by Rev. Matt Ashley, South District Missional Strategist and Superintendent
Late one night at camp I walked to the outdoor chapel for a little quiet time. After a hectic day all the campers were in their cabins, and it was time to catch my breath and enjoy God’s presence in the wilderness. I gave thanks for gifts of stillness and grace.
It was the darkest night away from the city; look out into the pine forest and it was just blackness. But look up and the sky was filled with bright shining stars, gleaming dazzling stars so close I thought I could reach up and take one in my hand. Beams of heaven were bending down to meet me, and in the words of Forrest Gump, I didn’t know where earth ended and heaven began.
I thought of Jacob’s ladder, with angels scurrying up and down, God’s promise of help when we need it, God’s promise to always be with us and never far away, never separate from us.
Sacred moments happen at camp. So does joyful, Spirit-filled worship. So does community. So does prayer. So does transformation.
And at our United Methodist summer camp, Mingus Mountain between Prescott and Cottonwood, so does a lot of fun. At Mingus Mountain Camp, kids can stay in cabins, meet new friends, and experience living in Christian community. Recreational activities include a rope course, a climbing tower, a zipline, a gaga pit, hiking, a flying disc golf course, archery, crafts, fishing if you bring a permit, and campfires when the Forest Service allows them.
Do you know any kids who might want to experience summer camp this year? If so, I hope you’ll connect them with our summer camping opportunities. There is something for just about any youth or child.
A June 6-8 mini-camp for grades 1-3 will give younger children their first taste of camp away from home. Starting June 20 and lasting into July, multiple camp sessions are offered: three elementary camps, two junior high camps, two senior high camps (with leadership and mission themes), and two specialty camps for junior/senior high campers including an arts camp and a night owl camp.
Scholarships are available, and our goal is make camp financially accessible to every child and youth who wants to go. You can find out more about summer camp at our Mingus Mountain Camp website: https://mingusmountaincamp.org/
By the way, there are different ways for adults to be involved in camp too. You can go on the website to find out about volunteer opportunities, job opportunities, and ways to financially support campers.
Be sure to check out the Silent Auction fundraiser that’s happening on the website right now – especially if you’re a Diamondbacks or Cubs fan! Bids are being accepted through April 22nd.
Thanks for listening –