May 06, 2022 | By John W. Coleman

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19a)

During nature’s season of vibrant vitality, EPA Conference Camp & Retreat Centers are springing forth into new things. They are hosting and planning exciting new events and site improvements, while making preparations and registering children and youth for the thrill of their summer camps.

Some old favorites do remain on the spring schedule, however, including Gretna Glen’s popular Gretna Gritty 5k Mud Run race this Saturday, May 7, from 8 AM to 3 PM.

This ninth annual fundraiser has drawn thousands of competitors to run and walk its challenging obstacle course and raised $270,000 so far to help pay down the camp’s mortgage. But like all camp activities, it also gathers families and friends to create indelible memories. Organizers look forward to welcoming plenty of runners and walkers of all ages and some helpful volunteers. Download the 2022 Gritty Flyer.

Gretna Glen will follow the Gritty with its annual Spring Fling – Senior Adult Day on Tuesday, May 10, offering lively activities, lunch and snacks, entertainment, games and crafts, as well as hiking and strolls around the camp and simple fellowship with friends. The camp’s annual Open House  will ensue on Saturday, May 21.

Pocono Plateau will host its annual Open House this Saturday, May 7, rain and/or shine, as it counts down to the start of Summer Camp. And Camp Innabah is preparing for its annual Open House May 21, while signing up young people for Day Camp in July and August.

Ministry Impact Grants from UM Camp & Retreat Ministries total $115,800 

Meanwhile, the new things being planned at the camps include initiatives that received a total of  $115,800 this year in Ministry Impact Grants from United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries, a denominational association.

Carson Simpson received $30,000 to sponsor”Worship Fest,” a lively, outdoor, free celebration of faith on Saturday, Oct. 15, 12 to 5 PM, that will bring together youth, young adults, churches and community members from across EPA and beyond. Performances will include local music and spoken-word artists and worship teams.

Gretna Glen will receive $22,800 to install an Adaptive Kayak Launching Dock that can enable campers and guests with wheelchairs and disabilities to access its boats and kayaks. Watch this video to see how one works.  

Innabah was granted $55,000 to add an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) System. The system will enable the camp to better control temperatures in the dining hall and improve air quality and ventilation for campers’ comfort.

Scene from new Summer Camps video

And the four camps received together $8,000 for a combined marketing effort to reinforce their overall marketing across EPA through video and social media. There’s a cool, new video that promotes summer camp at all four locations. Produced by the Rev. Diana Esposito, it’s under 2 minutes long and features fun, lively, colorful scenes of summer camp, all narrated in a child’s voice. Watch it now at 2022 EPA Camp & Retreat Promo Video.

Be sure to also visit the camps creative, informative websites and Facebook pages.