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.
S'mores (n): a classic staple of camps everywhere, uniting kids and adults alike with their sticky, chocolatey, melted deliciousness!
AN INSIDER'S VIEW ON HOW HEARTLAND IS PREPARING FOR THIS INCREDIBLE CHRIST-FILLED SUMMER THROUGH WORK CAMP.
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:
Heartland staff’s Christmas traditions are all over the map; including Norwegian food and hymns sung in Spanish. The one thing all traditions have in common is that they are a big part of what makes the Christmas season special. They help us grow closer to our friends and family as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Our Heartland staff family would love to share our favorite Christmas traditions with you.
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.
This summer our theme was Love Never Fails. We learned about the amazing unceasing love of God through reading the Bible, prayer, worship and community. Our hope is that if anyone who came onto camp remembered nothing else, they would remember that “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39. To help remember Gods unceasing love here is a devotional to share with your child.
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!
*This post was originally published June 2015*
Get a peak into what training for Heartland's summer staff looks like and how it prepares them for leading our fantastic campers.