Camp Innabah photo.

Camps offer winter wonders, while preparing for summer

By John W. Coleman

“He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.” — John Burroughs

We’re in that season now when our Camp & Retreat Centers may seem like they are hibernating. Quiet, sleepy, with barren trees and terrain, and on most days, missing the voices of rambunctious campers filling their buildings and grounds.

But they are busy nonetheless, hosting winter retreats and preparing for spring celebrations, doing maintenance tasks, recruiting staff and volunteers, raising funds and visiting churches to sign up a new season of eager summer campers. And while summer’s full palate of lush, warm colors has yet to appear, those who retreat to our camps now will still find “equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.”

Indeed, summer camp registration is underway now, and camp directors are making the rounds to fill their rolls at active, supportive churches eager to offer treasures of nature and nurture to their precious children and youth. But long before the “darling buds of May” spring forth, along with the annual open houses at each site, we have “winter blasts” and “winter escapes,” spring retreats and even a challenge camp to offer a timely foretaste of  summer’s glee.

So take a look at these upcoming events, and plan for you or your youth to attend least one. Don’t wait for the familiar beauty of summer; there’s plenty of winter wonder at our camps that awaits you now. Go, and enjoy!

Camp & Retreat Centers

Innabah Camp & Retreat Center
  • Feb. 2-4:  Children’s & Youth Winter Retreats (Grades 3-6 and 7-12):  Join us for a winter weekend version of summer camp activities: group games, campfires, arts & crafts, Bible study, special activities, 5 meals, and much more. Cost is $100 for the weekend. Register online HERE!
  • Feb. 4: Drop-in Party, 12:30-2 30 PM
  • Feb. 23-25: Challenge Camp Retreat. Join us for a winter weekend version of summer camp activities for our campers with intellectual disabilities: group games, campfires, arts & crafts, Bible study, special activities, 5 meals, and much more! Cost is $130 for the weekend. Register online HERE!
  • March 16-19: Women’s Spring Retreat. Register online HERE! Come for a day or a full weekend to enjoy time apart. Connect with God and with other women for fun fellowship, music, worship, Bible study, prayer, crafts, games and an afternoon tea party on Saturday. Rates vary.
Pocono Plateau Camp & Retreat Center
  • January 26-28: Youth Group Winter Escape for youth groups, grades 6th to 12th, with adults leaders. Fun sessions, meals, snacks, activities, an offsite snow tubing trip group bonding, gaga, broom ball, sledding, ice skating, and more fun than you can imagine!  Speaker Jay Trainer, with his Infuzion ministry team preaches and teaches on the hope and wholeness that is found in Jesus Christ alone.  Learn more and register…

  • February 23-25: United Methodist Confirmation Retreat. Your youth are about to make an exciting commitment to their local churches.  This weekend offers a unique experience to be challenged and to grow in Christ. This is a time for youth to experience quality time as a group free from distractions, grow in their understanding of their faith journey, and meet other confirmands throughout our Conference. The weekend is full of group activities, recreation, good food & snacks, teaching, reflection time, and sharing. Leadership includes the Revs. Amy Banka (Hopewell UMC), and Andrea Haldeman (West Lawn UMC). Cost: $90 per youth; $30 per adult  Learn more and register…
  • April 27-29:  Dangerous Retreat for Boys (& Dads). Exhilarating, dangerous experiences for boys and their dads to enjoy together! Celebrate boyhood (and fatherhood) by exploring adventures and getting back to the basics of how God made us. For boys in grades 3 – 10 with their dads. Cost: Boys: $99; Dad: $89. Learn more and register…
Gretna Glen Camp
  • Jan. 27-28: Youth Winter Blast Retreat.  Saturday, 10 AM – Sunday, 2 PM, “To grow closer to God and to one another”  Cost: $50. Help available. Take a break from school and come to camp for a weekend full of games, awesome worship, and hanging out with youth from churches around the area.  It’s everything you love about camp packed into one weekend of fun. Register now.
  • Feb. 18 & March 18: Free Youth Nights. Sundays, at 4 PM.
  • March 2-4: Youth Diversity Retreat, “Actively Discovering Human Diversity.” Friday, 6 PM to Sunday, 2 PM. For youth in grades 8–12. This active weekend retreat will engage participants in experiencing diversity in foods, games, worship, ideas, culture, perspectives, etc. Space is limited to 24 youth and adults.Cost is $95 with scholarship help if needed. Contact Carlen Blackstone at blackstonec@verizon.net or Dave Piltz at dpiltz@epaumc.org for more information.

Carson Simpson Farm
  • Carson-Simpson Farm Christian Center will hold Parent meetings in February for participants in its Disciple youth program. Then it will welcome parents to “come check us out for summer 2018” at three Camp Nights for Parents: March 21 (5-7 PM), April 8 (6:30-8 PM), and April 19 (5-7 PM).