Laurel Ridge: A season of growing and learning

Summer at Laurel Ridge for 2018 will be a wonderful and action-packed season of growing and learning together!

In addition to the faith, fun and learning of the Moravian camp in the mountains, campers will focus on themes of unity. Based on Ephesians 4:3, “Make every effort to keep the ​unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace,” the idea of unity will be woven into each age group’s camping experience.

PreJunior Camp, (July 27-29), is the perfect introduction to Laurel Ridge for your little camper (for those who have completed grades 1 and 2) 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 from home. The 2018 theme “Jesus is a Friend” will have your camper excited to learn more about Jesus! Deans are Rev. Chris Thore and Gail Theard.

For campers who’ve completed grades 3, 4, or 5, Laurel Ridge offers two sessions. The first, themed “Living Waters Flowing Love” (June 24-30), will feature activities highlighting ideas like “water from a rock,” “a healing river,” and “baptism at the river” with Deans the Rev. John D. Rights and Mary Rights. The second, “Under the Big Top,” (Aug 5-11) explores themes around being chosen, obeying, trusting and having faith with Deans Heidi and Daniel Everhart.

Along with Bible study, campers will spend time outdoors at the lake, hiking, going to the New River and, of course, campfire in the evenings.

Junior Creative Arts Camp and Middle High Arts Camp explores the many ways we can glorify our Lord by using our talents. Junior Arts work with puppets, sign language, singing and learning how to make instruments. Middle High Arts campers will learn different instruments while fine tuning some of their talents such as guitar, band instruments, and vocals. Another aspect of Middle High Arts Camp is learning how to record tracks and produce a CD! Deans for Junior Arts are Rev. Tripp May and Joyce Vance; Deans for Middle High Arts Camp are Roman and Ashley Brady. Both of these camps are housed at Higgins Lodge the week of June 17-23, and will end with a gala for parents to enjoy on Saturday morning before campers depart for home. They will perform and display art for everyone that attends.

Eco Mission Camp is for Middle High and Senior High campers that wish to learn more about how to be good stewards of what God has given us. They spend time working on projects at camp and other places such as the New River Conservancy. This year campers will pitch tents and stay out by the river one evening. The Theme of this Eco Mission Camp uses the word PEACE as each day’s theme is P – Paths, E – Earth, A – Animals, C – Clouds and E – Ecology, and how each of these works together. The Deans for this camp are Rev. Lisa Mullen and Greg Keener. Eco Mission Camp is housed in Higgins Lodge, June 10-16.

Middle High Camp (July 29-Aug 4) is for those who have completed Grades 6,7, or 8. The theme is “We Will Rock You” and covers the ideas like foundation of faith, finding hope, unity in Christ, and joy and peace. Along with daily Bible study campers will also enjoy time at the lake, hiking, playing games, doing crafts, sports activities, low ropes course and campfire every evening. Deans are Rev. Jeff Jones and Catherine Long.

Senior High Camp (July 8-14), for campers completing grades 9-12, is the pinnacle of the Laurel Ridge Camp experience! It is a week of Bible study and fun-filled summer camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, sports, group interactive course, archery, crafts, music and campfires every evening. Deans for Senior High Camp are the Revs. Victoria Lasley and Zach Dease.

Mission Camp at Laurel Ridge provides youth groups the opportunity to serve the community in the High Country. We receive referrals from local agencies and match youth groups and their adult leaders with work sites based on their skill level and project needs. Groups should provide capable adult leaders (1 per every 5 youth) and transportation to and from work sites. This is a great experience for first time mission-trips or groups looking to do a smaller-scale trip.

This year’s theme for Mission Camp, “Won’t You Be a Neighbor,” takes a different look at the parable of the Good Samaritan. All Mission Camps are hosted at Higgins Lodge. Mission Camp 1 – June 24-30, with Deans Donna Hurt and Dusty Harrison; Mission Camp 2 – July 1-7 with Dean Justin Rabbach; Mission Camp 3 – July 15-21 with Dean Zach Routh; Mission Camp 4 – July 22-28, 2018 with Dean Rt. Rev. Sam Gray.

Registration has already begun and space is filling up, so go online to to find your camp and sign up today! We’ll see you on the Mountain soon!

Scarlett Dowdy is program manager at Laurel Ridge. Visit for more information about Laurel Ridge. Photos courtesy of Laurel Ridge.