Community Formation at Camp Latgawa Leads to Love and Justice... and Beyond!

November 26, 2018

Reflections on the Seven Foundations for Camp & Retreat Ministries

Intro to Foundation 7: Inspire and Equip All Guests To Do Love and Service

by Sam Grainger, Director of Camp Latgawa

Many guests come to camp from places of brokenness and instability. One of our focuses at Camp Latgawa is to provide a place where that brokenness and instability can be replaced with Love and Justice. Our most powerful tool in doing so is creating an intentional community which consistently looks to uplift, support, and hold accountable its members and leaders.

Creating this community looks different for each group that comes through our site, but typically it all begins with a gathering where each of us brings worth and experience to the group, developing a sense of mutual respect, and caring for the environment we will be sharing. In some groups it involves each cabin drafting a covenant, and other groups create community standards as a large body. The groups typically cover how they will live and play together, and can include everything from lights-out policies to how to handle disagreements.

The goal of these activities is to ensure that standards are drafted from a place of love and respect, and that all voices are included when entering these agreements. This buy-in allows campers to have a clear understanding of how their fellow campers would like to be treated, and allows for us all to be held accountable.

By doing this early in the camp week, campers have more capacity to resolve issues on their own and the results can be seen through camper participation in keeping the camp clean, in the way they interact while playing games, and by caring for one another in the dining hall.

By modeling this type of community building at camp, we hope to provide campers with a sense of how the world could be transformed if we returned home, seeing everyone as members of our community, deserving of respect and love.

Many Thanks!

 - Sam


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A partnership between The Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church
and The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon