My name is Adam Delezenne, and I am excited to be the new Interim Executive Director of Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake! I am deeply indebted to Suzanne and Jim Bates, camp’s recently retired directors of almost 30 years. Camp Westminster under the Bates is where I fell in love with outdoor ministry. Their oldest daughter, Elise, recruited me for my first year on summer staff in 2001. She saw something in me that I didn’t know was there. I didn’t believe it at the time, but Camp Westminster was where God wanted me to be that summer. So in many ways, I am the person I am today because of Camp Westminster!
That summer really was transformative for me. At Camp Westminster, I felt like I first met the person God had created me to be. I learned how to live in community and what servant leadership looks like. I returned for several more summers on staff. Westminster was also where I met my wife, Julie. We had talked and dreamed about how amazing it would be to do camp together. In 2011, when our first child was born, we felt it was the ideal time to make good on that dream. We spent several years as camp co-directors, first in Texas and then in Northern Michigan. She is now a Presbyterian Pastor in the Detroit area. I am excited to be returning to camping, even more so that it is at Camp Westminster! I am also a parent of campers myself. My two boys love their time at Westminster, both at family camp and when they go to “alone-camp” without us.
This summer at Camp Westminster
Each summer, Camp Westminster offers the ideal environment for campers to discover God, themselves, and their community. We set the stage for discovery by balancing safety and acceptance with challenge and purposeful fun. Everyone is encouraged to bring their whole self, welcomed as they are, and encouraged to take that next step. For some, the next step is learning basic cleaning skills for our daily capers (chores). For some, it might be a relationship with someone very different from them, learning from another’s perspective. There is room for both and much more in a week of camp.
We are building the foundation for a great summer – finalizing the summer schedule, hiring staff, preparing the program, and lining up all the logistics that make a camp summer possible. These are my priorities for summer 2022:
A summer marked by challenge, fun, growth, and safety for campers is our goal for every session. Every camper should have the chance to discover God, have fun, and come home ready to transform their school and community.
Ensure we have enough staff to create a truly extraordinary experience for everyone involved by hiring well and setting a cap on registrations.
Offer campers as much of a respite from the COVID-19 pandemic as is safely possible.
Look for more details on these and how we plan to accomplish them in the coming weeks.
COVID-19, in particular, has presented a significant challenge for camps. The question of how we balance camper safety with providing a break from the constant caution of the pandemic is foremost on our minds. And yet there are also things of value we have discovered in the pandemic. Camp is a great place to learn how we take care of each other in community. We’ve found some creative solutions that have actually proven to be more fun. Like the pandemic, our plans to adapt to this summer will shift and change.
I would love to hear from you about what Camp Westminster means to you. If you would like to talk about this summer, camping, your children, or what Camp Westminster has meant to your family, you can send me an email or use this link to schedule a time for us to connect.
I hope to see you at camp this summer!