Summer Church Camps 2016
Addition of new camps mean campers can attend more
Camp Cross on the western shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene has brought back a Mid-High camp and is starting an arts camp, said Colin Haffner, executive director of the camp for the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane for five years and program director for three.
Frisbee is among many camp games. Photo courtesy of Colin Haffner
The Mid-High Camp for eighth to 10th graders was dropped a few years ago because of low registrations, but there has been a steady rise in camper numbers.
The arts camp for fourth- to ninth-graders connects art with faith and spirituality. Leaders will help campers with music, drama, fiber arts and writing.
With new camps, youth in fourth grade and above will be able to attend multiple camps—their age group camp, mid-high and art camp. There are six sessions for youth, plus a mini camp for children entering grades two or three, and family camps the weekends of July 4 and Labor Day.
Campers connect with the program, nature and the outdoors.
“Despite many sports camps, there is a trend to attend sleep-away camps to build lifelong friendships and community, and to be outside for a week of swimming, canoeing, kayaking and hiking,” said Colin.
The forest setting on the lake is conducive for faith formation, building strong bonds that transcend social and economic differences, he said.
For some campers, it may be the first time they eat three meals a day and sleep in the same bed for six days, Colin said.
“It’s amazing to hear stories campers share with us. Many leave saying camp is an amazing part of their lives,” he said.
Colin continues in off-season to see and hear stories of campers as they interact and give each other support through Facebook and other social media, their means for year-round connection.
“They tell of experiencing God, learning to pray and learning how the church can work in their lives,” he said. “At and after camp, most campers feel good about their experience of faith in contrast with people who use religion to spread hate and exclusion of some groups of people.
“We create a community that says you’re part of this community, a friend accepted for who you are, and that this community is there for you even after you leave camp.”
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