Fun in the woods. Songs of faith around a campfire. Spiritual formation amongst nature. Friendships formed and nurtured. A love of Jesus grown. In a word: “camp!”
For many Moravians in the U.S. and Canada, these thoughts represent treasured memories of summers spent in one of the church’s camping ministry programs. Whether in the mountains of North Carolina at Laurel Ridge; the woods of Wisconsin at Mt. Morris; rural New Jersey at Camp Hope; the natural splendor of Alberta at Camp Van Es; or the locations of mid-states or California camping, campers experience weeks of friendship, faith and fun that can have an impact for years to come.
Each year, dedicated staff and volunteers at each of the church’s camps help children and young adults learn more about their faith. Camping is a long-running tradition among Moravians, with generations sharing the experience and love of our camping ministry.
More than 50 years ago, Bishop George Higgins summed up the camping ministry: “Most of our learning today comes from books or such media as television. Most of us live in crowded cities. We ride on concrete streets and highways. We even worship at a fixed time on a fixed day. Because of this we have a special need to discover anew the wonder of God’s creation. We need time for reflection, for prayer, for worship. We need to open our lives to God’s call for commitment, for service. This we find in the environment of a church camp.”
In keeping with tradition, the Moravian Magazine dedicates the May issue each year to preview what’s happening in the camping ministry for the upcoming summer. In the following pages, you’ll learn about new programs and old favorites from each of the camping ministries.