Does camping change lives? Yes, you bet! Hear comments from some of the 1,100 campers who spent summer weeks together at one of the five great United Methodist camp and retreat centers in Michigan.
Michigan Area United Methodist Camping
This summer, nearly 1,100 campers met Christ in the woods, at the lake, on the rivers, at the campfire, and even on horseback! Your camping ministry team has been working hard to grow a ministry that you can support with pride. We thank the 198 churches that sent campers and the many donors who gave camp scholarship funds. About 100 young people received scholarship help from the Michigan Area United Methodist Camping scholarship fund. On top of that, many churches held their own fundraisers to make sure more campers could go to camp.
In addition, thousands of campers enjoyed time together at Michigan United Methodist RV campgrounds. Precious weeks and weekends away from the demands of “normal life” reconnected families and friends.
We’ve heard from campers, parents, and event volunteers that they had an amazing summer, and they are ready to come back next year! Very soon we’ll have the 2020 schedule posted and ready to sign up! That’s great news for the 88% of parents responding to a recent survey who said they were interested in signing up for 2020 camps. Watch for all camp news at umcamping.org.
We asked parents what kind of stories they heard from their campers. Of course, many mentioned the songs by the lake or campfire. Others told about making friends, funny counselors, swimming, and the food.
But our hearts melt when we hear these remarks about awesome times at camp:
“Playing cards with elderly persons from their host churches on canoe camp.”
“He told us how he needs to take care of the Earth because God made it.”
“Finding frogs with her new friends.”
“He told me about the Bible Stories he learned about –Friendship in the Bible. He is only seven-years-old, but the stories had a big impact on him and he even had dream about it.”
When asked about the changes families noticed in their campers, we often heard campers returned home more social and outgoing, and more excited about practicing and sharing their faith.
One parent said, “[My camper] realized they could have fun without electronics and loved being outside.”
A grandparent who sent her granddaughter to camp at Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat told us how happy she was because her granddaughter has been inspired to start attending church even though her mom and dad don’t.
Another grandparent shared on a camp Facebook page: “Our grandchildren attend camp at Judson Collins every summer. They look forward to it and come home singing the songs and sharing their great memories. The Love of God pours through the staff to the children and it is a beautiful thing.”
A parent of a Wesley Woods high school camper said, “He was so filled with the Holy Spirit. So upbeat!”
SUPPORT FOR THE FUTURE
Michigan Area United Methodist Camping Board of Directors and staff are committed to providing quality camps that build relationships and grow disciples of Jesus Christ. It will take continued hard work and great investment to maintain and improve facilities. Your gifts to Michigan Area United Methodist Camping for scholarships or facilities will build the foundation for a robust, long-term ministry. Please consider giving toward this life-changing outreach.