These challenging times can bring out the best in each of us as we find creative ways to share with one another while living within the current limits set by government or church leaders. In Camp and Retreat Ministries we have been meeting with colleagues across the country to support one another and to share with one another how we are communicating the wonder of camp during this time. In the weeks ahead, we will be sharing with you what we are learning and invite you to find ways to encounter God through scripture and connections to God’s creation and the communities to which you belong.
At the current time we intend to hold our summer camps and retreats. The spring season remains in flux as we follow declarations and guidelines from the states and counties. We are planning to hold the Leadership Training event at Camp Magruder on April 17-19 and the Confirmation Retreat scheduled for April 24-26. We will notify you as soon as possible if there are any changes.
Finding your calling will likely require a great deal of prayer, patience and trust. And I hope that when you finally find your calling that you find the courage to answer the call.
As we look ahead to the entire year before us, we in Camp and Retreat Ministries would like share with you a few stories. These stories will convey our experience of God’s call in our lives, the passion that we hold for this ministry, notable features of each of the sites that makes these places special places to encounter God, impact that the site has had on us or someone we know and then to conclude the year we will be sharing some things that we are excited about for 2021!
You, our donors, volunteers, supporters, and guests are what make Latgawa such a special place, and as staff continue to change over time, your trust in the mission and work is key to future success!
This past week a unique camp and retreat ministry event, The Great Gathering, occurred at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. The Board of Camp and Retreat Ministries of the Oregon-Idaho Conference was represented by 7 people: Vanessa Allen (Executive Chef, Collins Retreat Center) Rev. Dan Benson (Director, Collins Retreat Center, Jayde Dunkerly (Office Manager, Collins Retreat Center), Hope Montgomery (Program Director, Camp Magruder), Troy Taylor (Director, Camp Magruder), Jane Petke (Director, Suttle Lake Camp), and Rev. Todd Bartlett. We were also joined by former Executive Director, Rev. Lisa Jean Hoefner.
After three plus years of leading our ministry at Camp Latgawa, Site Director Sam Grainger has submitted his resignation.
There are many activities we provide to campers through our programs that encourage them to step beyond their comfort zone and just shy of the “freaking out” zone. This intentional work of entering the place of discomfort allows campers to experience a level of trust in themselves and their abilities and to learn that the intentional Christian community of which they are part for the week will support them no matter what.
Please know that if you have supported Camp and Retreat ministries in any way, as a camper or guest, volunteer, staff, or donor I want to extend my deepest gratitude.
Beyond the gift itself and our feeling of appreciation, there is the knowledge that something other than ourselves, greater than ourselves, gifted us.
Because community is essential well-being, we understand that the cost of getting there is worth it. We may not like the experience in the midst of the chaos but the stories that we get to tell later of meeting the challenge says something that we like about ourselves and the community of which we are a part: together with one another we are strong and better off.
My hope and dream for Camp Latgawa, and Camp and Retreat Ministries as a whole, is that we may offer acceptance to each of our guests, freeing them from the stress or anxiety of not feeling welcome. I believe that our camps and programs have been set aside as a holy place, for ALL people, regardless of where they are in life.
This grace of acceptance offered to me by the church, through camp and retreat ministry, continues to inspire me in my work and life. Through these next few weeks as we focus on Acceptance, I hope that you are encouraged to offer and/or receive this wonderful gift
I would like to invite you to join us this summer at the camp you call home and experience the joy that abounds at camp!
For me, joy is a gift that is available to us each day. I believe that, for most of us, the experience of joy is a matter of choice. While I am aware that joy can come from a spontaneous surprise in our lives, the choice remains as to whether or not we will accept these gifts, even on days that seem joyless.
Each week, in 3-4 pages, McLaren invites us to revisit biblical principles for living. You’ll receive blog posts to expand your study, with reflections and prayers and a place for comments and conversation. As we journey together, we’ll add opportunities for conversation, further study and action."
The blog post for this week, titled We Make the Road by Walking, was written by Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries, Todd Bartlett.
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 provide a similar report in our weekly publication!
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!
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.
Camp Leadership and Counselor Training will be held at Camp Magruder April 5-7.
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.
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
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!
With 2019 right around the corner, all events are now open for registration!
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.
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!
Annual Appeal Alert!! *Every* site has a project YOU can participate in with your Gifts, your Prayers, your Presence, your Service, and your Witness!!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!
Fostering leaders for the future of our church and our world is a sacred responsibility, and we are dedicated to faithfully carrying out this duty.
I am proud that I am a part of a denomination whose forebears gave birth to these beautiful settings from the early days of the Methodist movement through to present day.
While working on site for Twinlow United Methodist Church Camp in Rathdrum, Idaho 20 years ago, I received my call to service as a clergy person in the United Methodist Church. In fact, most of the young adults I worked with over my years at Twinlow made significant changes to their prospective career paths because of their time working at camp.
Camp Latgawa holds a special place in many hearts throughout Southern Oregon. Not just because it has been around for over 65 years but because of all the warm emotions that are felt when guest and campers are at camp with others that can relate to them.
I’ve been going to camp since third grade and the memories I’ve made are some of my favorites. I’ve always had a great camp experience and a lot of that was because of my counselors and the people in leadership roles. I remember my counselors always making sure I felt included and welcomed during camp. They made sure I stayed safe and had fun.
For over 100 years we have been engaged in the work of nurturing Christian faith and discipleship in some of this region’s most beautiful outdoor spaces.
The longer I am involved in this work, the more I realize everything we do is based in relationship building. This includes our food service, our facilities, and programming. When we welcome a guest to our site for the first time, all of these factors are opportunities to build trust and inspire confidence. That is why every decision we make makes an impact on hospitality.