over 18 years. She was the bright spot in the camp's atmosphere of sunshine and light. Her legacy and demonstration lives on through the progress seen, upon every summer's return, and felt in every camper's departure.
A Tribute From Alice M Ward -
It has been many years since I had the opportunity to talk to Ruth. I would like to share some of the experiences I enjoyed thanks to Ruth. The first year I heard Ruth tell the story of how Cedars Camp came to be, I couldn't remember the phrase Mrs. Eddy had carried from house to house. The third time I had it down and was able to share it with others frequently: "Do right and Fear Not." My son made a plaque for Ruth which still hangs in the dining room at Cedars. When Antonio showed me the plaque, I asked him where he got the colors he used. He was about 12 years old and the colors were light pink and green. He cheerfully informed me he didn't know, but weren't they great!. When we had the opportunity to visit Pleasant View, we found the plaque. The colors he used matched the original embroidery. This experience made the reality of divine Mind, the oneness of Mind, a reality to us. Thanks, Ruth.
Then there was the time I was standing outside the dining hall at Cedars. Ruth came up to me and said "You are aware of everything around you." I didn't say a word, because I never knew I saw things other people didn't see. I know these words came from God, because I had only been at Camp for two days. Those words helped me express patience when what is so easy for me is extremely difficult for other people. Thanks, Ruth.
Ruth's legacy will live on in all the lives she has touched by founding Cedars Camp. I am deeply grateful to be a part of the Cedars family. Thanks to all the Huffs for their dedication to Ruth's dream. Love Always, Alice Ward