Do you have a child or grandchild in the third through eighth grade? If so, they could come with me to Camp Mowana this summer. Pathfinders Camp is for third through fifth graders and Confirmation Camp is for sixth through eighth graders. We will depart on the afternoon of Sunday, July 15th, and return on the afternoon of Friday, July 20th.
Unfortunately, less youth are going to summer camps these days primarily because of the competition of sports and other camps and because of the cost. In the good, old days we could send our kids to Bible camp and enjoy a summer week of peace and quiet! Today camp costs $460 if you register before MARCH 31ST. For those youth who participate in our fundraisers (like the silent auction and meal on February 3rd), or have a well endowed grandparent, or talk to me about a need for financial assistance, there is help in paying the $460. We don’t want any youth not going to camp because of finances.
I strongly encourage our confirmands to experience camp at least once during their confirmation years.
Many of you know Danette and I met while working on a camp staff together during the summer of 1982 at Sky Ranch in Colorado. Some of Divinity’s high school youth have been blessed to backpack out of Sky Ranch. I was very impressed with a letter I received from Emily Keys who served on staff at Sky Ranch last summer…
My name is Emily Keys, and I am a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Missouri’s nursing program. It is with great joy that I write to you about our beloved Sky Ranch. Last summer God called me to be a counselor at Sky Ranch and I am so glad I chose to follow that call.
Sky Ranch does more than minister to the many campers and adults who visit the holy place in the mountains; it inspires and raises up young adults, such as myself, to be leaders in the church. Through staff training and the unique experiences Sky Ranch offers, I was given the tools to lead and be a role model in faith. Because of Sky Ranch, I was not only able to serve youth this summer, but I am empowered to share my faith with students I serve in confirmation and the college students I serve through campus ministry.
According to The Atlantic, 35% of millennials in the US reject religious affiliations. Luckily, outdoor ministry is an answer to this unfortunate decline. Over 75% of people in their 20’s and 30’s who are involved in a congregation relate their current participation directly back to experiences at an outdoor ministry like Sky Ranch. 50% of all seminarians and 75% of youth directors attribute answering their leadership call to experiences with outdoor ministry.
This speaks volumes to the importance of Sky Ranch in the future of our church. Camp is where the leaders of our church are shaped, and training provided to the summer staffs is the largest leadership development program within the ELCA.
Encourage your child to come with me to Camp Mowana in July. You can register online at www.lomocamps.org or get a registration form from Tricia or myself. Let me know if you register online.
In Christ – Pastor Doug