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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If you are considering sending your child to a Christian summer camp, ask the question, “Will it be worth the investment?”. The investment of money, time, and trust. These are valuable resources, summers are busier than ever, and your child is precious. Will it be worth it to trust a summer camp with your child?
Camping has long been a traditional rite of passage that demonstrates a shift in increased responsibility and maturity. Today, both children and adults are spending less and less time outdoors. A lot of the blame is placed on the draw of technology. We'd rather play on our tablets than kick a ball around a field, but the loss of outdoor time is also a testament to our busy lives and constant need to be scheduled in order to build the skills we need for the future.
Meet Sam and Sara Richardson, the duo behind a passion project: From Camp to Camp. Their mission? To capture the power of Christian camp and share their experiences with the world.
This power couple lives out of their trailer - and has for the past few months - as they travel from camp to camp across the US, volunteering their time at a variety of Christ-centered, inter-denominational organizations.
Last month in our “60 Years of Heart” blog we talked about how God grew the small seed of an idea into the tree of ministry known as Heartland Center and Camps. Since then, the Lord has planted thousands of seeds at the ACA (American Camping Association) accredited camp and retreat center.
This month we’re sharing the seed stories of two of our newest summer staff members. In the summer of 2017, God called Jana Life and Jenna Lillian to serve at Heartland Camps.
Ohio native Jana Life was torn between getting an internship that would help prepare her for a job after college and working at a new camp. When Jana came across the Marketing Internship Program she felt she had found the best of both worlds. After Michael Megraw the program director got back to her right away, Jana thought to herself “I guess I’m going to Missouri!”
S'mores (n): a classic staple of camps everywhere, uniting kids and adults alike with their sticky, chocolatey, melted deliciousness!
We have arrived back on American soil, the jetlag is setting in, and the entire trip is starting to feel like a dream. In the middle of this dream-like state, I would like to share the last few days of our adventure with you!
My name is Erin and I’m an intern at Heartland Center. Two days ago, Shelby, Tyler, Lauren and I arrived in Israel for our study tour of the Holy Land! This is the first in a series of blog posts where we’ll be sharing our experiences on this amazing, and hopefully life-changing, journey. Here we go!
Is adults playing with children necessary? Sure it is a nice bonus, but is play something worth sacrificing for amongst activities, work, and so many other things that demand our attention. In my three years as a summer camp counselor the answer to that is a resounding yes. Through play at camp I was able to build trust with campers ages 6-17 and see it lead to deep conversations about life and faith.
I am sorry, I lied to you a bit when I said camp changes lives. It is God who changes lives, camp is just the place I first experienced that change. Summer camp gives a unique opportunity for God to work, one that the Lord is more than willing to take. I have now spent ten summers at Heartland Camp as a camper and then as a staff member. I can honestly say that without my time at camp I would not know the love of my Savior the way I do today. As I begin to work full-time for this ministry, I am encouraged to know that my experience is not unique. Many campers, volunteers, and staff have a similar list of ways God has changed their life through camp. Here are the top 5 ways God has changed my life at Heartland:
To start every summer the Heartland Summer Staff is commissioned by the Heartland Presbytery. The whole staff gathers at Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church to be sent off for a summer of ministry. The whole purpose is to send out the staff as one body with the support of the church. Part of the service is a question and answer led by the pastor. He asks the staff questions. “Will you serve children with the love of God?” “Will you put campers and fellow staff before yourself?” And many more like that. Each time the staff answers, “I will with God’s help”. That answer stuck with me through the summer. Through the long weeks and sometimes chaotic days. The only way camp can be run is with God’s help. That is the theme of the summer. This infographic shows some of the highlights of the summer, none of which could have happened without the help of God.
The 2015 camp season finished with a bang. Well… it was more like Bible studies, songs, games, and lots of fun but you get the idea. Our second annual Winter CamFam reunion was our biggest ever!
Winter may be here to stay, but that doesn't mean that the games have to go. Heartland has come up with some twists on classic camp games to make them perfect for playing in the snow or for spending a long day indoors!
Roasted marshmallow, crunchy graham cracker, and melty chocolate what could be better than a s'more? Well more s'mores of course. Enjoy some creative twists on your favorite camp treat! If you don't have access to a fire, never fear there is still plenty of goodness inside to keep you happy through the winter!
The Holiday times are a great time to get the family together and reminisce over the blessings of the past year. It is also a great time to serve as a family. What better way to show your child that service, gratitude, and hard work are important than by serving together as a family. There are plenty of service opportunities for all ages, who knows it might just become the next family tradition.
There can be many worries when it comes to praying; am I saying the right words, am I focused enough, am I even allowed to ask for that? I know I have felt those worries and others that seem to make prayer into a duty and stressor in my life instead of it being a conversation with Jesus. I know I must try to grow in prayer, the opportunity to talk to the living God is too good to be missed! What better way to begin praying that beginning with your children? Together you can grow in knowing what a life with Jesus is about.
As it starts to get colder it can get harder and harder to remember the good times of summer. To help we are updating a classic summer treat! We have taken the melty chocolate and gooey marshmallows from the campfire s’mores you love and put them in one easy to bake cookie!