Each week I sign off my email with the line, “See you on the adventure ahead.” This was changed from the line, “See you around the campfire” when the pandemic hit. It has been and continues to be an adventure, so for the time being I will stick with that sign-off.
The adventure for me during the month of July includes lots of travel! Right now I’m back at Magruder to observe staff and the program camps that are happening this week. I’ve been eating meals outside along with campers and staff; this is one change that has been instituted to provide for the healthiest outcomes possible for everyone here.
The rest of the month I will be on the road to visit Sawtooth during the elementary camp week, followed by a visit to Wallowa Lake and then on to Suttle Lake for an elementary camp. I will be home for a few days and then off to Camp Latgawa at the end of the month. Somewhere in there I will also get in a visit to the Collins Retreat Center.
Most of the travel will take place via driving. I am both excited and concerned about the road trip to Sawtooth, Wallowa Lake and Suttle Lake. I am excited by the adventure of visiting these sites, experiencing the spirt of these places, and seeing the beautiful scenery. As an extrovert, though, I am a little concerned about that much time alone in the car. Maybe some of you have some suggestions for audio books that might be good for such a trip; I would welcome your recommendations.
I do know from talking to the directors, volunteers, and participants that they have been hungry for an experience of community, and being at camp this summer has satisfied some of that deep yearning. May your adventures include the opportunity to experience the kind of community for which you are yearning.
See you on the adventure ahead,
Rev. Todd Bartlett
Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries
Interested in an insider's view of what's going on across the country in camp & retreat ministry as we emerge from the pandemic? This study, produced by the Christian Camp & Conference Association (CCCA), summarizes current trends in a variety of core disciplines of the ministry. It's a lengthy read, but includes a number of fascinating ideas and concepts. Our own Wallowa Lake Camp is featured in the "Family Reunions & Unique Retreats" section! Director Peggy Lovegren describes how they have revitalized the camp's ministry by serving families. Read the report here. (Hint: the Wallowa Lake mention is on page 30)
A few weeks before Christmas each year, someone usually points out that the word "advent" is contained in the word "adventure." Christmas is still a long way off, but it's worth noting again that waiting and preparing for the start of something new (advent) is an important component of exciting, unexpected, and potentially transformative experiences (adventure). We've been doing a LOT of waiting and preparing over the last year--and you've been right there with us, offering your prayers, encouragement, volunteer labor (even remotely!), and financial gifts. We are grateful to have you with us on this camp & retreat journey. Your donations help us move from advent to adventure!
*PHOTO: Finally, we get to feature photos from THIS year!