"Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment. Most schools don't satisfy all these needs."
It was 60 years ago that a seed of an idea grew into an American Camping Association accredited camp and retreat center. It began with a dream that turned into a reality thanks to the foresight, vision and dedication of the members of the Kansas City Presbytery, now Heartland Presbytery. A plot of 180 acres near Parkville, Missouri was purchased in 1956 for $26,250. A basement house, a pump house, a garage and a pig shed came with the property. By 1958, a camp opened on the little plot of woodland.
The seed had been planted, and soon it began to grow.
This past summer at Heartland we learned about who we are as God’s children through our theme of
S'mores (n): a classic staple of camps everywhere, uniting kids and adults alike with their sticky, chocolatey, melted deliciousness!
This is a finals week devotional for all you crazy college kids out there. Finals is a time of chaos, of busyness, of huge deadlines, and lots of stress. In all of that it can be hard to stop. Hard to stop worrying, stop studying, and let’s be honest stop procrastinating. It is easy to get so caught up in our lives and our stress that we forget the most important things. We forget God.
Growing up I never owned a pet. I was always told Mom didn’t like cats and Dad didn’t like dogs so there were going to be no pets in our house. The reason we couldn’t have a rabbit or fish or hermit crab was never fully explained to me, but the point is, I didn’t grow up with a furry (or scaly) companion
Our staff welcomed the Friendship campers to camp Tuesday morning and instantly they had 38 new friends, who even before they knew their name had told them they loved them. Unconditional love is what our staff learn about this week, they live it out with their campers showing them everyday, every hour , every minute what it really means to love someone.
The campers have for sure honed their wilderness cooking skills this week. Sunday’s dinner was a great learning experience and since then things have only gotten better! We are now able to cook stir-fry, biscuits, scrambled eggs, and pork chops – all over a camp fire!
Just over the past few days I have seen growth in these children. Let’s face it, it has been hot and sticky and it’s not always easy to get along when you’re tired. But here is what I have seen: the kids have worked together to make meals on a campfire and clean up. They have been encouraging each other at the archery range.
Our group has bonded really quickly and it's so much fun to see how our campers take care of each other and include each other. This week, we have been learning about how God created each one of us for a purpose, and how much God loves each one of us.
They not only ride their horses, they groom them, tack them and learn about their care. They form bonds with these great big animals that are so very gentle. My favorite part of at the end of this week is seeing how they have learned from their horses.
Best of all, we've had the chance to take this time away from the hustle of our everyday lives and spend time learning about who God says that we are. We've read through scriptures and had a chance to talk through each theme, asking our questions and learning from one another
It was great to see every camper eagerly engaged in the activity and working together to combine these ingredients which normally wouldn't share the same plate. Their small groups were as varied as their groceries, each camper brought their own unique flavors and textures to the meal.
Our camp family name is the LegenDAIRY Crusaders (because we love all things diary related) and this week our goal is to try something new, go on adventures, and spread God’s love.
The week started out with 12 campers arriving Sunday afternoon and has been a non-stop, fun-filled week since. Campers have received the opportunity to test their physical ability on the low and high ropes courses, as well as, engage in physically and mentally demanding activities.
This week has been full of questions, creativity and Disney sing-offs already. They enjoy brainteasers and riddles and challenging each other. I can't wait to see what the rest of the week brings--they are so fun and full of energy it's going to be an adventure! God is good!
Our group is incredibly close knit. My favorite part of seeing them together is that they are great at vocalizing their appreciation of one another. That is rare in campers this age, so I appreciate how open they are with each other.
Senior High Leadership is a camp program here at Heartland that is very dear to my heart. It is a week that provides space for young people to follow the example of Jesus in order to serve younger campers, staff, one another, and ultimately our Lord.
This week at Horse Camp we have seen God working through our time spent with His beautiful creation. The campers have had daily interactions with the horses including time to groom them, make horse treats, learn to saddle and bridle, and of course, ride. Their daily rides are spent on different trails throughout Heartland and the campers have enjoyed seeing The Lord’s creation from a whole new perspective.
Our theme for the week was “I am…”. Each day we focused on a different part of our identity that is rooted in Jesus Christ. At our morning Bible study and our nighttime worship, we discussed stories in the Bible that related to each theme and how to apply them practically in our lives.