By Chris Schlieckert*
I have been to approximately 150 weeks of summer camp as a staff person. I have been a dishwasher, a lifeguard, a counselor, a wilderness guide, an assistant director, and director. But this year I had a new role: parent of a summer camper. My oldest daughter, Anna, was finally old enough to attend her first overnight camp, a half-week Mini Camp at Manidokan.
I was able to experience camp in a whole new way: through the eyes of a parent. My wife and I got the reminder e-mails that the health form wasn’t complete (until a few days before camp), helped pack her bags, talked her through her nervousness about being away from home for the first time, wondered how she would sleep without us tucking her in, worried that we hadn’t heard anything from camp (even though I am the one who always tells parents “no news is good news” from camp), and refreshed the camp Facebook page constantly to look for photos.
I was also able to see the impact her three days of
One of the frustrating things about working at camp is that we often don’t know the true impact we have on the campers because we only get to see them for a week. We hope they return for several summers and we get a better glimpse
As a parent of a camper now, I was able to see in a new way how those precious weeks at summer camp change the trajectory of a child’s life and faith.
I believe what we do at camp has an exponential impact on the world. This summer, 1,400 young people came to camp. While here, they experienced the love of God, engaged in
Anna spent her whole summer in various programs and camps, ranging from ice
I am grateful for the support the Baltimore-Washington Conference gives our Retreat and Camping Ministries. A unique oversight structure, strategic financial support, and strong ministry leadership
*Chris Schlieckert is Director of Retreat and Camping Ministries for the BWC.