United Methodist church camps are fun! Overnights away from home. Sleeping in a tent. Swimming in a lake. Zip lining. Rock climbing. Roasting marshmallows. Learning new skills. Meeting new friends. It’s great!
Church camp is also where many United Methodists have profound spiritual encounters. Sensing God’s presence during a morning hike. Learning of Jesus’s love while doing devotions in a canoe. Feeling the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit around the campfire at the end of the day. These moments with God change lives.
When I was 12 years old, I went to camp for the first time and I was terrified,” recalls Sara Shaw, Coordinator of Camping Ministry for the Great Plains United Methodist Conference. Her main reason for attending was, “It was horse camp, and I loved horses.”
“I remember looking up at the trees and the sun shining through with the wind rustling the leaves. That’s when I knew Christ. That’s when I knew I was where I was supposed to be. That’s when I knew that I wasn’t alone,” Shaw remembers. “Whether I was in the middle of a forest, at camp, at home, at school, on a hiking trail, or on the back of a horse, Christ was with me.”
But also, please reflect and share with us any heart-warming or maybe even life-changing camping memories you may have.
Whether you were a young camper, a staff member, counselor or volunteer—or even the parent of a young camper—we want to know and possibly share your inspiring remembrance with other readers. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include photos if you have any. We would love to do our own feature story camping memories of Eastern PA Conference members later this month. So please send us what you can by July 23. Thanks!