Check out some of the great stuff happening with your United Methodist camps! Click here to read the Dakotas and Minnesota Area Camp Newsletter!
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
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 email@example.com 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
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.
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.
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!
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.