Let’s get to the most important thing first – summer camp registration is now OPEN for the 2017 season. The best way to support our camps is to attend them and use the sites for retreats, getaways, gatherings and to simply quiet your mind for a few moments. Don’t miss out on these life-changing experiences this summer. Visit www.journeythehills.org today!
On Friday, December 9th I attended the Ohio Conference Board of Directors Meeting with our lead consultant from Kaleidoscope, Jody Oates. Jody presented the findings of his study that Affirm Camp commissioned in 2015. We tasked Jody with determining the feasibility of running a summer camp program at Pilgrim Hills and providing us with a business plan for doing so. After determining that the report would be best used by the Ohio Conference, we made a decision to gift this report to the Conference for their use – in whichever way they saw fit. The report was received very well and Jody answered questions regarding the report and his findings in the time we were allotted. We are grateful to the Ohio Conference leadership for inviting us to this meeting and making us feel like we were heard. We are also grateful for their acceptance of the Kaleidoscope report and we hope that it will prove to be valuable to them as we go forward.
We still believe that there is a need and a desire for a progressive outdoor ministries program in Ohio. In this era of instant gratification and the need for everything immediately, we believe camp provides a much-needed alternative to the fast pace of today’s culture. We believe that driving a few extra miles to reach our destination for such an experience is a small price to pay for the value of what a week at camp can provide for our young people. While we still firmly believe that Pilgrim Hills is the best site suitable for the next chapter of our Outdoor Ministries, we also recognize that suitable doesn’t always equate to sustainable.
Next Friday, our Conference Board of Directors will once again gather around a table and face decisions regarding our camps that will not be easy to agree upon or easy to accept. Our prayers are with the Conference leadership as they prayerfully consider the options they have in front of them for our Outdoor Ministries programs in Ohio.
There are literally thousands of people who have a vested interest in our two beloved camps and there are just as many passionate emotions from stakeholders of all ages surrounding the future of these sites. Our hope and prayer is that whatever decision is made next Friday, that the Conference will work to ensure that our beloved Outdoor Ministries is provided with proper leadership and resources to move into this new chapter.
Whether you are from the dirt roads of Wayne County or the well-manicured lawns of Sylvania or the concrete covered streets of Camp Washington in Cincinnati, the power of camp will always hold true. Camp transforms lives. Camp builds self-esteem and tears down stereotypes. Camp develops independence and confidence. Camp matters.
-Nate Taylor, Affirm Camp