Laurel Ridge, the Moravian camp for the Southern Province, is a mountain place set apart for forming disciples of Jesus Christ who live and learn in community to serve in the world. And for many who have ever been on the mountain, there is only one Laurel Ridge Experience!
Laurel Ridge offers campers a chance to explore and strengthen their faith in a setting that allows them to connect with the outdoors through activities such as swimming, hiking, canoeing and environmental education.
For nearly 60 years, campers have grown in their spiritual faith, developed lifelong friendships, dedicated their lives to Christ and discovered Laurel Ridge to be a very special place. Summer camps are possible thanks to dedicated, caring and well trained volunteers who serve as counselors, deans, nurses, interest group leaders and provide program support.
Summer camps continue to be Laurel Ridge’s most popular programs, providing summer fun for youth grades 1 through 12.
Pre Junior Camp is the perfect introduction to Laurel Ridge for campers who have completed grades 1 or 2 and is held July 29 – 31. Two days fly by so fast that most campers ask, “When am I old enough to come for a whole week?” The schedule is packed with songs, games and activities to keep our youngest campers busy and happy for their stay away home. The theme for 2016 Pre Junior Camp is “The Good Shepherd” with Deans Gail Theard and Rev. Christopher Thore.
There are four options for Junior Campers who have finished grades 3, 4 or 5.
At Eco Camp (June 12-18) we believe that, “If there is a creek, you should be in it and if there is dirt, it should be on you!” This camp takes hands-on learning to the next level, immersing campers in God’s creation to learn about the bugs, fish, animals and plants that are indigenous to the over 600 acres of Laurel Ridge. Deans for Eco Camp are Rev. Rick Sides and Rev. Christy Clore.
The theme for both sessions of Junior Camp is, “Creation: Back to the Beginning.” Junior Campers will learn about all that God created and what that means for them. Along with traditional elements like crafts, sports, lake activities and campfires, Junior Campers will share in some of the classic stories of the Bible. Deans for Junior Camp 1 (July 31-Aug. 6) are Rev. John D. and Mary Rights; Deans for Junior Camp 2 (August 7-13) are Rev. Scott and Liz Venable with Daniel and Heidi Everhart.
Coming back in 2016 is Arts Camp for Junior Campers June 19-25. Deans Rev. Tripp May and Joyce Vance work with Arts Campers who truly love the arts and want to explore them in a mountain setting. Activities offered include painting, drawing/sketching, dance, singing, photography and more! Looking at the gifts God has given will enhance this new and innovative camp. Arts Camp will be based out of Higgins Lodge.
Middle High Campers who have finished grades 6-8 have three options! Inspired by the lessons taught at Eco Camp, Eco Mission Camp (June 12-18) takes older campers out into the areas surrounding Laurel Ridge to serve as stewards of God’s earth. Blending elements from our Mission Camps and Summer Camps together, campers will get to travel off-site during the morning and early afternoon to complete work projects and experience traditional camp activities in the late afternoon.
The theme for Middle High Camp (June 19-25) is, “Build Up.” Deans the Rev. Jeff Jones and Catherine Long are putting together a program using Romans 12:1 to explore the building blocks of living for God. The week will be filled with summer camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, sports, Group Interaction Course, archery, crafts, music and campfires every evening.
Brand new for 2016 is Music Camp for Middle High Campers who are beginners to experienced musicians. Campers will be able to learn to play instruments, strengthen their skills, discover what a Singstunde is and why music is important in worship. Join Deans Rev. Dave Merritt and Dr. Nola Reed Knouse July 10-16 for an amazing experience! Music Camp will be based out of Higgins Lodge.
Playing off the hype of this election year, the theme of Senior High Camp (July 10-16) is “Decision 2016,” focusing on Joshua 24:1-28 where we find this prompt, “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” Senior High Camp will include all the summer camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, sports, Group Interaction Course, archery, crafts, music, and campfires every evening. The 2016 Dance Theme will be “Favorite Character” from a movie, book, etc. The Deans for this week are Rev. Joe Moore and Meredith Dowdy. The program was created by Justin Rabbach and Dewey Mullis; the Rt. Rev. Sam Gray will be Camp Chaplain.
Laurel Ridge will host four Mission Camps (June 26-July 2, July 3-9, July 17-23 and July 24-30) for youth groups (grades 6-12) to serve the less fortunate in the High Country. Mission Camps match youth groups and their adult leaders with work sites based on their skill level and project needs. Groups should provide adult leadership (one adult for every five students) and transportation to and from mission sites.
And a brand new camp offered for 2016 is for adults who want to relive camp and renew their faith. Dean Beth Hayes leads participants through “Living the Labyrinth” J.O.Y. Camp based out of Higgins Lodge August 1-4.
For more information about Laurel Ridge camp offerings, visit www.laurelridge.org.
Scarlett Dowdy is program manager at Laurel Ridge Camp & Conference Center in Laurel Springs, N.C.