Let's Go Camping!

May 25, 2016

You ever wonder where we got the name for our newsletter and website? The name of this camp brochure from 1952 gives us a clue! Brochures like this were a very creative way for campers to learn about and register for camp. Furthermore, with the camp stamp books that churches received in the mail, potential campers could also earn their own way to camp by purchasing stamps, which they affixed to the book.

Four things I noticed and loved about this old brochure:

1. There were three camps listed: Camp Magruder, Suttle Lake Camp, and... Camp Myrtlewood? For a few years prior to Camp Latgawa's purchase in 1953, the Oregon Methodists rented space at Camp Myrtlewood, a Church of the Brethren camp near Myrtle Point for three weeks during the summer. This camp is still in operation by the historic peace church to this day!

2. Although we now have adventure camps for all ages, the description of "Christian Adventure Camps" still applies: "A thrilling opportunity awaits every Junior High boy and girl in these camps. The group will live close to nature in a friendly, Christian family. There will be an atmosphere of worship, communion, discussion, research, handicraft, nature lore, games, and campfires. Christian principles, discussed with counselors, will be practiced - thus learning and doing will go hand in hand."

3. An item on the "What to bring" list illustrates how far we've come: "At least one water bucket for each camp will be required except at Camp Magruder." (Thankfully, ALL of our camps have a more than adequate supply of running water and sewer systems today!)

4. On that same list, a simple request showed that we were just beginning to enter into an era of digital distraction to which camps were seeking to be an alternative: "No radios, please."

I get goosebumps when I consider the generations of children, youth and adults, who have sat around the same campfire circles or looked at the same moon reflected in the same waters, sharing their stories and their hopes and dreams for their world. It is important to look back on these years seminal to the foundation of Camp and Retreat Ministries every once in a while. I give thanks to God for the foresight of visionaries who knew that our connection to Jesus through deep relationships in the wilderness would become such an important part of creating disciples in our region. It has (can I get an "Amen!"?), and with your contribution to the Joy Fund for camp scholarships or to any of the development funds of Camp and Retreat Ministries, it will continue for many, many years to come.

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P.S. If you want to see a more complete image of this old brochure, click on the thumbnails below... just promise to not try to register for one of the events! :)

© 2014 Camp and Retreat Ministries:

A partnership between The Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church
and The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon