Our last week of conference camps was a full week! We had 34 Mini-Discovery campers led by Michelle Ford and a volunteer staff of 6. There were 33 Discovery campers and 17 Christian Friendship campers. We had all 8 of the Northern Pine staff working, as well as 2 staff from Koronis Camp and one of the former international staff from Northern Pines who volunteered for the week.
Pastor Don Eslinger was one of the volunteers for Mini-Discovery Camp. He shared this story about his time at camp:
“One of the highlights of my recent 3-camp event at Northern Pines with the very young ones was an evening event. My five boys (ranging from 6-8 years old) thought we should "sneak out" of our cabin after lights out. (Lights out are at 9:00 p.m.) Being the "strict" counselor that I am, I nevertheless agreed, if they would keep it a secret. And so, with flashlights in hand, (at 9:30) we quietly walked down to the lake and there watched the sunset, and the stars and moon come out. Also, as we sat on the bench, I told them to "listen to the silence", and then stated "For 60 seconds, NO talking". And so we sat, the little boys and me, and listened, while all on the bench. Then everybody got to share what they heard...the loons, the dragonflies, the water lapping, the wind blowing, a mosquito buzzing. Fun stuff!. Back in our cabin ever so quietly by 9:50, and all asleep by 10:05. If I didn't know better, I think there were six little boys sitting on that bench, listening to the sounds of silence."
How do campers find out about our camp offerings? That is what I was wondering last week when we had a number of campers who were not directly connected to a United Methodist Church. So I asked the campers, “How did you hear about this camp?” One of the campers said that her mother had gone online and found Northern Pines on Facebook. The camper had looked at all of the posts and pictures and thought Discovery Camp looked very fun, so her mother signed her up. Another camper was asked by a friend to come to camp. Another camper had gone to her church and they gave her a camp brochure to look at and she chose a camp from there. Another camper said her parent had gone to the conference website to look for a camp and she chose Northern Pines. We are very grateful for the many ways campers learn about camp and then sign up to attend. The first day of camp we talk about the courage to show up. It takes courage to come to a new place, to meet new people, and try new things.
We also learned that a stick by itself can be broken easily, but a bundle of sticks together cannot be broken....even by our strongman Program Director, Zach Brandt. When we stand up together we can't easily be broken or taken down. We learned in worship to have courage to stand up! And to do so with others in community!
Christian Friendship Camp 3 got into the Fourth of July spirit. With help from the staff, the camp pontoon boat was decorated and the campers were able to participate in the Fish Hook Lake Boat Parade on July 4th. That afternoon the campers attended the Park Rapids Fourth of July parade. During the week, campers had morning and evening worships, went to the beach, made crafts, and went fishing. Kelly, a dedicated Christian Friendship camper for three years now, made sure everyone who came to tour camp or visit them at meals heard that she caught a fish. She was so proud of herself!
Northern Pines Mini Treehouse Camp was a busy three days of Christ, creation and community. We had four wonderful volunteer staff for the week, working with the Northern Pines staff. Campers used words like, “fun', "awesome", "great", and "I can’t believe" to describe their camp experience. The busy days seemed to fly by. Campers went swimming, boating, tried archery, learned games, had morning chapel, evening campfires and worship. This two-night camp is just a taste of what these campers can expect when they are old enough to attend one of the week long Discovery Camps.
The Minnesota and Dakotas camping programs have been offering life-changing experiences for decades. Earlier this year, the two conferences’ camp and retreat ministries combined their strengths and leadership and came together to form a joint governance team. This new arrangement expands the camping-related offerings for United Methodists in each conference and allow the conferences to share best practices to create the strongest possible area camp and retreat ministry. Here's a look at the camp sites across the two conferences; how they are making a difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults; and what the new area partnership looks like. Watch the video here
This last week Northern Pines Camp and Retreat Center hosted Discovery 3, Christian Friendship, and Family Camp 1. Discovery campers were asked to give one word answers to describe one of the days of camp. Answers were, “fun, exciting, lesson learning, questioning, wet.” Each evening they had a campfire worship that included an activity to reinforce the scripture and daily theme. One evening they took a Forgiveness Walk and ended at the cross by the lake. Another night they collected sticks and learned that a single stick can be broken but if all of the sticks are held together they cannot be broken. At one of the worships campers stood and stated how they will stand up for justice…. For equal rights, for their beliefs, for family, for their friends, and for their faith.
Last week Northern Pines began its UMC camping season with a camp new to Northern Pines-LYFE Camp (Live Your Faith Every Day). This camp started in 1954 and has called other campuses “home” before coming to Northern Pines. This year 104 campers, leaders in training, and volunteer staff, led by Rev. Nate Melcher, experienced Christ, creation and community through the theme, “I Am Enough.” Dress up Dinner, a dance and talent show were some of the community building activities. Small groups, morning and evening worships, low ropes/initiative activities, and the Thursday Quest activity were experiences of Christ, and campers added to their story, that is part of God’s story in the world. As campers experienced Sanctuary time each evening they sat on the edge of the lake and watched the sunset, an experience of God’s creation.
Lake of the Woods Fishing Camp
May 16-19th, 2016
Our group of 16 was at Border View Lodge. Awesome lodging! Water Temp had dropped nearly 10 degrees over the cold weekend that shut down the walleye bite. But the Lord is good and fishing came on as it slowly re-warmed. Weather was sunny (no clouds and only light winds) Slow on Monday afternoon but we caught plenty of fish for dinner and a few take homes between 2 and 4:30 pm. It got better on Tuesday in four- mile bay and it was so nice that our group headed out to Bridges and the Gardens with several launches (about a 20 mile run) .
Wednesday was very calm (fishing in T shirts and wishing we had on shorts). The fishing was hot with many large fish being caught. The big fish for the trip was 30". Boats did better when they were moving. The hot jig that caught a lot of large fish was a 1/2 ounce chartreuse. We seemed to do equally well with live rainbows or frozen shiners.
Devotions, worship, communion, and evening games of "Cancellation Hearts" rounded out a great experience! Everyone had nice limits of WE (many 19's} and Sauger (many 15 plus). We did not catch any Sturgeon or Elpout this year. One Northern. However, a very large muskie surfaced with a small walleye in his mouth (I caught the little walleye and the muskie hit it on the way up).
The "Largest Walleye Award" went to Tom Yeager of Park UMC in Brainerd. We did not count and track the fish, but everyone was all smiles! All large fish were caught and released. We encourage CPR (Catch,Photo, Release).
By Chip Nielsen
What's better than going to camp you ask? How about sharing camp with a friend! You'll save some money too. For each new camper you bring with you, your event fee will be reduced by $25.00. So, 2 friends = $50 off, 4 friends = $100 off...you get the picture! Already registered and paid? Don't worry - we'll give you credit for ALL of your new friends!
Don’t forget about camperships. If camp is stretching yours or your friend’s budget, let us know, we can help!
Find out more and register here today!
Experience Christ, Creation, and Community WITH A FRIEND this summer.
Deaconess Leslie Hobson, who for years has been heavily involved with Camp Minnesota, will soon become the interim director of Northern Pines Camp in Park Rapids. Hobson succeeds Todd Foster, who became director in late October and resigned at the end of April for personal reasons. “I have found in my years working in the camping ministry that it is such a powerful experience for the campers as well as staff and volunteers,” said Hobson. “The ways you can see God working and moving, and the way the Holy Spirit moves through those weeks and worship services—I want to be part of making that happen.” Hobson has spent the past 19 years serving as youth and family ministries director at Park United Methodist Church in Brainerd. Read full article
IMPORTANT SUMMER OPPORTUNITY:
Koronis Ministries Camp & Retreat Center on beautiful Lake Koronis MN is in urgent need of a Summer Food Service Manager from early June through mid-August, 2016. Responsibilities include menu planning and ordering, meal preparation and service for 30 - 300 people, and supervision of food service staff. Food service experience and a heart for ministry a must. Competitive salary & meals provided, plus lodging (if needed) in a lovely lakeside cottage. Koronis Ministries is an outreach of the United Methodist Churches of Minnesota. Contact Executive Director Dan Ziegler for more information - KORdirector@campminnesota.org or 320-243-4544.
For this year only - Camp Minnesota is extending the *Early Bird Registration - $25 Camp Store Credit! Please take advantage of these extra days to register yourself or share with others
Five churches raised more than $16,000 to send their kids to Camp Minnesota this summer—and leaders of those churches did a polar plunge.
The Dakotas and Minnesota conferences’ camp and retreat ministries are combining their strengths and leadership and forming a joint governance team.
Are you or someone you know looking for a GREAT summer job? Make a difference in the life of a child this summer - work at camp! Camp Minnesota is seeking caring Christians as summer camp counselors, kitchen staff, health care staff, programming leaders, and maintenance workers. All seasonal staff positions include salary, job training, certifications in American Red Cross CPR & 1st Aid, the opportunity for certification as an American Red Cross Lifeguard, room, board and some awesome staff swag. Visit www.campminnesota.org/employment for details. Learn more about our camps here: Koronis Ministries, Northern Pines Camp & Retreat Center, KoWaKan
Freezin' for a Reason
- Saturday, February 20, 2016 - FREE EVENT at Koronis Ministries!
Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Koronis Ministries -
Make a BIG SPLASH about CAMP!
Join us for WinterFest 2016 at Koronis Ministries!
FEBRUARY 20, 2016
Fun for the whole Family - Free for everyone!
Dan Ziegler new Koronis Ministries Director
Plans for a new, multi-use tabernacle at Koronis Ministries are well underway—and various groups are working to turn those plans into a reality.
Longtime Northern Pines Camp Director, Rev. Bob Ford—who for almost 16 years has helped people of all ages experience Christ and creation—plans to retire from active ministry and will leave his position in fall 2015.