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Mid-Summer Camp News

God at Work, and Play!

Summer is great time to be in outdoor ministry in Michigan! I travel the state visiting camps and connecting with the people we are here to serve. While much of my time is spent solving the problems of everyday life (I’ve spent more time at banks solving technical glitches than I would have liked), the best part of my job is seeing the children and adults at camp.

It makes may heart leap for joy when I sit at a closing program at camp and hear the campers sing camp songs and recite scripture from memory. As I sat at Lake Michigan Camp and heard the Dean recount what the children learned each day in camp, the children spontaneously burst into song and together recited scriptures. At the end I heard campers telling their parents how much this week of camp meant to them, and asking to come back. The children experienced the love of Christ, and their lives were touched … changed.  I could feel the vibrancy and hear the excitement in their voices. God was at work! Praise God!

I hope you’ll take a minute to read the other “God Moments” our staff, volunteers and campers have experienced so far this summer.

George Ayoub, Executive Director, Michigan Area United Methodist Camping

As staff gathered for training on for God’s Treasures Camp at Lake Huron Retreat Center, three volunteer counselors who were carpooling were involved in an automobile accident. They walked away with minor injuries (thanks be to God!), but they were unable to serve at camp. However, God had prepared for this moment as there were exactly three extra volunteers on hand who were to serve as “floaters.” They quickly stepped into the role of “counselor,” and the camp week was fully staffed!

Rev. Ann Emerson, Director, Lake Huron Retreat Center

 

During a “Summer Games” worship service at Albright Park, I stepped to the side and watched the campers and staff sign (American Sign Language) as they sang the worship songs. Not just a few – all of them – signing and singing together as one. It was beautiful.

 

 

At Lake Michigan Camp, a mission team came in from Cadillac. They changed their plans to help with the camp’s greater needs and worked their hearts out. I’m so thankful!

Ryan Culby, Camp Director, Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat Center (Pentwater) and Albright Park Camp & Retreat Center (Reed City)

My counselor was very good at Camp Kinawind this week. He taught me and my friends what it means to be a Christian. Also what the true meaning of camp is. So I just want to say that he was awesome and I would be so lucky if I had him again.

High School Camper at Camp Kinawind (Boyne Falls), shared via Facebook

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your assistance this year preparing us for my daughter’s stay at Wesley Woods (Dowling). She absolutely LOVED the experience and has already told me that she’ll want to stay longer next year!  I wasn’t sure that she’d like being away from home for 4 days (as a 6-year-old).  Yep!  No problem.  She hasn’t stopped sharing stories with me since I picked her up this morning  .

Camper Mom

A gentleman walked into the camp office at Lakeview Family Camp recently and put down $40, saying, “Every kid that walks in here today gets an ice cream.” It was a great day!

Tom McComb, Business Administrator, Michigan Area United Methodist Camping

I visited Lake Huron Retreat Center during God’s Treasure II. These specially abled adults were so full of joy and excitement to be there. They eagerly told me how they want to share the love of God and how much they appreciate camp. One camper explained that even though she had stage-four cancer, she wanted to be at camp where God was working in her life. The volunteers emphasized to me that they get as much out of being there as the campers. Many volunteers have been part of that camp for over 10 years!

Suzanne Everett, Marketing Consultant, Michigan Area United Methodist Camping

A 10-year-old boy who regularly attends Lawrence UMC by walking himself to church every Sunday. He wanted to go to camp, but his parents didn’t have the means to get him there. His church made sure he got registered and drove him to and from camp so he could enjoy a week at SPLAT (Seek, Pray, Learn, Act, Teach) Camp at Crystal Springs.

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