I have witnessed wonder in all of these forms, among others, here at Alton L Collins Retreat Center and at many other camp and retreat ministries. I think we have these experiences of wonder because camp and retreat ministries can help us slow down and connect more deeply.
The time is fast approaching, when music will ring through the air at Camp Magruder!
This week we begin our year-long journey on values by exploring Wonder. Part of what I believe the directors and I sensed is that there is so much that has been explained about our world that there is little space left to encounter wonder. Another element of wonder is to get lost in connecting with something outside of, or bigger than, ourselves while at the same time we experience a deep connection to it.
For 2019 the directors and I will be writing about values. Each director looked at a list of values and were asked to select seven that guide their work.
There is Still Time to Make Your Year-End Gift to Camp and Retreat Ministries!
Camps strive to inspire and equip all of our guests to do love and service by providing a place of love, safety, community, joy and peace.
Merry Christmas from Camp & Retreat Ministries!
With 2019 right around the corner, all events are now open for registration!
Camp is a powerful opportunity to step aside from daily routines for a period of time in order to experience renewal in nature and in community with others.
Beginning in 2015, the research team at Sacred Playgrounds began work to answer the question:"What is the impact of the one-week summer camp experience on the lives of the primary participants and their supporting networks?" The research has yielded some fascinating discoveries!
With 2019 right around the corner, the excitement and anticipation for our return to camp is building! All events are now open to you for registration.
When people come to camp, whether as a summer camper, a retreat guest, a student, or a staff person, we hope they get a taste of loving community. If they do, we are thankful, and it is something to celebrate. But, above that, we want that experience to change that person for life.
This year's Choir Camp, "Sing the Sacred Rhythm," will feature music selected by Director Luanne Hardy, accompanied by Sara Pope & Sarah Shay, and we look forward to the many blessings the we will receive throughout our time in fellowship.
Gracious hospitality is a core concept that shapes our ministry, and the meals that we serve are a critical component of that hospitality.
Each year, because of generous donors like you, Camp and Retreat Ministries offers over $15,000 in camp scholarships. The Joy Fund enables us to respond to anyone who is in financial need and applies for assistance. We have never turned anyone away for lack of ability to pay for camp! Please help us continue to be able to state that boldly!
At the beginning of 2018, Camp Latgawa began the process seeking accreditation by the American Camp Association, and we are pleased to share the we have accomplished this goal! American Camp Association informed us early November 2018 that we have been selected as an accredited site.
One of our focuses at Camp Latgawa is to provide a place where that brokenness and instability can be replaced with Love and Justice.
It is with thanksgiving that I celebrate ALL those who have inspired me in the doing of the work of Camp and Retreat Ministries. Your life and energy are tremendous gifts, to me, and to all the people who are touched by this organization!
Tanner Morton is ecstatic to be joining the Board of Camp and Retreat Ministries, serving as the Communications Associate. Having been involved in Camp and Retreat Ministries from a young age, he considers it to be a cornerstone of both his faith and personal development.
The beauty of the church is that we never find ourselves alone and in isolation. We are called to live and love within church communities but even churches are not in isolation. The Body of Christ extends around the world and we are united through our love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Our camps are no different; but there are temptations to lose sight of this.
Annual Appeal Alert!! *Every* site has a project YOU can participate in with your Gifts, your Prayers, your Presence, your Service, and your Witness!!
Many things were brought to Magruder from our churches: the bell, the Sherlock cross, and all the pianos, for instance. These items are tangible and visible. But, the larger impact comes from the intangibles that have been brought over the years.
A wonderful Music/Camping experience!
One of the joys in serving in Camp and Retreat Ministries is being a part of the connectional United Methodist Church. Our ministry is intertwined with the work of the larger church and that of local congregations, yet distinct. Together we are all striving to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
As Camp Hope Celebrates its 25th year, important rituals remain and friendships are forged
Camp Latgawa is fortunate to be the southern Oregon representative of the Camp and Retreat Ministries of the Oregon-Idaho Conference. Due to this connectional system of our conference and churches, Camp Latgawa is able to reap the benefits of the experiences and knowledge of a wide range of people from across our connection. And while we do receive support, and guests, from United Methodist Churches across our conference, even beyond our immediate area, we also hope that Camp Latgawa has something unique to offer all of our churches in our connection!
Oregon-Idaho Camp and Retreat Ministries is hiring a director for Sawtooth Camp.
Wallowa Lake Camp has also been blessed by a matching gift, this time from a man named Ray Johnson - a $25,000.00 donation if we are able to match that amount in donations!
One of our goals at Wallowa Lake Camp is to support God’s churches in fulfilling their missions. We also aim to support all God’s ministries and the agencies that support God’s ministries in this world. Here, we do this by being actively involved in our local church, Joseph United Methodist Church.
Check out these amazing opportunities!
Of the Seven Foundations of United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries, partnering with United Methodist churches and agencies sounds both the most boring and obligatory. I say this being fully committed to the work of The United Methodist Church and as an ordained Elder serving under appointment. But still, on the surface, this foundation might appear to be less engaging than all of the others.
From Sawtooth Camp site team chair, Ann Hawkins, who is making an important announcement:
As the summer progressed, the end the season meant that Suttle Lake Camp would be losing one of its critical and vital staff members, Food Service Director, Chef Abel Salas.
It is often surprising to people to find this segment of forest tucked away in Clackamas county.
As you land at Portland International Airport amidst the noise, traffic and buildings of the city, you can see Mt. Hood looming, but it seems that wilderness is so far away. You probably leave the city via congested interstates and will soon find yourself in sprawling suburbia. And finally, because of planning policy that limits that sprawl, the suburban landscape eventually gives way to farms stretching over miles and miles. But somehow, it is that last turn that is most surprising, the one from the winding country highway onto our driveway and you suddenly realize that you are leaving the the farms behind and entering a towering forest. Forty-five minutes from the blessings and curses of the modern age, you enter into a healthy and diverse forest.
Oregon-Idaho Camp and Retreat Ministries operates as a team together where directors share and learn from one another in growing in our ability to fulfill our mission as “People dedicated to providing quality environments of Christian hospitality and learning.”
Keeping our environment clean and helping reduce waste is something we are very passionate about at camp. Since I am an Earth Day baby, I feel more connected to preserving the land and watching what goes to the dump. Although not everyone cares about waste management or cares about where the food waste goes, we try to make it a little more fun for the campers to really grasp where all of their waste goes. In order to help promote creation care, we sometimes get creative. This is the story of one of our creative solutions.
I remember the first day that I stepped foot on Camp Magruder property. I’m from Tennessee, so even the tall pine trees along the main drive of camp seemed spectacular to me. One of my favorite early memories of Magruder was seeing the sunset’s colors light the sky and sprinting to the ocean from main camp because it felt like something we couldn’t miss.
One of the ways-of-being that we cultivate in people through Camp and Retreat Ministries is to observe more deeply, more contemplatively. We teach ways to become a part of, to recognize, and to listen to the voice of nature, which has its own language and way of communicating. I hope one day I can communicate both as powerfully and as gently as nature. I hope by learning from creation I am drawing closer to the force that beckons all of us towards deeper interconnection.
Camp Latgawa just finish its application to become American Camp Association (ACA)-accredited and is waiting for the review process to be complete, joining our other sites that put on the bulk of our children and youth programming: Magruder, Suttle Lake, and Sawtooth. Wallowa Lake Camp and Alton L. Collins focus on adult programming and go through a different process.
So, why do camps go through this painstaking process? Read this article, written by Ken Atkinson director emeritus at Geneva Glen Camp in Indian Hills, Colorado.
It is hard to have an appreciation for something that you do not notice. It is entirely possible to spend time every day passing over something that is truly amazing. Many have likely seen videos where some of the best musicians in the world go and play on the streets. In nearly every case, the vast majority of people simply walk by and take little notice while some of the most beautifully played music in the world calls to them. If they had noticed what beauty was there for them to take in they would not only stop and pay attention to it, but would draw others in to see it as well.
Nestled on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, Suttle Lake Camp is a special place where the vivid green of Western Oregon mingles with the sunny beauty of the eastern part of the state. Located in the Deschutes National Forest, it is cradled between three wilderness areas in the heart of the Metolius Recreation Area. Suttle Lake is a natural place to explore God’s creation and experience Christ’s love in a caring community. This has been true for many years.
Believe me, I understand the irony of this article. most likely read on a mobile device! In the other part of my life, I also work for the Missional Wisdom Foundation, an organization that has a Rule of Life, found here: https://www.missionalwisdom.com/rule-of-life/. One of the substitutions I would like to make in my life is under the 'Prayers' heading: "We will fast from food once a week." Not only is this the one part of the Rule that most people stumble over when they first read through it, but I don't know about you, but I have a cell-phone addiction, so fasting from all mobile technology would be a more challenging and mindful practice than fasting from food. Check out this blog-post from Gregg Hunter of Christian Camp & Conference Association (CCCA). His last question seems directed toward me - what would it look like for me to leave my cellphone in the car when I am a guest at camp? - Eric Conklin
Ahhhh…. God’s majestic creation! We are all called to be stewards of God’s creation and to live and teach appreciation of it.
Today's Camp Magruder is not your grandparent's church camp - NOT TRUE!
My journey with creation care and appreciation began when I was a young child. When our family would go camping, my sister and I were paid by our parents 1 penny for every scrap of garbage that we picked up. This helped us to live out the “leave it better than you found it” mantra. There were field trips, scout trips, and of course, church camps, which all demonstrated and encouraged me to live out these values.
You may have heard variations of this old "campfire" story before, or you may be reading it for the first time. Either way, be reminded that your flaws can create beauty in this world:
A waterbearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the mistress's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her master's house.
Click here to read the whole story as told in AmazingWomenRock.com
Just a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet with a group of high school students. We were talking about the importance of leadership for the summer as they were all going to be involved in a variety of our camps as CIT’s or first year counselors. Having little to no experience with these individuals, I wanted to make sure that they understood something: there is something different about being a spiritual leader than what the world tends to see as "leader". I was surprised that I found myself having a very easy conversation because they already seemed to understand. As I talked about how, as Christian leaders, they are to be servants, to follow the example of Christ and put others first, I was not greeted by faces that were hearing new information but by the nods of those who were already seeking to live it out and were ready to keep on going.
To grow spiritually and become a spiritual leader, one needs the space to listen to be able to hear the call of God. So, camp is a perfect place for these ways of being to be cultivated!
Being in nature is one of those “spaces”. Camp is the place where many people have heard their calling to a life of ministry, whether that means becoming a pastor or ministering to the world in some other way.
Tag is making a popular comeback, thanks to the new movie in theaters now, but do you know these variations of the classic game of tag? With all of these in the tool box, I can't think of an easier way for kids and youth to get out their energy!
The contributions leaders make to the ministry at Suttle Lake Camp are true blessings! These leaders are organizers, guides, mentors, and models of what it means to follow Christ. Many give of their time to be counselors, chaplains, activity leaders, deans and more. In their service at camp they shape a way of living and serving together that forms an intentional Christian rhythm throughout the time of camp. The community worships together, breaks bread together, plays together, prays together, and shares deeply together. Christ’s gift of grace and love become tangible experiences when leaders centered in Christ show the way and walk the journey with others.
In my office framed above my desk, there is a letter written in orange marker. It’s the second page of a two-page letter. The first page was dated summer of 2006. The letter was written to me from one of my favorite counselors at the United Methodist church camp I grew up at in Tennessee. The letter above my desk doesn’t say anything too profound. My counselor was responding to my letter that must describe a concert I’d been excited to go to, and really, that’s about all that’s contained in the substance of the letter. But, still, I look up about once a week and read it again. There’s not much to gain from that letter anymore. It’s there now more as a token from the road that got me here, sitting at this desk, writing this blog now.