Jun 28, 2023 | John W. Coleman

1 Camp Family at 4 Sites

The four, diverse Eastern PA Conference Camp & Retreat Centers are a closeknit family, united and inspired by their mission to share the love of Jesus among visitors, volunteers and staff who come from all over. Indeed, they are part of an extended family that warmly embraces churches from across the region and now also the Greater New Jersey Conference.

Those familial bonds are most evident during this season, when the four centers’ open their summer camps to visitors of all ages and from all places. They welcome all to come join in fun-filled, faith-forming, festive activities, both outdoors and indoors, surrounded by the matchless, miraculous beauty of God’s Creation. Here are reports provided by our family of four:

Carson Simpson Farm, Hatboro (Willow Grove), PA     

It is summertime, and we are off to a beautiful start here at Carson Simpson! We have a spare number of openings for the nine weeks of camp this season; and are happy to serve campers from age three and potty-trained up to fourteen.

We have 55 paid staff and six volunteers serving; and the commitment made by the staff this year is to be proactive and prayerful. Each day the team is committed to providing a unique, Christ-centered experience that glorifies God and encourages constant fellowship with our Creator.

We have 300 campers registered and are excited to have two more weeks of PEACE ministries this summer. We’re eager to serve our ever-growing camp community. Our CSF Gives Back Program, where staff and campers raise money for families in need, is excited to raise funds for refugee families from Ukraine this year. This program is near to all our hearts as it allows our campers and staff to support those in greater need and to lift these families in prayer as the war continues overseas.

Throughout the season, we are sure there will be many memories, programs, Bible lessons and positive relationships that will continually exemplify the quality that the EPAUMC has in its camp and retreat ministries. If you want more information or wish to support our ministry, give us a call or visit our website at Carson Simpson Farm.

Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center, Lebanon, PA

Our favorite time of year is here again. Summer camp began June 18 with our Camp Can-Do Sibling Camp (siblings of kids with cancer) and Knack Track Day Camp. Over eight weeks we will serve over 1,200 children and youth.

Our 39 trained staff from six countries are a reflection of the many others who came before—decades of wonderful volunteers and summer staff who built Gretna Glen into what it is today.

Our full programs and waitlists of campers hoping to get a spot are a sign of the Christ-like service of those that have led Bible discovery time, played crazy games in the meadow, led campfire worship, and all the other great camp adventures. As we strive to keep our tradition going, what an honor it is to know that we have the opportunity to spread the love of Jesus to all these children and youth.

If you want to be a part of creating a welcoming space for kids to fall in love with God, creation, and themselves, give us a call. Or visit our website at Gretna Glen.

Innabah Camp & Retreat Center, Spring City, PA

The sounds of campers laughing and singing are what we’ve been missing at Innabah. We are so excited for the summer camp season of 2023 to begin! Our mission is to provide experiences that last a lifetime in an environment where campers and guests can make new friends, challenge themselves, and explore and grow in their faith.

Our 20 staff and over 60 volunteers for the summer are looking forward to seeing all the smiling faces as we make s’mores, search for crayfish in the creek, slip and slide down the foam slide, shoot colorful targets at the slingshot range, and learn how we can praise God’s name every day.

We have 110 young campers registered for the seven weeks of day camp we are offering this summer. And we have almost 400 total overnight campers registered for our six weeks of overnight camp. In addition, we have other programs where parents can come with their children and grandparents can attend with their grandchildren.

Innabah is very fortunate to provide overnight summer Challenge Camp programs for adults with intellectual disabilities. Watching these individuals experience all that camp has to offer truly brings us so much joy! For more information about what we do and for ways you can help support our ministry, visit us at Innabah.

Pocono Plateau Camp & Retreat Center, Cresco, PA 

Pocono Plateau is excited to start a new summer season! We will welcome campers from ages 5 through 18 this summer, as well as families during the July 4th holiday. We have 14 summer staff and will have about 100 volunteers throughout the summer.

Campers will learn about God’s boundless presence, grace, and love in their lives. Campers will also explore nature and challenge themselves to grow spiritually and socially through recreation, adventure programs, and fellowship. We currently have over 300 registered for overnight camp and expect that to grow to about 500 by the end of summer.

Because of the need for childcare in our expanding local area, we are also offering two weeks of day camp this year. Next summer we plan to launch a full summer of day camp!

Emma Kleckner is our waterfront director this year. She started coming as a tag-along 20 years ago and has been back almost every summer as a camper, counselor or summer staffer. “Pocono Plateau is my home away from home,” she says. “I would not be where I am today in my walk with God without Pocono Plateau. I want to give that back to the next generation of campers. Camp provides a firm foundation for a good relationship with Christ.” Visit us online at Pocono Plateau.