This year’s two Youth Camps at Pilgrim Point have been filled to the brim with joy! Just look at the pictures! We’re including a few here, but I encourage you to go to our Pilgrim Point Camp Facebook page. We’re continuing to post more pictures and videos throughout the weeks.
Our spirits are high and our faith deepens by softening our hearts through simple competitive water games, small “family” group conversations, large group presentations and facilitations, early morning Taize services, evening vespers, pick-up games of ultimate Frisbee, learning new UCC “heart songs”, good food, and great church adult leaders.
But, fun and games are only part of the method to this delightful camp madness. The primary driver for our Pilgrim Point staff led by Camp Director Gigi Nauer, is to grow the ministry of each and every UCC church (132) in our Minnesota conference. At our Youth Camps we are doing this by several means:
1. Combining our Middle School and High School age groups so that churches with both Middle School and High School youths might take up only one week for their camp experience. In other words, our churches don’t have to choose one age group over the other… all are welcome!
2. This larger spread of ages allows for mentoring from youth “elders” to the younger campers, thus increasing the bonding of youth groups from all our churches.
3. Our Family Groups are composed of youth from the same churches… and, as long as each church sends youth leaders with their youth, we have their own youth leaders be the Family Group leader. Their common experience of camp translates into stronger youth groups back home.
4. Still, their cabin experience is with their own age groups. i.e. Middle Schoolers with Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers with High Schoolers.
5. All of our adult leaders are made aware of special needs and encourage appropriate interaction with other youth at every opportunity. It’s always amazing! We see a greater independence and confidence being grown in ALL our youth at camp.
6. We grow our adult leaders’ abilities, too! When ever possible, we spread leadership opportunities for all our adult leaders and youth: Vespers are planned by family groups; Water games are lead by all the leaders; Large group presentations are shared with adult leaders who have particular expertise in an area; etc.
7. Pilgrim Point Camp SPIRIT and JOY comes back to YOUR CHURCH! The energy that is caught at camp can now be infused into your home church because they’ve shared a common experience through song, play, and worship.
Pilgrim Point Camp is a ministry of the Minnesota Conference. We want every UCC adult, family, youth, and child to revel in this beautiful place. There are several weekends still open. Won’t you join us?! Come on… the water’s fine!