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Pre-Camp Prep

Posted by on May 10, 2019

Pre-Camp Prep

by Lisa Forkner, Camp Mom & Deer Run Alumna

 

With Mother’s Day upon us and Father’s Day around the corner, it’s a good time to recognize the amazing efforts that camp parents make each year in order for their campers to get to camp and have a great experience. We celebrate you, parents! At Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River we know that it takes an enormous amount of time, resources, and planning before you drive through the gates for Incoming Day.

The Forkner Family

Though it’s been a while since my kids were campers, I remember well those last few days before camp: the flurry of necessary errands, the piles of clothing to be labeled, the sometimes-anxious camper hearts looking for assurance that they will do fine at camp. As a seasoned camp parent, I would love to offer a few thoughts about how we navigated these pre-camp waters and did our best to set our children up for a great camp experience.

First, the packing list. Our camp packing list system worked wonders for us. Two-week session? Had a list for that. Four-week? List for that. LDP? Yup, list. We spent careful time thinking ahead about what the kids really needed to have with them at camp, then added a few extra things they would like to have. Those lists evolved year-to-year. When the kids were young, I packed for them; later on, they insisted on packing from the lists themselves, giving them a sense of ownership in the process and making my job a lot easier.

The Wapiti cabin, 1980

So, what to include, besides the obvious clothing and gear? A crazy hat for Brookwoods’ breakfast cookouts. Indestructible foam rubber shoes for those wet days and trips down to the beach. Definitely a toothbrush. An inexpensive digital camera to capture all those new experiences. Photos from home for hanging around their bunks. Maybe create “Mad-Lib” style fill-in-the-blank stationery for your younger campers to make letter-writing easier and more likely. They can then fill in words to describe their days, their cabins, their activities, etc., at camp. (Include self-addressed stamped envelopes for the littlest campers.) One of our most innovative packing ideas: a large roll of non-slip foam shelf liner to lay between the camper’s mattress and sleeping bag… no more sliding off the bunk in the middle of the night! (How great is that?) Fishing gear. Baseball glove. Toothbrush. Maybe a light blanket for rest hour. A nylon hammock for your older camper to string up on an overnight hike? And, finally, a copy of the packing list for them to use as they eventually pack to return back home. And did I say toothbrush?

While it’s great to gather your camper’s necessary supplies, it is even more important to prepare his or her heart for the camp experience. As parents, be assured that sending your child to camp—especially to a Christian camp like Brookwoods, Deer Run, or Moose River Outpost—is one of the very best things you can do for them. Do you know why?

At camp, away from home and from technology and school pressures, kids unplug and grow in creativity, confidence, self-understanding, and independence. And at our camps, through meaningful Christ-centered relationships in the midst of God’s awe-inspiring creation, they experience spiritual transformation as they live and play within our nurturing Christian community. (Again, how great is THAT?) Yes, it was hard each Incoming Day as we said goodbye to our kids and drove back out of the camp’s gates, but we always knew that leaving them in camp’s care was one of the very best things we had ever done for them.

So, as you prepare your child for camp and begin to think about that packing list, consider sending them off with these extra-special provisions:

  • Tell them how camp is an exciting, amazing, beautiful place.
  • Tell them about the new friends and counselors they will come to love while they are there.
  • If they are anxious, remind them that they are strong and brave, and that you know they “can do it”.
  • Repeat how you can’t wait to see how they grow from their time at camp, especially in their understanding of God’s love for them.
  • And then ask them, again, if they remembered to pack that toothbrush!

Thanks, parents, for all you have done and will do so that your campers can come away to camp this summer. Can’t wait to see you on Incoming Day!

Lisa (Bennett) Forkner serves on the Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. Board of Directors and, with her husband Kent, have three young adult children, all of whom attended Brookwoods and Deer Run as campers, LDP’s, and staff members. Lisa herself was a camper, CIT (LDP), and counselor, first attending Deer Run as a Whitetail in 1978. Favorite camp memories are Miss Deer Run contests, cabin nights on the waterfront, and the Chibougamau canoe trip. Her passions include spiritual formation, Christian higher education, drawing and painting, cooking, spending time with the family dog Jethro, and anything related to being at camp! fork.family@gmail.com

 

 

Join Us for Man Camp!

Posted by on April 12, 2019

Join Us for MAN CAMP 2019!

by Greg Sporko, Conference Staff

It’s that time of the year again! Day by day it is getting warmer, the snow and ice are melting, and before you know it, summer will be here! In the meantime, we are all looking forward to what is approaching beforehand, Man Camp! This weekend will be an incredible chance to give back to Brookwoods and Deer Run by preparing for the upcoming summer, including our 75thAnniversary celebration! It will be a fun weekend to come together as a group of men, to work hard, and enjoy God’s creation. (Not to mention there will be amazing food!)

We couldn’t be more excited to host a new face this year, Morgan McCray, as our guest speaker. Morgan and his wife, Megan, run a year-long discipleship program at Sandy Cove Ministries in North East, MD called “Converge.” Our weekend theme is “Unstoppable,” focusing on Romans 8:11, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” When we truly strive to deepen our understanding of Christ, it is at those moments when we begin to know our own identity. If we are sons of the King and He is for us no matter what happens, then we can walk boldly with confidence towards anything that we encounter. Some might say we will be truly “Unstoppable.” Our hope for the weekend is that we will come together as brothers in Christ and will encourage one another in this undeniable way of life. We hope that you can join us at Camp, a place that God uses to shape and mold lives, including our own!

WHO: Men: brothers, sons, uncles, grandfathers, who love Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run and MRO that are ages 12 and up.

BRING: Bedding (sleeping bag, sheets, blanket, pillow), Bible, journal, layers of clothing (i.e. keep an eye on the weather), toiletries, and any specialty tools that can be used for projects.

WHEN: Friday, May 3, 2019 through Sunday, May 5, 2019. Please plan on arriving between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. A formal welcome and worship time will follow dinner. However, if you would like to come early and get a head start on projects, please let us know, we’d love to have you!

You can register for Man Camp 2019 here!

P.S.  If you’d also like to go to Maine, MRO Work Weekend is May 31-June 2. Contact Adam here for details.

 

Greg Sporko is currently serving on our Conference Staff team and will be on Brookwoods Trip Staff this summer. If you have questions about Man Camp, please email him greg@christiancamps.net.

 

 

 

MRO Tripping Adventure

Posted by on April 5, 2019

MRO Tripping Adventure

by Jason Weyer, Moose River Outpost Trip Director

I can’t remember how many hours we took to climb the 1800ft of elevation to get to the top of Boundary Bald Mountain. I can remember my anticipation growing as we neared the summit. It was a clear day with a blue bird sky and I knew the view was going to be amazing. We had worked hard to climb this mountain. Every step we took was one more further away from the incredible amenities of MRO, from the camp store, and from bathrooms. In fact, from the summit of Bald Mountain we were so far away from camp that we were able to cover up all that we had left behind with just our thumbs. Heald Pond and all 7,000 acres of Moose River Outpost. Mount Kineo to the east looked like a giant misty blue turtle swimming in Moose Head Lake. And to the North, Canada as far as the eye could see. It is dizzying to have such a view and my eyes needed time to adjust to the absolute grandeur. What an experience.

Experiences like these only happen because of an immense amount of effort made by many people. It takes a lot of effort from the campers to challenge themselves physically and emotionally. It takes a lot of effort from Trip Staff to plan routes, know safety procedures, prepare the necessary food and equipment, and to make sure each camper’s needs are being met. All of the effort from everyone is ultimately worth it. Just as Jesus doesn’t call us into a life of comfort, we are challenging our campers to give up their comforts for something better. Jesus also challenges us to love our neighbor and tells us it will be a lot of effort. He wants a life of dependence on Him, who loves us and cares for us. This is what our Tripping Staff strives to mirror & teach on the trails, daily with our campers.

James 1:4 “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…”

Being a part of a group on the trail in a remote wilderness environment provides our campers with unique authentic challenges that allow opportunities for real, long lasting growth. Our highly trained staff and counselors ensure that our campers are given the support they need to meet those challenges. A sojourn in the wilderness produces a sense of community where we can talk to one another about things that really matter. Cultivating a Christ-centered community. We all have experienced the harshness and effort it takes in being a Christian in today’s culture, especially when you find it difficult to articulate the basic principles of our faith. Building a community and a safe environment to learn and practice articulating the basic principles of our faith is the type of relationship we try to achieve with each camper.

 

P.S. For you Brookwoods and Deer Run campers, Boundary Bald is MRO’s Mt. Major, but with a view of camp!

Jason and Amy Weyer have been serving MRO since 2015. This will be Jason’s third summer as Trip Director and Amy will continue to fill roles wherever she is needed in camp life. They have four children: Samantha (12), William (8), Vaughn (6), and Marcus (5). This will be Samantha’s second summer at Deer Run, and the three boys are looking forward to going on hikes, skipping rocks, carpet ball, Polish ping pong, and the GaGa Pit. You can email Jason here.

 

MRO Work Weekend

Posted by on March 29, 2019

MRO Work Weekend 5/31-6/2/19

By Adam Jalovick, MRO Assistant Director

Last year, as Moose River Outpost’s new Assistant Director, I was put in charge of the annual Work Weekend. Typically, this is something that I would look forward to; I would anticipate it. What made this time different, Seth (Director of MRO) was going to be away, so it was up to me. Being new to MRO, never seeing a Work Weekend in action before, and not really knowing all of the people who would be showing up, I was a bit nervous.

Work Weekend came and went: coffee shops were painted, trees were removed from roofs, bike trails were cared for, ditches were dug out, and firewood was cut. I walked away from the weekend having learned more than I would have thought. I learned that people – including myself – don’t like to pound hammers and nails for 8 hours straight, and people need breaks (how novel). I learned how generous and willing people are when it comes to a program or cause they deeply believe in. I learned in a new way how God shows up in our weaknesses and insecurities.

Amidst the projects and quality time with friends and folks I connect with every year, the most important thing I learned at Work Weekend was that it was not all about me. Moose River Outpost is the Lord’s mission, His work and His story are being established and written up in Jackman, Maine. I cannot think of a single thing that I, or anyone else, could do to screw up the plans God has for our lives, or that would cause us to become so outside of His plan that there is no redemption. God’s love is tenacious, and when I truly taste and see this love, I am humbled and empowered to love others just as God loves me. We are all stewards of Moose River Outpost, working in love to accomplish God’s mission for this beautiful place.

If anyone is interested in joining this mission in 2019 please email me.

 

P.S. If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity a little closer to home, Brookwoods’ Man Camp is May 3-5. Email Greg for questions and register here.


Adam and Hannah Jalovick joined the CCCI team in 2017, working at MRO in the summers, and living and working in NH during the off-season. They met at Cairn University, where Adam received a BS in Bible and a MA in Religion. If you’d like to get in touch, adam@christiancamps.net

 

 

 

Mind Your PQTs

Posted by on March 22, 2019

Mind Your PQTs

by Lis Schuman, Deer Run Camp Pastor, Alumna

Camp is a wonderful place to grow spiritually. Daily chapel and Bible study keep the focus on God in the midst of the fun. The cabin is a central part of the camper’s spiritual experience. Each day, counselors use a prepared curriculum to share Bible studies with their cabin as a group, but another important part of the daily schedule is what some campers call “PQT” – Personal Quiet Time.

Campers have Personal Quiet Time – PQT

After breakfast and cabin clean up, the campers find a space – inside or outside – to spend time alone with God. Some use a devotional to guide that time. Some keep a journal, some read their Bibles, some pray. Some are not quite sure what to do…

If you’re anything like me, I can get distracted pretty easily, especially when I am doing something quiet and alone! God knows our weaknesses and our tendency to lose focus, and yet He still invites us to spend this time with Him each day. When Jesus walked this earth, He would steal away to spend time alone with His Father. As we are to live our lives modeled after Christ, how are we to do PQTs well? Here are a few guidelines to help us:

  1. Focus on God’s Word. Devotional books can be a great tool when studying God’s Word, but they should not replace reading the Word itself. Prayerfully choose a book of the Bible and begin to work through it, even if you cover only a few verses a day. Some passages may have a loud, clear message that we can easily identify. Some passages may not be so clear. Persevere. Finish the book. God’s Word is complete, and He has something to say through the entirety of His Word, not just in certain verses.
  2. Trust God to teach you. Sometimes we read a passage and are not sure what it means. We can ask God to help us understand what He is saying to us. The cry of the psalmist in Psalm 119:33-34 can be our own: “Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes… Give me understanding, that I may observe your law, and keep it with all my heart.”
  3. Keep it consistent. In Joshua 1:8, the Lord instructs us: “’This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.’” It’s not easy, but if God calls us to do it, He will also equip us to do it. Be realistic about when and how long you can read God’s Word each day. Then do it. Everyday. If you miss a day, pick it back up again the next day. Just as an athlete works his or her body to strengthen it and create “muscle memory” for his or her sport, we Christians hone our spiritual bodies through consistent practice.

So as our campers head to camp this summer, know that they will have PQT every morning. During your own PQT, pray for them – that they will keep focused on God and His Word, that He will teach them and give them understanding, and that they will remain consistent and walk with Him.

Lis (Waldron) Schuman and her husband, Eric, have four campers – two at Deer Run and two at Brookwoods. Lis and Eric were counselors in the mid-90s and since 2017 Lis has been serving as Camp Pastor of Deer Run and Eric as the BASIC Coordinator. In their non-camp lives, both Lis and Eric are Spanish teachers. Eric has been known to sing in Spanish if he is ever called up for “Sing Us a Song.” You can email Lis here.