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Summer 2023 Program Preview

by TC Anderson

I know you’re used to hearing from Adam, but today you’re going to be hearing from me, TC. So, get ready because I use significantly more exclamation points!!

I’m going to share with you the priorities for our program and what we hope to change from last year to this year. But first, I would like to share with you what’s NOT changing. Our first priority at camp has been, and always will be (at least as long as I have any say), the campers! Everyone should have that magical Camp Westminster experience: walking down the road, seeing that blue lake, hearing the breeze through the hundreds of thousands of leaves on the trees, taking a deep breath of that clear air, and noticing that it just feels different here. The magic that allows you to not know someone on Sunday and then be best friends with them by Tuesday. The magic that allows you to do something you didn’t think you could and then ask, “well, if I can do that, what else can I do?”

Reconnection with nature, each other, our own being, and with God are the Camp Westminster experience and our program’s first priority.

How we engage that experience moves and shifts each year, usually in small ways, but the target remains the same. Here are a few of those shifts we’re planning on making this summer.

This year our program theme is the Fruit of the Spirit. No, this is not an off-brand Fruit of the Loom product; this is a list that we get from Galatians, where Paul says that if you are living in the Spirit of God, you will produce these fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. So, all our faith-learning-times, be they Bible Quests, Vespers, etc., will center around the Fruit of the Spirit.

Another change in the program that we’re working on is an excursion for each age group. We’re ironing out the kinks and fine-tuning the details, but we’re planning for elementary campers to go on a short canoe trip to the state park next door, middle school campers to go on a river canoe trip, and high school youth will go on a longer river trip with a campfire meal on the river. We’ve always found that these excursions are camper favorites, help them see even more nature than we have at camp, and are substantial bonding opportunities for everyone.

Finally, we are, once again, shifting the camper pick-up time. Ending camp on Friday lets us give staff a good break between sessions. We have found them more energized and ready to hit the next week running when they have a full Saturday off. This summer, we’ll aim for camper pick-up after lunch instead of breakfast. This will give more time for campers to enjoy camp, and it will give those picking up campers a later start in the morning.

As with most years, a lot will be in flux as we make our way through the summer. Daily program plans change constantly based on the needs of campers, the weather, and what we’ve learned in previous weeks. But as I said before, our core of connecting to nature, each other, our own being, and God stays the same.

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