In their weekly e-news, the National United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministry includes a blessings report. This report gives readers the opportunity to share the blessings that they experience at camp. We are happy to start providing a similar report in our weekly publication!
Awe is the emotion we feel in response to something vast that defies our existing frame of reference. It leads us to expand our perception and humbly reorient our understanding of ourselves. Scientists suggest that experiencing awe can help us engage and connect with others, improve our health, and increase personal and social wellness.
Scripture tells us that God has prepared a future of hope for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Our youth campers are that future, and they spread Hope throughout camp, and the world.
The second Winter Youth Retreat at Suttle Lake was a fun and meaningful gathering of 55 youth and leaders over President's Day Weekend.
When it becomes natural for campers to face the difficult challenges in their lives, they are able to develop a sense of what it means live out their Christian faith. These elements are sign posts to guide them in their relationship with God and with all of humanity; and because they endured, persisted, and built character along the way, they can live with hope that this moment of difficulty is not all that there is.
Camp Leadership and Counselor Training will be held at Camp Magruder April 5-7.
How do our camps encourage “wonder?” How do we remind people to be in awe, to marvel, and to be amazed and astonished? We offer safe spaces to slow down, focus and relax; to be in nature and contemplate.
Whether those coming to our facilities are United Methodists, from other denominations and faiths, local schools or family groups, our mission is to bring them together, at the table, figuratively and literally, and share our stories of Jesus, the Bible, and nature, and to send them back into the world hopefully a little bit better than when they arrived. Spending a week in Florida re-affirmed that our programs have the people who can make this happen, and for that, I am grateful to them all.
This sense of wonder is possible any time we step away from our everyday routine and noise, willingly opening ourselves to a greater mystery. I’ve learned that having an awe filled experience is less about location and more about a willingness to be open and look beyond our immediate needs or desires, to something deeper.
We want to worship in such a way that campers are left in awe by what they see, hear, touch, taste, smell, experience. These moments worshiping under the stars, singing with our hearts, feeling a deep closeness with each other--this is turning over the log to look at worms with students of spiritual life. If we can create an environment that fosters a sense of wonder, they will fall in love. They will do all of this themselves, just like those before them did when they fell in love; and that will help us to fall in love all over again.
Enjoy snow, fellowship, and fun at Suttle Lake's Winter Youth Retreats!
The time is fast approaching, when music will ring through the air at Camp Magruder! 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
I have witnessed many people experience a bit of wonder in a variety of ways, here at Camp Latgawa. One of the easiest ways to identify such an occurrence is through the look of pure excitement on an individual's face, perhaps when they find a crawfish in the creek for the first time. New and thrilling experiences like this may stick with guests for a lifetime
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.