Amazing Race Camp-- Week 8

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Amazing Race Camp-- Week 8

Amazing Race Camp is off to a great start! This year the two teams (blue and green) are represented by a friendly stuffed mascot that campers helped accessorize in team color  Sunday night. 

Monday morning started off strong with the first off site clue leading to a farm! Campers had to harness a pig or a puppy and take them along as they fed and watered the farms livestock. Turns out neither animal were too cooperative but the campers did wonderful nonetheless! From there, campers searched for more clues all over Kansas City including Ikea, Ward Parkway Mall and the Country Club Plaza. Our busy day ended with an evening swim and a wonderful worship around a campfire. We are a pretty small group but you should hear us sing! 

God is definitely present in these campers. We have talked about the fact that because of God’s plan, everyone has a place to belong. We looked at the beginning of the story of Joseph and how he fit into his family and God’s plan, as well as Psalm 139 as evidence of that belonging.  In worship this week we will continue to look into the story of Joseph to see the wonder of how God can work in someone’s life.

The week is just starting but already we are forming great bonds. We are confident it is going to be an incredible week. You can support us by prayers for safe travels as we make our way to Omaha today to continue our race Nebraska style!  

Thanks so much!!

Jennifer Scheneman and Suzanne Whitt

Amazing Race Directors


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Creative Camp-- Week 8

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Creative Camp-- Week 8

Man, our creative campers sure are… well, creative. The first exhibit of their creativeness was their conception of their group name. You can refer to our middle school creative group as “the fizz.” Each one of them has taken the nickname of their favorite soda. Some crowd favorites are “Dr. Pepper” and “Fanta.”  Our campers have taken on the extra responsibility of carrying around their group mascot for the week, who they have named “Chad.” Chad is an off-brand liter of Sprite, and has been lovingly adopted into the group. If the girls make it through the whole week without opening Chad, they will each receive their favorite soda on Friday, so stay tuned! (Also, if you’re seeing photos of a liter of soda, this is why.) 

This week our campers are learning about how creating is a way to see God, learn more about God, and to praise God. The girls all lit up when they got a chance at “joyful painting.” Monday night we laid out several large pieces of paper and a sheet. The girls were instructed to joyfully paint a scene or object that brought joy to their hearts. The catch? They had to paint with brooms! Needless to say many a giggle and paint splatters ensued. 

Here are some highlights for each of the girls so far:

Stephanie had a great time at grand fam tonight with our all-camp game and watching skits. Her smile and laughter is so contagious!

Serinity got to take photos last night at vespers, amongst other girls. She did a great job taking pictures of the night sky, along with posing herself and other girls for some “ad worthy” photos. We love her joy for life!

Natalie is such a sweety. The first day she made a joke that showed others girls it’s okay to be silly and let down your walls. She’s a great leader in confidence and creating a community of acceptance.

Fern also helped with the "ad worthy” photos last night. Always smiling and energetic, Fern’s spirit adds nothing but positivity and joy to our group.

Bella is always singing, and last night she taught us sanctuary in sign language-- the whole group loved it!

Lily did a great job bringing her water polo team -Water Wonders- to victory!

Kaylin also brought the heat for the Water Wonders team by shooting several goals and energizing her team.

Audrey is down to participate in everything. From photography to water polo, she’s been eager to hangout with all the girls and try new things.

Ava lit up as she played our grand fam game last night and singing songs, sharing her smiles with all. 

Kate is a team player, she’s a quiet, confident leader who is quick to spend time with the other girls. Her laugh was contagious at Grand Fam last night during skits.

Alecia has had a great time helping with our fort building. From joyful painting, to building the structure and weaving fabric, she’s been a great and positive support for our creative endeavors.

Emberlyn’s sweet smile brings much joy to our group. We love hearing about her dancing and seeing her weave pieces for our fort!

We’re so excited for you all to see the fort we’re building, and the ways the Lord is inspiring our artwork this week. We’re hoping to find much inspiration from our field trip to the Nelson Atkins Museum today!


-Catherine & Lauren

Creative Camp Directors


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Challenge Camp-- Week 8

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Challenge Camp-- Week 8

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”  Well, we are challenging ourselves in so many ways at Middle School Challenge Camp this week.  Later this week, we will climb 40’ rock-walls, walk across high-wires, and sail through the air among the treetops on a giant swing.  As of right now, we are cooking our own meals over the campfire and washing our own dishes. Yesterday, we made amazing breakfast burritos (few things taste better than bacon cooked over the campfire).    

Throughout the week we will continue to live out the challenge of what it means to be the Body of Christ both together and in the world.  Last night, at our evening vespers on the top of our climbing tower, we considered the 139th Psalm and asked, “What if God really is as personal and intimate as the psalmist describes?,” and “In what ways does this understanding challenge the way we think about God, ourselves, and others?   

I am so impressed by this group of middle schoolers.  They are bonding quickly and are encouraging and supportive of one another.  I think this is going to be a really special week. 


Dan Scheneman

Middle School Challenge Camp Director


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Secret Agent Camp-- Week 8

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Secret Agent Camp-- Week 8

This week Highlander Secret Agent has been up to some serious cases. A new “organization” called Y.U.h.M. is trying to take all of the desserts from camp and there’s no one to help us…. until now! On Sunday night, we went through “training” learning how to share secret codes, weave our way through a laser (yarn) grid, and more. After training, we headed to worship where we talked about how we belong to God and how that truth matters more than anything! As soon as worship ended we were contacted by a member of the alliance that is trying to keep desserts at camp and given our first real mission!

We spent yesterday shooting archery and practicing our accuracy for the challenges ahead. We enjoyed a nice, cool swim in the afternoon (because even secret agents need to relax from time to time). After dinner we were sent on a scavenger hunt looking for clues all over camp. Someone’s been helping us, and we don’t know who, but it lead us to Y.U.h.M. operative. We’re starting to learn who we can and can’t trust. Speaking of trust, we ended last night at worship where we talked about how big our God is and that He has created everything.

This morning half of us are headed to ride horses and the other half is headed to the challenge course to do the giant swing. After swimming again this afternoon (uncovering a Heartland global conspiracy is hard), we’ll be playing a large group game called organized mass chaos. We’ll finish today with Vespers and one more top secret mission!

Needless to say, this week has been a blast. Our kids at Secret Agent camp are filled with energy and can’t wait to put an end to Y.U.h.M. once and for all. Also, they’ve been asking so many questions about the Lord and at Vespers (worship) each night, and they have shared soooo much about the Bible! 

So, thank you for letting us dream up conspiracies for your campers to solve. They are doing an awesome job and are having a blast standing up for our rights to have desserts at camps! 

Michael Megraw, Secret Agent Camp Director


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Splat Camp-- Week 8

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Splat Camp-- Week 8

So far, Splat Camp has had an amazing time this week! We have been getting messy and enjoying every second of it. A fun game we've played was Condiment Twister. It was like regular Twister, but with every tile filed with ketchup, mustard, and relish.

We've had a great time coming together and bonding over our love for potatoes. We decided on our group name and chant based on that love, which we got to share with the entire camp Tuesday night at Grand Fam. 

Going forward we look forward to having fun in the mud pit-- I have numerous games planned there that I know campers are going to love. 

Each camper has their own individual nickname! Make sure you ask them what theirs is when they get home.

I have been here at Heartland for three summers now, and this is a camp that I will never forget. It has truly been special, and I look forward to what the rest of the week holds. 

Cameron Sorter

Splat Camp Director


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Culinary Camp-Week 7

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Culinary Camp-Week 7

Hello all,

I really enjoy mixing different things together and seeing what happens. This is why I love cooking. Choosing the ingredients, preparing them in a specific way so that you are able to explore new flavors, all to delight the sense of smell and taste.

It is also why I love camp. Every year, kids who do not know each other are put into close proximity with strangers in the context of Heartland Camp. Over the course of a single week, friendships are formed, laughter binds hearts together, and prayers are said in praise of God who created us all. These experiences make us into a new community, flavored with the love of God and the friends we make along the way.

This is my first time directing Culinary Camp. The kids learned how to chop onions and bell peppers and sautéed them as a delicious topping for hot dogs. We experimented with skillet cornbread. One of our campers had a birthday this week and so we made a birthday cake and buttercream frosting (from scratch!). We also made chocolate chip cookies.

And as it happens each year, I am delighted to see the joy sparked by kids being pushed to try new things and realizing that they could do them. Seeing the sharp, bright smile of a child who has a new sense of confidence in themselves and in their relationships with those around them is one of the best feelings I get each year. These young people take such pride in their accomplishments. And they should, because they know that the accomplishments are their own. It is wonderful to see them grow over such a short period of time.

Our theme this year is "Wonder," and as we have gone through this week we have challenged our youth to ask questions: about how to cook, who God is, and how we are in relationship with God and each other. Tonight, as we prepare to celebrate communion together, I know that God will bless us again with his Spirit as we are formed once more into the body of Christ. We will, as the apostle Paul says, taste and see that the Lord is good. And in doing so we will be transformed to be Christ's faithful disciples bearing the good news into all the world.

Thank you for sharing your kids with us.

Jason Carle


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Edge Camp—Week 7

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Edge Camp—Week 7

“Edgy” is defined as being “at the forefront of a trend,” “experimental,” or “avant-garde.” This week at Middle School Edge Camp, we had a golf theme. We did all of the typical camp activities such as swimming and horseback riding. However, to “up” our edge factor, we threw in some games such as “Footgolf” (like regular golf, but with soccer balls and feet as clubs), the World’s Craziest Game of Extreme Put-Put, and Archo-Golf (that’s right, bows as clubs and arrows as balls). We also played Multi-Sport Golf (you’ll just have to ask your campers about it), and had a Rice Krispie Treat Sculpture Contest.

None of these activities compare to the edginess of the culture of camp we created where all are accepted, valued, needed, and loved as brothers and sisters in Christ. This acceptance and love can be difficult to find in a fast-paced, self-first culture. What a wonderful week it has been so far with twenty teenagers who learned to work as a team, support one another, and care for each other. Perhaps as they return to their daily lives, the world may be a little more of an edgy place (the good kind, that is).

Dan Scheneman

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Work Camp—Week 7

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Work Camp—Week 7

The first evening at work camp, we talked about times when we have been in wonder, whether that was an extravagant landscape, the ocean, or the Grand Canyon. Briefly, I shared a time when I counseled work camp and a camper began to ask me about my family and what I liked to do at home. I was in such awe by this simple moment that me feel important and known, just as God feels about us. We all have the ability to bring wonder to the world by loving others like Christ loves us. 

Since then, I have had a moment each day with various campers who have made me feel loved by asking a question or checking in on a fellow camper. I think this is beautiful because to make one feel known and loved comes from the Spirit. I love experiencing our Creator in this way through our campers. 

Kelly Voigt, Week 7 Work Camp Director


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Horse Camp—Week 7

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Horse Camp—Week 7

This week at Horse Camp we are stepping into a place of Wonder as we live together in the midst of God's beautiful creation, bond with one of God's incredible creatures, and experience the love of our God in Christian community.

This week we are inviting your kids to cultivate their curiosity about God and it has been such a gift to watch them do that. We've invited them to ask the questions they have about God and the life of faith and to wonder together as we all seek to know God more.

Each day, we have a different question that guides us. Yesterday, our question was "What if God is bigger?" We had our closing vespers under the stars and the cross at Highpoint, a beautiful spot in an open field at the highest point on our camp. We worshipped right at dusk and as the sun disappeared into the horizon, we invited the kids to lay down and look up at the night sky as the stars began to make their appearance. We talked about how big our God is - that our God is big enough to hold whatever worries we carry - whatever problems we see in the world around us. We gave them a chance to pray those worries and problems up into the great big sky, up to our God. To hear a group of middle schoolers voice the brokenness they see in our world was a sacred thing.


We then read these words of scripture from Isaiah 40:26 -

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one

and calls forth each of them by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.


We reminded them that their God is powerful and mighty, and that their mighty and powerful God also is the God who knows them, created them, and calls them each by name. As their counselors spoke each of their names up into the night sky, we reminded them that their God is big enough to hold whatever worries, fears, or problems they face.

Highpoint is located in the midst of a large horse pasture that our horses are turned out into each night. As we worshipped, our herd of horses started meandering closer and closer to us, until by the end, some had seemed to join us, standing right at the edges of the tarps on which we were all laying. It was holy - worshiping together, under the expansive night sky, with our horses surrounding us and the large high point cross above us - it was a holy moment nestled in a week chock full of holy moments.

We are so grateful to get to share in this week of holy, crazy, challenging and fun moments with your children! Thank you so much for entrusting them to us.

In the name of our big and awesome God,

Clare and Julie

MS Horse Camp Co-Directors

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Hydro Camp—Week 7

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Hydro Camp—Week 7

This is my third time directing highlander hydro, and it is one of my favorite camps! It involves all things water: swimming, slip n’ slide, canoeing, and water balloons. We’re soaked from head to toe in water, AND we’ve been soaked in the Lord’s goodness!

During morning watches, one of our counselors, Brett, challenged us to think of something this week that might be scary to us. We learned from Psalm 139 that God knows us, and He is always with us! Brett encouraged us to pray when the activity came up, so that we could rely on God and feel His presence. For some of us it was horses, others archery, and the high ropes course made the list for some. It has been so encouraging to see these campers lean into the presence of God when these things occur. I can see them take a deep breath and release their fear to a faithful, good God! They know He is always with them, and they are seeking His presence! Every activity has been filled with joy and laughter, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings.

Another way we spent time with God was during our creek walk. While walking through the water and over rocks, we took time to find a cool, secluded spot to pray on our own. We keep finding God in every corner of camp. He truly is always with us! My prayer is that these campers leave here drenched in the love of God.

Blessings,
Hannah McCoy

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Get to Know Our 2019 Summer Staff!

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Get to Know Our 2019 Summer Staff!

As your kiddos spend time at Heartland this summer, you can also have the opportunity to learn a little bit more about their fearless leaders!

Overnight Program Assistants

Meet Cameron Sorter, our Overnight Camp Program Associate! “I’m excited to work with all of the kids this summer, build friendships with them, and be a person they can entrust with their questions. The cool thing about Heartland is that everyone here truly cares about the kids & loves being around them. Overall, I’m just excited to share the love that I’ve been shown here with the campers this summer.

Here are some fun facts about Cam:

  • Can spin a basketball on a pencil

  • Ran track and cross country in college

  • Terrified of turkeys

  • Once lost a game of P.I.G. to an Alpha during swim time

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Meet Anna Rasmussen, our Overnight Camp Program Associate! “The thing I’m most excited about being an overnight PA is getting to support the counselors in building the best possible friendships with their kids and being able to connect with kids from all the different groups we’ll have every week at camp! I love seeing a new group of campers every week getting to have fun, be kids, and hear about Jesus!”

Here are some fun facts about Anna:

  • Can recite 150+ digits of Pi at any time

  • Loves rollerblading, especially on trails

  • Loves music & is a part of 2 choirs at her university

  • Member of the fencing team at her university

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Stationary Day Camp Assistants

Meet Sammy, our Parkville Day Camp Program Assistant! “My favorite part about being a day camp PA is doing all the work that enables the counselors to just focus on their kids. I take all the stress out of their day and let them spend all their time sharing the love of Jesus with their campers. To be able to help them do that is so rewarding for me.”

Meet Julie, our Olathe Day Camp Program Assistant! “My favorite part about being a day camp PA is seeing children grow in front of my very own eyes. Many bloom and come out of their shell throughout the week and it is so beautiful to see. It’s truly the awesome counselors that help make this the case too. Friendships are made, and kids feel at home.”


Traveling Day Camp Assistants

Meet Kristen, our Traveling Day Camp Program Associate. “My favorite part of being a traveling day camp program associate is getting to see all the time, effort, and passion that the counselors pour into their campers! They spend a lot of time learning and preparing and a lot of time being nervous about whether or not they’ll be a counselor that glorifies God and guides kids down the right path, so it’s really inspiring to see their campers respond so positively to all of their efforts! I love being able to see the fruit of their endeavors!”


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We LOVE Thursdays!

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We LOVE Thursdays!

Thursdays are the best. By this time in the week, your campers have no doubt become an expert on all things camp. If they are returners, they have been reminded of why they came back, and if it was their first time here, they are probably already thinking about their next camp adventure. By Thursday, a cabin of campers has become a family. Through shared meal times, studying the Word together, braving mosquitos and zip lines, those who were strangers at the beginning of the week have now become family. Our prayer is that by their fourth night, your children have experienced the most impactful part of coming to camp- belonging.

"God has made the body so more care is given to the parts that need it most. This is so the body will not be divided into parts. All the parts care for each other."

-1 Corinthians 12:24-25

One of the most important things we strive to give our campers at Heartland is a taste of what it truly means to be a part of the body of Christ. We rejoice with one another, we support one another, and we give praise through it all. With every conquered fear and answered prayer, our campers are met with a high five or an encouraging word. We hope this is something all of our campers will seek to replicate at home, with their friend circles, and in their classrooms.


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To the Ends of the Earth

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To the Ends of the Earth

Woah, what a whirlwind the past week and a half has been.

From the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar to dancing in a local restaurant with our new friends, we topped off our Holy Land adventure with a full day of exploring the beautiful city of Istanbul. The highlight of the day was visiting the Hagia Sophia.

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A Covenant Keeping God

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A Covenant Keeping God

If you have ever gone on a vacation or trip you know the barrage of questions that accompany your return. The usual questions like, ‘how was it’ or ‘what was your favorite place’, maybe even a ‘tell me everything’. However eager I am to share the blessing that this trip has been, I’ve found myself at a loss of words to adequately describe the experience.

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A Walk in The Life

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A Walk in The Life

We spent our last day in Israel visiting the sites that are pillars of our Christian faith. Some of us mentioned that we came on the trip to experience what we saw today. The highlight of our morning journey was visiting Bethlehem and seeing where Jesus would have been born at the Church of the Nativity. We then drove back to Jerusalem and spent the afternoon visiting all of our sites on foot.

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Building Faith All Year

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Building Faith All Year

Faith development of your child is a parental responsibility when making the commitment to register them for Heartland Camp. At camp, we guide your child to develop their faith and personal relationship with Christ.

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 Small Groups, That's Our Passion

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Small Groups, That's Our Passion

As you might imagine, I talk about Heartland Camp a lot. I am a camp ministry professional, most people talk about their jobs, it makes sense. I end up answering a lot of questions, often focused on the things Heartland does or doesn’t have.

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What Is ACA Accreditation and Why Is It Important For My Camper?

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What Is ACA Accreditation and Why Is It Important For My Camper?

Picking the perfect camp for your child to spend their summer can seem like an overwhelming decision. After all, there are a ton of options at many different price points. One thing that every parent should be looking for when choosing a camp, whether overnight camp or day camp, is ACA accreditation. ACA accreditation signals that the camp has gone above and beyond the basic state compliances and have developed a safe and comprehensive program. 

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The Unforgettable Moments in Israel

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The Unforgettable Moments in Israel

It’s within these beautiful, indescribable moments that the black and white text in my Bible is finally in color. These moments bring an overflow of emotions and feeling of God’s love each time, but they don’t stop there.

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