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Camp Reflections

Sorry about the delay for this month's Blog.  I had another plan for this month's blog, but that fell through and then I had to be out of town the first week of June.  Once back, I needed to process my experience so I could put it into words!

The Diocese of Kansas just concluded its annual MegaCamp, where youth from all over the diocese (and some from the Diocese of Western Kansas as well) came together at Camp Wood YMCA for a week of fun, learning, and worship.  The kids aged from 3rd grade through those who just graduated High School.  I have had the privilege of being chosen as a volunteer for this endeavor now for that last four years and look forward to it again next year.

If you’ve never been involved in camp, well, it’s quite the undertaking.  Adult staff notices can start as early as January, and are a diverse group from those who might be just finishing their first year of college to some of us in our 50s and 60s.  Jobs can range from nursing staff, programming staff, cabin counselors, to some administrative positions.  We all come together, with almost 200 kids, to this camp outside the tiny little (almost ghost) town of Elmdale, KS.  Camp Wood has hosted the diocese now for decades.  Recently they have made serious upgrades, including adding a better water distribution system, replacing cabins with larger more modern ones (though still plenty rustic), and new bathhouses.  The old Hutch Hall on the property has been upgraded through a capital campaign as well, without losing any of its historic charm.


The staff undergoes several hours of training at camp prior to the arrival of the campers, and then the serious work begins.  The youth have daily programming in Christian education, daily worship sessions, and yes, the chance to participate in activities put forth by both the YMCA staff as well as E-Staff (the adults from the diocese).  As the kids get older, the programming and worship get more “intense” (for lack of a better word).  Wednesday night worship traditionally involves a MegaEucharist at Hi-Y, the hill overlooking the camp, as well as s’mores served around a campfire.  All three groups have a talent show, where they get to be a silly or serious as they want.  It’s a great time all the way around.

It is a delight to work not just with other adults from all over the diocese, but also with the youth.  I have been privileged during the previous three years to be a cabin counselor and group leader in the Jr. High camp; this year I provided administrative support to the Elementary Camp Director, led an elementary group, and provided mail delivery to all three age groups.  The stage was filled with mail and goodies from families that had to be sorted and delivered on specific days – and more mail kept coming in through regular USPS routes as well!  It was such a great joy Friday to see the back half of the staff room, which had been filled with packages, empty as the last mail went out!


Youth Ministry is so vitally important.  I have said many times that the youth ARE the church.  They are our future and the future of Christianity.  St. David’s saw 6 of our youth go to camp, as well as 4 of our adults – Sydney even came back from the east coast, once again, to help out!  Bishop Wolfe, our previous bishop, had a policy that every kid who wanted to go to camp should get the opportunity and I sincerely hope our next bishop carries on with this.  Youth Ministry, both at St. David’s and the diocese, is always looking for help.  This can be financial, or you can volunteer to work a youth event.  I think you will be surprised at the enjoyment and energy you will find in such work!

We are also well represented in the Diocesan Youth Commission, the group that provides guidance and advice to the Diocesan Youth Missioner.  John Cordova was elected to that group last year, and this year Gillian Typer was also elected to serve in that group!


This month's blog was from Bryan Irvine
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