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Tales from Camp Greenwood July/Aug

Hello Friends and Family of Camp Greenwood,

Another summer has come and gone and what an amazing summer it has been.  We have been able to build relationships with 116 campers and we provided partial/full scholarships for 44 campers.  We have grown in many ways, have learned exciting new things (some from the amazing campers), and been able to make long lasting relationships.

Mid-summer a parent whom I have known for a few years (I had their children as campers when I was a counselor)  came up and asked me a question: “Why do you do this? Seems to me that it would be a lot of stress” I paused and thought about it for a second.  I couldn’t come up with a quick response which encompassed the vast answer which is truly why I do this. So the answer I gave was “It’s for the kids”.

Now that I have had time to think it over, that is, truly,  what the answer is, but there is a little more to it. It’s for the kids who have never had a relationship with God. It is for the 11 year-old that said their week at camp was spiritually transforming.  We do this for the children who struggle to remember how loved they are by God and God’s people. We do it for the kids who have grown up in church but don’t know Jesus personally. It is for the kids, from all walks of life who come to spend a week getting to know Jesus and getting to know new adults and kids who love Him.  It is for the child who came up to me as she was leaving with tears in her eyes to say “Thank you for making me stay (she was homesick and wanted to go the first night). I will be going home and finding a church, I will be coming back next year, and I will have a relationship with Jesus.”

That is why we do it. That is why during those crazy summer months we stay up and just watch the stars and get very little sleep.   That is why we build boats out of cardboard – a material that we all know isn’t going to work to well once it gets wet. That is why we let these children cover us with water, sand, ashes, muck, and shaving cream.  Because we get to watch and help them create long lasting relationships with each other and with God.

None of these amazing things can happen without the consistent support of our many donors.  The contributions, volunteers, and prayers are the lifeblood that keep Camp Greenwood moving forward.

Speaking about moving forward,  we have a few exciting events coming up and we would love you to attend.

 

Unplugged: Earth and Arts

Need a little bit of relaxation, join us for an adults Only weekend trying new activities and projects.   Learn new skills and create new passions. Put away the phone and pick up a new hobby from basic cookie decorating to repurposing with a flair, our guest instructors are ready to bring out your inner creative side and have you reconnect with it.

Unplugged: Earth and Arts is an adult only retreat filled with exploring your creativity in many ways.  Come spend the weekend Friday evening (5:30 pm) Sept 21st to Sunday brunch (10:00 am) Sept 23rd, learning innovative skills and enjoy the beauty that is all around you at Camp Greenwood.

Enjoy the natural environment with evening devotions and a Sunday morning worship service,  Come commune with nature, renew yourself, and invite your friends.

Registration can be found on www.campgreenwood.org just click on the banner that says “Registration for Unplugged: Earth and Arts”

Greenwood Ministries Annual Meeting \ Camp Greenwood Clean-up Day

On Oct 27th at 9 am we will be having our annual fall clean-up day and Greenwood Ministries Annual Meeting.  If you are looking for a way to volunteer this is your chance, we will be doing many projects around camp,  with the weather soon to be changing, leaves will begin to fall, and we will need some able bodies to help us take care of all of them.  If you like to get wet we will also need help taking down our waterfront for the winter.

After a long days work stay for our Annual meeting around 2pm and learn about all the amazing things we are doing here at Camp Greenwood, and a recap of what has been going on and where we are headed.  Vote in new board members or volunteer for a committee. Come be a part of Greenwood Ministries Association.

Again,  I cannot thank the amazing Camp Greenwood family enough for giving me to chance to be part of this amazing ministry.  It is because of the prayers, contributions, and volunteer hours that we are able to continue moving forward. Camp Greenwood has been a part of many peoples lives for many years, and I am honored to be able to continue something that has become a passion for me.  

With your continued support, prayers, and labor we will be able to continue building amazing relationships, learning exciting new things, and spread God’s love to everyone who enters the gates here.  For that again I thank you. I look forward to continue building these relationships with you and I hope we can continue spreading the love of God through Camp Greenwood Spirit.

As Always,  Camp Greenwood Forever!

 

Jake Dayringer

Camp Greenwood Director

616.754.7258

www.campgreenwood.org

Tales from Camp Greenwood June 2018

Hello Friends and Family of Camp Greenwood,

As I sit here and ponder about all the exciting things that have happened over these first two weeks of camp I cannot help but think about the giant web that has been created over the years.   If you know me you might think it is strange that I want to talk about a giant web as you would know that I have a huge irrational fear of spiders, but if you can imagine with me for a moment you will understand.  Think of Camp Greenwood as a huge web of interconnected people. Each point in the web is a person and their connection to each other are the strands. Over the many years of Camp Greenwood’s existence this web has grown to a unimaginable size.  Sadly, over the years this web also has taken a few hits and a few of those connections have been destroyed, which leaves some of us disconnected from the rest of the web and their trust with it.

Starting the year out I was ready to hit the ground running.  I was bound and determined to make this camp the place that I know it can be:  A place that shares God’s love with everyone who enters the threshold of Camp Greenwood’s land, which shares the amazing beauty of the nature that is all encompassing here, no matter which direction you look, and to show each and every person that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that they make a difference.  

Quickly, I learned that it is going to take some time.  I had an unrealistic version of reality; that we would be able to fix all those connections and rebuild the trust that has been lost immediately. There has been a cyclical journey at Camp Greenwood, where everything will be going fine for awhile, then an issue appears and droves of alumni and supporters come out to the rescue.   Then they just kinda disappear as quickly as they arrived. It is time we change this cycle. It is time to let our Greenwood Spirit show consistently.

Rebuilding this amazing web of connection cannot be done by one person,  it is going to be an army of alumni and supporters. It is going to take a family connected together by the love of God to mend these broken connections and rebuild this web.

Is it a huge feat that we have to take on ahead of?   Yes. Is it an insurmountable feat? No. We have a God, who is bigger than any issue that will rise up against us.  We have a God who is caring and loving. And above all we have a God who wants nothing but one thing: to build a web connected with you.

Thank you so much for your continued support of our mission to spread the love of God.   Your support has been an amazing blessing to each and every person who has traversed through Camp Greenwood.

Let’s reconnect those strands that have been broken and make all our connections stronger so that no matter what issue arises our web stands strong.  Reach out to those connections you made here and let that Greenwood Spirit show!

As Always,  Camp Greenwood Forever!

Jake Dayringer

Camp Greenwood Director

616.754.7258

www.campgreenwood.org

P.S.  We still have some room for more strands to be created.  If you know of a camper looking for a place to go please send them our way.  Let’s make new connection and make our web even bigger.

* First picture is from 2013 Teen Serve Week  ** Second Picture is from Music in the Woods/Radical Leadership 2018

Tales from Camp Greenwood May 2018

Hello Friends and Family of Camp Greenwood,

I woke up around 7 am on May 19th to the sound of rain on the roof of Embudo.  A thought ran through my mind: oh no I hope it doesn’t rain all day. As most of you may know, May 19th was the date of our May work day.  A quick glance at the weather app on my phone and found out it was going to rain pretty much all day. That wasn’t going to stop us! We had 54 people from Holt, Mason, North Kent, a group of 7  summer staff from the past 6 years, and a few others from here and there. We got the cabins clean, raking done, the volleyball court spruced up, the shop organized, and the damaged shore dock removed; all while in the rain.  Back on our April work day we had 24 people who helped rake leaves, clean cabins, and even spackle some walls that were in need of some repairs.

Nothing can stop the Greenwood Spirit.  Thank you to all those who showed up for our work weekends, and to all those who have continued their prayers for this place.  Camp Greenwood cannot exist without our alumni and supporters. We are a family connected through Christ, and the experiences that have happened here, whether that be back in 1955 or present day.

So what’s next; where do we go from here?

Camp Greenwood has been in a state of transition for many years, and because of that it hasn’t been able to thrive the way we all know it can and will do again.  Before we get there, we have to mend, repair, fix not only the campgrounds, but those relationships that have been broken or strained. But everyone knows “it takes years to build trust, but only a second to break it.”  Repairing the grounds is the easy part, all that takes is a little money. Rebuilding the trust takes time.

I hope that I have started down the path of trust with these letters and the church visits.  Getting out into the congregations, I have learned so much and have started building relationships.  I plan to continue building the trust through our summer camp program this summer. I vow that it will be an amazing summer camp program filled with fun, wacky, life changing experiences and all of it done through the Love of God.

What else does Greenwood need?

Campers.  We need campers registered!  We are currently at ¼ the number of campers that we had last year.   If you know of anyone who has a child aged 5 – 17 and they need a fun, God filled experience, please share our information with them.  If you have a child that age please sign them up. I know that summers are getting as busy as the school year, with more and more kids getting involved in more and more activities, but do not forget what Camp Greenwood has done to change your life.  Give us the chance to allow life changing events to happen in your child’s life, or neighbor child’s life, or the life of the kid in the cart next to you at the grocery store.

Donations. If you don’t have campers to send, please provide camperships!  

Lastly, if you know of anyone who is male, 18 years or older, and looking for an exciting, wacky, fun-filled summer job, please reach out to us.  We had a full staff, and then had a few of our male staff members drop out due to other obligations. We need to have another male counselor in order to provide for all those extra campers you are about to send our way!

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. We pray you are able in some way: prayer, volunteering, monetary donation, or camper sign ups, to continue our relationship and keep Camp Greenwood touching lives for Christ through a fantastic summer experience.

As Always,  Camp Greenwood Forever!

 

Jake Dayringer

Camp Greenwood Director

616.754.7258

www.campgreenwood.org

May 19th Volunteer Work Day

Looking for a way to volunteer at Camp Greenwood, Well here is your chance. We are looking for Volunteers to come out and help complete some tasks, big and small. From Raking of leaves and picking up sticks, to organizing the craft area, to cleaning cabins.

Schedule as Follows:

May 18th 7 pm: Come spend a night at Camp and Have a Campfire
May 19th 8:30 am: Light Breakfast (for those who spent the night)
9:00 am – 12:30 pm Work on Tasks
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch (provide by the camp as thanks for your volunteering)
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm Work on Tasks
5:30 pm Say Goodbye and Look at all the work you have done (THANK YOU)

If you plan on coming Friday night, Please send us an email at office@campgreenwood.org ahead of time and let us know. Thanks for all you do!

As Always,

Camp Greenwood Forever!

Tales from Camp Greenwood April 2018

Hello Friends and Family of Camp Greenwood,

Spring is finally here!  Typically in Spring we have a warming of weather but earlier this month during our first “Spring” storm we got ice, snow, and slush which caused a power line to snap and started a fire on our activity field.  After a quick call to 911 and a long night (until 4:30 am) of waiting for Consumers Energy to turn off the power, the blaze was put out by the local fire department.. Thanks so much to our local firefighters and our Consumers Energy worker for putting out the fire and repairing the line.

Birds are beginning to singing their happy tune, the trees are starting to wake up and create new leaves and the flower are sprouting up from their long Winter slumber.  Won’t be too long before Camp Greenwood is filled with laughter, joy, happiness, and most of all God’s Love!

I had the chance to go to ACA Mid-States camp conference earlier this month and one of the keynote speakers, Beth Allison, hit the nail right on the head.  Her Keynote, “Intensive Care Units – How We Come Together to Change the World” was a unique perspective on how we can influence the world for the better.

She challenged us as Camp Professionals to become Intensive Care Units (I.C.U.s for short) so that we may make a ripple effect and change the world.  We were asked to work backwards and take a long look so that we may:

Understand the needs of our community,  be able to make a

Connection with our community, and finally to

Inspire our community to make that change.  

Something so very simple, yet at the same time so very powerful.  It can make a huge difference in our world.

I ask you to take a minute today and think about how you can become a better I.C.U, and what difference you can make in someone’s life.

If you are looking for a way to make a difference, we have a work weekend coming up on May 19th.  If you would like to come the night before, May 18th, at 7 pm we will have a campfire and you can sleep in one of our cabins. Around 8:30 am we will have a light breakfast and will get to work at 9 am.  Please let me know if you want to spend the night on the 18th by sending an email to office@campgreenwood.org

Registration is in full swing and we want to make sure this is a summer to remember!
Don’t have a child or grandchild? Donate to the campership fund!
Have a child and they are not registered for camp? Register them today!
Have a child registered already?  Do they have a friend? Speak with their parents and have them register their friend!  Camp is always more fun with friends!

Because of your support we have been able to continue sharing God’s love with campers.  Thank you so much for that!

As Always,  Camp Greenwood Forever!

Jake Dayringer

Camp Greenwood Director

616.754.7258

www.campgreenwood.org

Greenwood Ministries Association Annual Meeting Oct 21

Dear Friend of Camp Greenwood,

Thank you for your support, your prayers and your advocacy for Camp Greenwood!  We are so grateful for all of the blessings that God has provided during the first Greenwood Ministries Association camping season of 2017!  And we are especially grateful to you as a member of our non-profit organization for your good will, support and encouragement.

We would like to invite you to increase your connection to the camp by coming to our first annual meeting of the Greenwood Ministries Association on Saturday afternoon, October 21st, better yet join us for camp fire and free overnight on October 20th, see attached schedule of events.  If you are unable to make it to camp for the annual meeting, we will miss you, but please remember to vote online for nine board members, by clicking on this link.   If you vote online, you will not be eligible to vote in person at our annual meeting. Online voting is a perfect choice if you cannot come to the annual meeting.

Greenwood Ministries Association (GMA) is operating with a transitional board. The transitional board members are:  Rev. Karen Fitz La Barge,  Rev. Bill Pinches,  Jake Dayringer and Amy Henson-Bohlen.  All members of the transitional board are seasoned Greenwood supporters and are willing to stay and continue serving Camp Greenwood. We also have other individuals who are willing to serve on the board for terms of varying length, bringing the board up to its full strength.

At the annual meeting we will be forming a nominating committee to search for board members for next year and we will be creating teams of volunteers to help with various needs at the camp. We will hear reports about how the 2017 year went from our partners in ministry, Jim and Suzanne Bates of Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake as well as updates about our visioning process with Run River.  We will also be starting our search for photos, memorabilia and stories to celebrate our 60th year in 2018!

Again, thank you for all that you do to help the Greenwood Ministries Association.  Camp Greenwood is alive and thriving with your help and passion, we are grateful to be serving with you in this endeavor!

Camp Greenwood Forever!

The Greenwood Ministries Association Board

Scotland Mission Pilgrimage: Homeward Bound

Well the Scotland trip crew is on their way home, check out their last couple posts.

We’ll share more pictures from the trip when we have them ready to show!

Scotland Mission Pilgrimage: Massive Photo Dump!

Lots of new pictures up on the Scotland Mission Pilgrimage Blog, check them out!

Scotland Mission Pilgrimage: Tuesday Update

Our leadership capstone trip to Scotland is in full swing and is posting their adventures online for us all to keep up with. Below is their most recent post but you can catch up on all their adventures here:

2017 Scotland Mission Pilgrimage

Tuesday Update

After morning worship on Tuesday we all donned our Wellies and backpacks and began our long pilgrimage throughout the island. Our first stop was St. Martins cross just outside of the abbey where we reflected on the deep and vibrant religious history on the island. Next we stopped at a nook on the side of the abbey where Joe and Drew presented us with a dramatic representation of God summoning us to the journey of Christ.

The next stop on our journey was about a mile down the road at the spot of the only place on the island where two paths meet at a crossroads. Here we stopped to rest and journaled about the personal crossroads that we were reaching in our own lives; the decisions that we would be making in the future that maybe we would need God’s help with.

Following our eye opening journal session, we began the long and tedious trek through the bog that sits on the south side of the island in hopes of arriving at the marble quarry that lies on the coast there. It hasn’t rained here in a while and at first it appeared that we weren’t going to have a problem with wet ground, but we soon discovered that this would not be the case. Underneath the vegetation in this area there is standing water and mud, and Shari was the first one to get up close and personal with it. Her boots got stuck in the mud and when she was attempting to extract herself she ended up on her back drenched in mud.

Ben was the next person to fall victim to the bog. Along the path there was a stream surrounded by mud, and Ben who was not wearing Wellies, had the smart idea that he was going to jump over the creek. For a moment it really looked like he was going to make it over, but at the last moment his back foot caught the edge of the mud, and fell face first into the mud.

The next victims were Matt and Emery. Without Wellies, Matt was forced to hop, on Emery’s back to cross the mud. Halfway across, Emery found himself stuck knee deep in muck, while Matt was safe on the other side. Matt decided to go back and attempt to help Emery out of the mud. After many tugs and pulls, and no luck, Matt decided to yank Emery up out of the mud. Matt then found himself sitting in the mud, soaking wet.

Once we arrived in the general area of the quarry, we had to split up into groups to search for it, as it was hidden down by the shore. We spent a good hour and a half looking along the shore before Emery, Matt, Ben, John, Kirk, Chris, and Teresa arrived at the gorge on the edge of the shore. The rest of the group soon arrived, and together we basked in the sun, and searched for Iona marble, a special type of white marble with serpentine swirled through it that can only be found on Iona. Here we reflected on how our actions as humans effect God’s creation and how it is our responsibility to take care of that creation.

After just taking some time to enjoy God’s creation we made the long trek back to our hostel and smashed some spectacular fried chicken made by Brianna and Annika. We couldn’t have asked for a better day to walk across the island. The sun was shining bright, and the sky was actually clear. Obviously we couldn’t help but watch the sunset, so while some watched from the house, and some watched from the beach, Ben, Chris, Emery, Joe, and Gus climbed to the top of Dun I and watched the sun go down from what felt like the top of the world.

We finished the night with a powerful worship service on the beach before we all crashed into bed.

It was a day filled with reflection for everyone, and during one of those times of reflection, Annika wrote a poem that all will agree encapsulated our day, and so we will end this post with her very elegant words:

Travelers wandering into the lands of the unknown, each ending up in the same destination.

Sunshine soaked up by their souls, dedicated they were; never giving up.

Steep valleys where the green grass flourishes, home to the soaring birds in the blue sky.

The sea guiding them, the wind whispers in their ears.

White marble sparkles in the sun, they rest.

Bright blue water welcomes them with kisses of salt, the waves just barely touching them.

Young travelers are never lost, The compass of Christ directs them to his temple.

Into nature to free our minds; Not looking, but to find our souls.