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.
The strong drive toward a way of life or vocation often starts as quiet voice not an angelic pronouncement, perhaps a job that needs to be done, encouragement from loved ones, or a passion.
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!
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.
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.
We are grateful for each group who chooses Sawtooth, both church and non-church affiliated. Our sincere hope is that each person who visits us will experience the sacredness of this place and share with others the opportunity to experience the grace of God that Sawtooth has to offer through community and creation.
It is with sadness that I announce that Larry Haley has resigned as the director of Sawtooth United Methodist Camp.
Beyond the gift itself and our feeling of appreciation, there is the knowledge that something other than ourselves, greater than ourselves, gifted us.
I believe camp can be an experience to help others open the door to Jesus Christ. Now there is the real, community in the world, and in fact the universe!
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.
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
Like "Camp & Retreat Ministries" on Facebook! Reflections on values with Camp & Retreat Ministries Find Joy in your Mountaintop Experience Value 3: Joy By Tanner Morton, Communications Associate for Camp and Retreat Ministries The summer after...
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.
It is my pleasure to announce that Larry Haley has been selected as the next director at Sawtooth Camp.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!!
Oregon-Idaho Camp and Retreat Ministries is hiring a director for Sawtooth Camp.
From Sawtooth Camp site team chair, Ann Hawkins, who is making an important announcement:
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.”
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
Reflections on the Seven Foundations for Camp & Retreat Ministries Foundation 1: "Provide Sacred Places Apart" A Perspective from Sawtooth Camp by Dave Hargreaves, Director of Sawtooth Camp Sawtooth, with its valley and hills, has always been a “...
The 7 Foundations of Camp and Retreat Ministries Executive Director Todd Bartlett Introduces this important communications theme for 2018 In the coming year it is our plan with this weekly e-newsletter to share with you about the Seven Foundations of...
I have shared some reflections about important elements to our experiences at our camps and retreat center. The current list begins with the physical elements of: land, water, sky and fire.
Letting go, for director Dave Hargreaves can feel like a free fall, especially if he is accustomed to “being large and in charge,” as his wife Candace says. But, there is great opportunity to stretch, grow and learn if we only can let go and trust.
Last September, I agreed to serve as the interim Executive Director for Camp and Retreat Ministries in Oregon-Idaho, until a national search could be conducted to hire the next Executive Director, which turned out to be me!
The 7 Foundations of United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries (nationally, UMCRM) began with a prayerful discernment centered on two specific questions:
What must we do well in order to be truly effective now and into the future?
What is absolutely vital for us to focus on in fulfilling the church’s mission within the unique camp and retreat setting?