“Summer is better with camp,” says Keith Shew, the director for Dakotas-Minnesota Camp and Retreat Ministries. “We’ve missed you, and we can't wait to see you this year at Northern Pines Camp, Koronis Ministries, and Kowakan Adventures!”
The Dakotas-Minnesota Camp and Retreat Ministry team is ready for you to return to camp this summer and preparing to keep campers safe while giving them an opportunity to experience Christ, creation, and community.
“We're excited to let you know we decided to move forward with plans for summer 2021 at each of our Dakotas camps!” said Shew. “Your Dakotas and Minnesota Area camp staff have been actively planning programming options with the hope of being able to offer safe and impactful camp ministry experiences in 2021.”
Safety is top priority
Each camp will strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols that meet guidelines set by each state as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For now, the safety precautions include requiring masks and social distancing in common areas, limiting space in individual bedrooms to family groups, minimal to no contact with other onsite groups or staff, reducing group sizes as needed, and maximizing time outdoors when possible. Adjustments will be made as necessary to safety protocols, following state health guidelines and the American Camping Association protocols.
January 14, 2021By: Christa Meland
Check out the latest news from Koronis Ministries!
The Minnesota Conference and Camp Minnesota were recently awarded the 2020 Crow Wing County Conservationist of the Year Award for their efforts to preserve Star Lakes Wilderness Camp in Pequot Lakes through a conservation easement. In August, Minnesota Land Trust paid the conference $1.218 million for the easement, which covers 383 acres of the camp. The conservation easement will ensure the preservation of the pristine land so that it can be enjoyed for years to come while also generating resources for the conference’s camping and retreat ministry. Below is a press release sent out by the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District about the award.
The Minnesota Conference has purchased 44 acres of land adjacent to Northern Pines Camp in Park Rapids that more than doubles the camp’s size and will provide new space for campers and guests to explore and enjoy. The new land includes 750 feet of lakeshore, and the purchase price was $415,000—considerably less than its appraised value, thanks to the generosity of the sellers, who wanted the land to remain free from development.
Initial plans for the just-acquired land include offering Northern Pines visitors new minimal-impact activities like hiking, tent camping, and cross-country skiing, as well expanding some current program offerings like archery, hammocking, outdoor worship experiences, and nature study. The land includes a modest seasonal cabin that Northern Pines will use for staff or as a guest retreat beginning in 2021.
In the longer term, the camp might consider adding a nature center and observation tower to the land.
“Camp Minnesota and Northern Pines Camp are excited and humbled to receive this beautiful property,” said Keith Shew, Dakotas-Minnesota Area director of camp and retreat ministries. “This purchase ensures that the camp remains a place set apart from outside development. More importantly, it opens up a new world for future campers and guests to explore creation and experience Christ in a pristine natural space. What an impact this will make in the hearts and lives of so many!”
Check out the latest news from Koronis Ministries!
Koronis Ministries’ Lakeview Open House
1-4 PM Labor Day (Sept. 7, 2020)
In December of 2019, an early-morning fire severely damaged historic Lakeview Lodge at Koronis Ministries in Paynesville, MN. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the building was fully insured. Lakeview is central to the camp’s operations, housing the dining room, kitchen, administrative offices, camp store and some guest lodging. Over the next eight months, major restoration work has been under way with the help of Giertsen Company of Minneapolis. The work on the building will wrap up at the end of August.
Koronis Ministries is inviting friends of the camp to drop in between 1PM – 4 PM on Labor Day (Sept. 7, 2020) to walk through the newly renovated structure and see the completed $600,000 restoration project first hand. Come celebrate with the camp community God’s goodness and provision. Social distancing and masks will be required for the event, and snacks will be provided. Call the camp office for more information: 320-243-4544.
Photos of fire damage and after the completed restoration:
In a transaction that closed late last month, Minnesota Land Trust paid the Minnesota Conference $1.218 million for a conservation easement covering 383 acres of its Star Lake Wilderness Camp.
The conservation easement will ensure the preservation of the pristine land so that it can be enjoyed for years to come while also generating resources for the conference’s camping and retreat ministry. Star Lake spans 441 acres and is located in Pequot Lakes.
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner (in this case, the conference) and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of a piece of land for conservation purposes. The landowner agrees to sell certain rights associated with the property—in this case, the right to develop it—and a private organization or public agency can enforce the landowner’s promise not to exercise those rights. The agreement exists even if the property is sold.
“I am overjoyed,” said Bart Seebach, a member of the Minnesota Conference Board of Trustees who has been working on the easement for the past five years.
Seebach pointed out that the easement demonstrates the conference’s commitment to responsible stewardship of God’s creation, affirmed in our Social Principles, which call for “the preservation of old-growth forests and other irreplaceable natural treasures, as well as preservation of endangered plant species.”
The easement also “honors the vision of the clergy and laypersons whose commitment and ‘sweat equity,’ together with God’s grace, pieced together the Star Lake wilderness camp and brought generations of United Methodists face-to-face with the stunning beauty and challenge of meeting God in the wilderness,” said Seebach.
Exactly a year ago, Dan Ziegler walked around Camp Koronis to the sound of “screams and laughter and joyful noises of family and kids.” The children’s camps were just wrapping up after a full season, and the intergenerational family camps were in full swing. Campers could be spotted at the beach, on the playground, hiking in the woods, and simply sitting and enjoying the beauty around them. Forty-five staff members were fulfilling jobs ranging from waterfront supervision to meal preparation to leading campers.
This summer is very different. Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodist camps, like many camps across the country, ceased summer operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So while cottages are housing small family groups, the guest lodges are all empty—and the camp is mostly quiet. Just two full-time staff and six-part timers are employed.
“Camp is about bringing people together,” said Ziegler, who has served as Koronis’ executive director since 2015. “Social distancing is the opposite of what we’re about, so there’s definitely a sense of loss about the interpersonal relationships and spiritual growth that won’t be able to happen at camp this year. We’re about kids walking arm-in-arm and families hugging and singing and laughing together.”
Greetings from your Dakotas and Minnesota Area United Methodist camps. Summer 2020 has arrived and it just doesn’t feel the same when we know we won’t see your smiling faces! We are sad, we miss you, and we know you miss camp too! With all that’s happening in our world today, it seems like there has never been a more important time than right now for children to be at camp! While we know the decision to suspend summer programming at our six camps was the right choice during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s simply not summer without you. We can’t wait to see you when it is safe to gather once again.
We’ve been blessed with some wonderful gifts from our United Methodist conferences, individuals, and local churches. Thank you!!! If you are feeling led to support your camps at this time, we enthusiastically welcome your assistance! Watch for additional opportunities to help keep our campfires glowing and to ensure your camps remain strong and growing.
Thank you for all the ways you support your Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries.
Be well, stay safe, and God bless you.
Your Dakotas and Minnesota UMC Camp staff
On Dec. 21, Koronis Ministries Camp and Retreat Center experienced a fire that significantly damaged its kitchen and part of its historic Lakeview Lodge.
Check out the latest news from Northern Pines Camp!
A knitting retreat for knitters of all abilities
“We are so excited to see this long-awaited project come to fruition,” said Keith Shew, director of the Dakotas-Minnesota Camp and Retreat Ministry.
Check out the latest news from Koronis Ministries!
Check out the latest news from Northern Pines Camp!
Levi and Lara Ziegler will fill the role of camp director at Storm Mountain Center.
What a great summer ahead with the theme of PEACE WORKS! Can you see the fun and bright tie-dye shirts? Campers can be involved in the worldwide peace crane project and peace pole creation.
On Labor Day, about 150 people gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new Tabernacle at Koronis Ministries Camp and Retreat Center in Paynesville.
In a moving worship service, the nine-decade lifespan of the original Tabernacle was remembered and celebrated—and those assembled prayed over and blessed the site of a new building that will be ready to welcome guests by spring 2019.
Dan Ziegler, director of Koronis Ministries, described the original building as a holy space where all who came found fellowship with each other and with the Lord, and where thousands of people were “challenged to orient their lives toward Jesus.” But the historic Tabernacle had no restrooms, air conditioning, ceiling fans, or heat, and it wasn’t able to be used year-round. Years of use had resulted in a leaking roof and a cracked foundation that caused water to puddle inside.
The new Tabernacle will be a multi-level, multi-use meeting and worship space that’s available year-round and has state-of-the-art technology, modern amenities, and full accessibility. So far, nearly $1.7 million has been committed to the project. A capital campaign is underway to raise the remaining funds needed for the $2 million building. Each Minnesota United Methodist congregation has been challenged to give at least $1,500 to help bring this vision to reality, and Ziegler reported that dozens of churches have already risen to the occasion.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Bishop Bruce R. Ough gave a sermon in which he encouraged those assembled to build on the legacy of the past as we move into a new era with the new Tabernacle.
“Legacy is often a negative word,” he said. “Too often it applies looking backward or trying only to honor and preserve the past. But legacy is not about preservation; it is about purpose. Legacy is not about one’s fate; it is about one’s future. Legacy is not about holding onto the past; it is about building on a sure foundation... We are the persons designated to carry the legacy of the Koronis Tabernacle, and all of its ministries, into the future.”
One man who knows a lot about leaving a legacy is Dwight Rieke. He has attended Koronis for 91 of the 92 years he’s been alive.
Check out the latest news from Koronis Ministries!
Koronis Ministries’ new Tabernacle moved one step closer to reality in May when the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota United Methodist Church gave unanimous approval of this proposed meeting place.
Camp News Spring 2018 includes camp information updates on all six camps of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area Camp and Retreat Ministry.
Videos on Minnesota Vimeo. Continue the Vision and Legacy of Koronis Tabernacle now.
Teaching, Equipping, Empowering, Nurturing, Servants.
Koronis Ministries, on beautiful Lake Koronis, is seeking a full-time Facilities Manger to oversee the upkeep and enhancement of 50+ buildings and 185 acres.
Camp Chill is currently under construction and will return in 2019! Thank you to everyone who has made
this fundraiser for camp scholarships so successful for our conference! We want to make sure that even more people can go to camp, so we are taking a year to make Camp Chill 2019 the best yet!
Stay tuned for how you can raise camping scholarships with Camp Chill in winter 2019!
Did you know? We offer Church Codes! If your church is planning to offer financial assistance to your campers to help cover the cost of registration fees, a church code can help.
Registration for Summer Camp 2018 is Tuesday, January 9. 2018. We welcome you to view Camp Sessions online for all three Minnesota locations: Koronis, Kowakan, and Northern Pines.
Northern Pines Camp Information Newsletter
Koronis Ministries’ campaign for a new Tabernacle has entered its final stage, and plans for the new structure are beginning to move forward. If all goes as expected, site excavation will begin this Fall as workers remove the footers and slab from the old Tabernacle site in preparation for planned construction in the Spring.
We need your HELP...
Winter is coming and the camp needs volunteers to help us cut and split wood for the season! Come volunteer for a day of good work, fellowship, FREE food, and fresh apple cider. No experience needed, there's work for everyone - bring your chain saw if you've got one. Stay overnight if you'd like, as our guests!
Call the camp to sign up: (320) 243-4544
Camp Koronis has added a NEW Nature Arts & Crafts specialty for creative teens who see beauty in nature. This program is offered during Teen Week, July 23 - 28, 2017
Check out some of the great stuff happening with your United Methodist camps! Click here to read the Dakotas and Minnesota Area Camp Newsletter!
The annual Summer Theology Workshop will provide an in depth theological insight into "The Early Church: from Diverse Theology to Orthodoxy" for interested clergy and laypersons.
Northern Pines Camp and Retreat Center will have a Volunteer Work Day Saturday, May 20 from 9 am-5 pm. Lunch will be served to all volunteers. We have many projects to work on, for all gifts and abilities. Come join the fun as we clean, paint, rake and prepare our site for a summer of ministry. If you plan to attend, please email NPdirector@campminnesota.org or call 218-732-4713. Friday night lodging is available for those needing it.
Demolition was completed this week on two cabins at Northern Pines Camp and Retreat. This is a step forward in the plans to construct a new cabin on camp property in the future. Leslie Hobson, director, reflected on the demolition. “As I watched in fascination as the buildings came down, I was thankful for those who came before us creating this wonderful place. I thought of all of the campers and families who have experienced life in these cabins. I feel blessed to be part of the future of this camp as we continue to take the steps needed to build a new cabin.”
Assistant director, Carol Ford, shared her thoughts about the cabin demolition: "It was with mixed feelings that I watched the cabins come down. So many memories within the walls and yes, on the walls. But they were tired and worn. The foundation of Daisy Mae was no longer strong enough to support the cabin. Like when our faith foundation becomes weak it is time to rebuild and look forward. As the area where the cabins was cleared, a wonderful space emerged. A new place for people to experience God. The reason we are Northern Pines Camp."
Keith absolutely loves camp, knows the impact of a camping experience on the hearts and lives of campers, and wants anyone and everyone to experience camp in 2017!
Keith is set to plunge into the icy waters of Lake Koronis if the $500.00 goal is met. And, for each additional $100 raised over the $500, Keith will attach one full-sized bag of marshmallows to his body as "floaties" for his Camp Chill Challenge.
Please help support Keith to take the Camp Chill Challenge and help children, youth and families to attend camp this summer!
We did it! Thanks to your amazing generosity, we raised more than $10,000 for camp scholarships—and Bishop Ough is officially jumping into frigid Lake Koronis on Feb. 18! At the 2016 Annual Conference, LYFE campers challenged Bishop Ough to show his support for Camp Minnesota by doing a polar plunge, and he agreed to do so IF United Methodists pledged $10,000 for camp scholarships (which you did!). Your donations have not only prompted the bishop to go all in for the sake of sending kids to camp, but they will enable many kids to have a life-changing experience at Camp Minnesota this summer. In recent days, Bishop Ough has been busy preparing for his polar plunge, and you're invited to check out how he's getting ready. Watch this video, and share it with your congregation in person on Sunday and via social media! Watch and/or download video
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and we need your help in raising $10,000 to get Bishop Ough to jump into frozen Lake Koronis on Feb. 18! At the 2016 Annual Conference, LYFE campers challenged Bishop Ough to show his support for Camp Minnesota by taking the plunge, and he agreed to do so IF the conference pledges $10,000 for camperships (camp scholarships). We're a little more than halfway there with six weeks to go! Make a donation to see the bishop go ALL IN for the sake of sending kids to camp! Learn more and donate
Like to knit or want to learn to knit? Enjoy being around knitting and knitters? Want a little time away? You’re invited to this time-flexible knitting retreat at beautiful Northern Pines Camp and Retreat Center!
Knitting Our Lives Together
Be in the know! Click here to read the Winter 2016 Koronis Breezes Newsletter.
We are excited to welcome Levi and Lara Ziegler as program leaders for Kowakan Adventures, the Boundary Waters Wilderness arm of Camp Minnesota. Levi and Lara come with a wealth of camp and ministry experience, including: service in a wilderness camp setting, work with various children’s ministries, and most recently, through their program and administrative leadership at Camp Koronis. Levi grew up in the Christian camp setting with his father, Koronis Ministries’ Director Dan Ziegler, mother, Wendy, and five siblings.
Levi and Lara share a deep love of the out-of-doors as avid hikers, canoers, and nature enthusiasts. In 2015, they enjoyed a 1,200-mile trek together, hiking on the Appalachian Trail. “Nature is one of the most real and distraction free settings to experience the presence of God, and we want to facilitate a real quality experience of that for anyone who desires it” says Lara. “We want Kowakan to be a go-to place of wilderness based relationships and team-building for church and ministry groups in particular.”
Keith Shew, Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of the United Methodist Church, was enthusiastic about their appointment. “They are remarkable leaders, and I’m thrilled that they’ve expressed interest in overseeing our Kowakan ministry in 2017.”
Levi and Lara are replacing Josh Jirasek, who has stepped down from the Kowakan program leader position in order to serve full-time as Koronis Ministries’ Facilities Manager.
To schedule a Kowakan expedition for your group, email Kowakan@campminnesota.org or call 320-243-4544.
Thank you to everyone who responded to our email request for the contact information of your church's Camp Ambassador!
Everyone who replied was entered into a drawing and here are the winners:
GRAND PRIZE - One FREE week @ Summer Camp 2017 ($425 value)
DAK - Linton UMC - CA is Marlin Sapp
MN - Riverside UMC (Park Rapids) - CA is Kirsten Kisner
Cool Prize #1 - Camp Ministry Pullover ($60 value)
DAK - Frankfort UMC - CA is Deanna Bindenagel
MN - First UMC (Stillwater) - CA is Patsy Bellman
Cool Prize #2 - Coffee & Donuts for Staff
DAK - Madison UMC - CA is Gloria Van Duyn
MN - Spirit of Hope UMC - CA is Penny Meschke
Cool Prize #3 - $10 Starbucks Giftcard
DAK - Highmore UMC - CA is Benjamin McKird-Wilsey
MN - Hennepin Avenue UMC - CA is Nate Melcher
Congratulations to all!!
We still want your Camp Ambassador information!!! If you haven't sent it yet, please email firstname.lastname@example.org NOW! We want to make sure all the amazing camp information gets to the right person at your church!
Looking forward to an amazing 2017 Camping season with all of you!!
Area Camp Ambassador Coordinator
The 2016 Canadian Fishing Camp 1 was held July 28 - August 3, at Mahkwa Lodge on Lac Seul, Ontario. Led by Dan Hair and Marlys Carls-Steiskal, their group of dedicated campers enjoyed fishing, fellowship, and spiritual enrichment. Click here to view the remarkable photos from their expedition.
Consider joining us next year! Look for the Offsite Programs and Events portion of our upcoming 2017 Camp Minnesota brochure for details.
Read all about it! Click here to view the Fall 2016 Koronis Breezes Newsletter.
A project begun in June at Northern Pines has been completed, all thanks to volunteers under the leadership of Don Arnold. In June, Don Arnold brought a group of volunteers from Northern Light in Ramsey to begin the work of residing and staining the exterior of Woodward Cabin, a cabin at Northern Pines Camp and Retreat Center, Park Rapids, one of the camps of Camp Minnesota, Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
In October, an adult mission group from Eden Prairie United Methodist Church arrived at Northern Pines to spend a week working on projects at the camp. This group came prepared to work on the siding, bringing supplies and tools and a monetary gift to help pay for supplies needed to complete the siding project. This group of 7 individuals from Eden Prairie, Willmar, Hackensack, and Fort Pierre, SD were able to get the rest of the old siding off the cabin, stain the front side, and completed siding almost two sides of the cabin during their week at Northern Pines. Don Arnold was there all week to help the crew with the project. At the end of the week, a crew from Northern Light again came to Northern Pines to finish the project. With the help of the team of 3 people and Don’s tireless work through the next Monday, the siding and staining was finished. We are very grateful to all who helped complete Woodward Cabin’s new exterior.
by: Leslie Hobson
Are you looking for a relaxing place to get away with your family after a busy Advent and Christmas season? Now is the time to make your plans for the Northern Pines Clergy Family Weekend - January 6-8, 2017! You'll experience a weekend where your family will gather with friends both new and old, take time to renew your spirit and enjoy the beautiful setting at Northern Pines Camp & Retreat Center. Come experience this ideal setting to experience God.
We will offer planned activities for your family with plenty of free time for you to choose your own activities such as sledding, skating, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!
2017 FEES reflect a 25% discount for clergy families
Full Weekend (2 nights/5 meals) Half weekend (1 night/3 meals)
Adult (age 19+): $79 Adult ( age 19+): $57
Youth (age 10-18): $73 Youth (age 10-18): $53
Child (age 4-9): $55 Child (age 4-9): $42
Age 3 or under: Free
Immediate family maximum: $280 full weekend, $200 half weekend
Family max includes immediate members residing at same address.
You are welcome to bring friends, but they are not included in the maximum fee.
Lodging: Each family will be assigned a room in the Lodge or a cabin on a first come/first served basis. Limit of 12 families.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS: December 27, 2016
½ Weekend – Thursday/Friday (1 night/3 meals) **New this year!!
Arrival any time after 1:00 PM
Breakfast in Bed
Lunch at noon
Relax in front of the fireplace
Checkout and Departure at 3:00 PM
½ Weekend – Friday/Saturday (1 night/3 meals)
Full Weekend – Friday, Saturday, Sunday (2 nights/5 meals)
½ Weekend – Saturday/Sunday (1 night/3 meals)
Arrival any time after 5:00 PM
Campfire singing & S’mores
(½ Weekend – Saturday/Sunday Arrival any time after 1:00 PM)
Craft or naps
Story time for younger kiddos
(1/2 Weekend Saturday/Sunday Checkout and Departure at 3:00 PM)
Checkout and Departure at 3:00 PM
We need your help in raising $10,000 to get Bishop Ough to jump into frozen Lake Koronis on Feb. 18, 2017!
The camp and retreat ministries of the Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodist conferences are excited to share that we’ve partnered with Rachel Devereaux to help with a reboot of each conference’s camp ambassador outreach. Rachel is currently on staff at Cross Winds United Methodist Church in Maple Grove where she’s leading a powerful and growing ministry with youth! Rachel holds a degree in marketing, is in process to become a licensed local pastor. She regularly volunteers at camp, and currently serves on the area camp and retreat council. Rachel has a deep love for camping ministry, has been transformed through experiences at camp, and sees first-hand the impact a camping experience has on lives of children and youth. Rachel will be working closely with local church camp ambassadors, site directors, and our office staff to help even more children, youth, and families attend camp through the area wide camp ambassador outreach program. Watch for information from Rachel soon!
After spending the summer serving as interim director of Northern Pines Camp in Park Rapids, Leslie Hobson recently became its permanent director.