Hope Conference & Renewal Center, an outdoor ministry of the Eastern District, is preparing for hundreds of campers and staff members to experience a memorable week of camp this summer. The season will be filled with swimming in the pool, boating on the lake, singing and learning in Hassler Hall, meeting new friends, laughing at campfires, playing basketball and volleyball, worshipping by the lake or on the hill, and much more.
Overlooking Little Silver Lake in Hope, N.J, Hope Center offers a special time for all ages. Youth of confirmation age will open the season in early May, as they learn about Moravian history and heritage, led by the Eastern District Director of Christian Education, Marie Couts. Youth and adults are welcome at the NorthEast Moravian Disaster Relief work weekend, and families and campers of all ages join together at the Memorial Day Weekend Family Camp.
There is a camp for each age group. Students who have just completed grades 1 and 2 can come sample the camping experience during Pre-Primary Conference, led by dean Shannon Swingle with a program by Pastor Andy Kilps. This camp lasts only three days, but it packs a lot into that time. For campers finishing grades 3 and 4 there is Primary Conference, a week of activities and study, but with plenty of recreational and social time. Pastor Tammie Rinker, the camp dean, and Pastor Cynthia Geyer are planning a memorable week. Middler Conference is for those completing grades 5 and 6, and includes its own carnival, Olympics, and special activities, under the leadership of Pastors Blair Couch and Sayward Lippincott.
Pastor Rhonda Robinson is preparing an exciting week for campers finishing grades 7 and 8 at Jr. High Conference, where they will grow spiritually and socially through study and sharing. Those completing grade 9 through age 21 look forward to Sr./Post High Conference, where they connect with new and old friends, and strengthen their faith through community, a coffeehouse, and a commitment service. This year, the week will take you “Beyond the Buns” with Pastors Jeff Coppage and Lance Fox, led by deans Barbara Ottervik and Brian Lauderman.
There are camps for special interests as well. Guys and girls in grades 7 through 11 who want to learn to fish, or to improve their skills, are invited to attend Fishing Camp. Fishing specialist Bob Wingrove and Chaplain Derek French will teach campers about equipment, bait, lures, and lead them on an overnight trip to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, as well as prepare the traditional Friday night fish fry. Campers who have completed grades 3 through 6 can come to Swimming Camp, where you learn new skills and strokes, taught by the Hope Center Aquatics Team with dean Ellen Saylor and Chaplain Jeffrey Gehris. Women who love to sew, whether it’s on a quilt or on something else, are invited to attend Quilt Camp in October, organized by Pastor Lois Bly Mease. Times of Bible study and worship are included in all of the special interest camps.
Even if you are no longer in school, or not even Moravian, Hope Center has a place for you. Pastors and lay persons can use their talents as counselors, nurses, program leaders, and role models. Campers are encouraged to bring a friend with them to camp, regardless of their religious affiliation. For those who need it, financial aid may be available; contact your pastor or Hope Center.
Susan M. Dreydoppel is the administrative assistant for Hope Conference & Renewal Center. She is a member of the Schoeneck Moravian Church in Nazareth, Pa., and represents the Lehigh Valley, North on the Eastern District Executive Board.
From the May 2013 Moravian Magazine