Spring Work Day

Work day is THIS SATURDAY from 9am-1pm at Monroe Camp & Retreat Center. Join Boy Scout Troop 852 from Carthage, NC for a great morning of service! We will be painting, raking and will have other assorted projects to be done around site. Invite friends, neighbors, your congregation for Spring Work Day!

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Announcing 2015 Summer Camp Theme

 

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Monroe mentioned in Presbyterian Outlook Article

Thinning the spaces between us

by Richard DuBose

Even almost 30 years later, I can retrieve the moment instantly.

Three companions had joined me on a short hike to the top of an overlook on the last evening of a five-day camping trip. Two were longtime friends; the third was a fellow named Steve, a young Canadian who had met us as a stranger on the first day.

It had been a trying week – a little foul weather, a little stomach flu. But here we were, sitting still, wordlessly enjoying a beautiful view at sunset. Steve broke the silence: “I feel like I’ve known you guys all my life.” We laughed and laughed.

<Montreat-Photos-for-Outlook-01-300x200.jpg>

Participants at the annual recreation workshop at Montreat. Photo courtesy of Montreat/Mike Erdelyi.

Surf the websites of our church’s camps and conference centers and you’ll find endless descriptions of place. We offer “open spaces,” “beautiful settings” and “thin places,” evoking the Celtic belief that in places of natural beauty God’s presence seems especially knowable and accessible. And this is as it should be. Presbyterians today are indeed richly blessed with some of the most beautiful and spiritually nourishing settings in God’s creation. Our camps and conference centers are place-based ministries, and our mission to provide places set apart surely is accentuated by the beauty of nature. It seems easier somehow to feel the presence of God sitting on a mountain peak.

And yet, if you’ve spent a few days at one of our camps or conference centers, what do you most remember? I remember people and the close bonds that form with concentrated and intense time together – in worship and in prayer, but also in conversations, in close living quarters and in hikes up and down all manner of terrain.

In my youth, those close-knit groups nudged me toward fragile but important understandings about the complexities of faith. My youth group’s weeks at our presbytery’s Camp Monroe helped me understand not just that I belonged to God, but why I belonged to God. In worship at the Montreat Conference Center, the preaching of William Sloane Coffin Jr., James Forbes, Billy Graham and Joan SalmonCampbell (and so many others!) sparked vivid conversations with family and friends, revealing a bolder, provocative vision of what it meant to be the church. As an adult, the most rewarding aspect of conferences and retreats remains the energy and ideas of my co-participants who propel me toward growth and enrichment.

Of course, beyond these benefits, it turns out camps and conferences also strengthen the groups themselves. Have you noticed that the ranks of the youth group or Sunday school class or worship attendance always seem to swell just a bit after shared time away? You are not alone.

“Ask teenagers to tell about the moments when their faith came alive, and the vast majority will speak of an experience they had out of town,” says Mark DeVries, a 28-year veteran of youth ministry in a local church and president of Ministry Architects, a Nashville firm that has consulted with more than 500 churches (150 Presbyterian churches among them). “Ask youth pastors to tell you about times when their groups finally began to gel and taste the reality of community in Christ, and most will point to an extended experience away with their group.”

<Montreat-Photos-for-Outlook-02-300x200.jpg>Of course, quiet meditative “alone time” also provides enormous restorative benefits for people of any age. Silent retreats are becoming increasingly both necessary and popular, and our Presbyterian camps and conference centers offer a wide range of settings and resources for stressed-out, technology-bombarded individuals seeking relaxation, rest and spiritual renewal. Even more importantly, our camps and conference centers, like our denomination, have much work to do if we are to gather and celebrate the full diversity of God’s people. Still, at their best, our camps and conference centers already do much to renew us for our daily lives and build connections to people and to communities of faith in unique and vitally effective ways.

So yes, let’s rejoice in gratitude for thin places of natural beauty. But let’s celebrate camps and conference centers also for thinning the spaces between us – by prompting us to share our thoughts, to listen deeply and to be truly present in ways that enrich us and those we are with, when even fleeting moments of togetherness can impact a lifetime and lift up the Body of Christ. Our challenge is to do that better, broader and deeper, because the world is desperate for the ministry we provide and Christ calls us to it.

A few years ago I found myself wondering what had happened to Steve, my friend-for-a-week from long ago. I Googled around, searched Facebook and quizzed people I thought might connect me. Finally, I found a face that looked like Steve’s – minus the scraggly beard – and reached out with a pointed email.

“If you took a camping trip with me for a week in 1985, send me a note.”

Two days later came the reply with a link to a collection of photos from that very trip. I clicked from one image to another. There were no sunsets or mountain panoramas, but lots of grimy and smiling faces, testimony to our shared experience. As the memories washed over me, I felt once again like I had known this guy all my life.

RICHARD DUBOSE  was recently named the 15th president of the Montreat Conference Center, one of three national conference centers serving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). A current resident of Atlanta, Richard is a member and ruling elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day

Thank you, St. Andrews University and UNC Pembroke, for your service today! 

More pictures of MLK Service Day can be found on our Facebook page.

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Confirmation Retreat Schedule:

Friday
7:00pm Registration & Settling In
8:00pm Welcome, Mixers & Icebreakers
9:00pm Session 1
10:00pm Campfire

Saturday
8:30am Breakfast
9:30am Opening Devotion
10:00am Session 2
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Free time
2:00pm Session 3
4:00pm Low Ropes Group Building
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Evening Activity
9:00pm Worship
10:00pm Chillin’ Before Bed

Sunday
8:00am Breakfast
8:30am Pack Up
9:00am Morning Worship
10:00am Departure

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Youth Leadership Event Schedule:

Here is the schedule:
Friday
7:00pm Registration & Settling In
8:00pm Welcome, Mixers & Icebreakers
9:00pm Worship
10:00pm Coffee & Conversation

Saturday
8:30am Breakfast
9:30am Opening Devotion
10:00am Session 1
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Freetime
2:00pm Session 2
4:00pm Recreation Share
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Session 3
9:00pm Worship
10:00pm Coffee & Conversation

Sunday
8:00am Breakfast
8:30am Pack Up
9:00am Morning Devotion
9:30am Departure

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Summer Camp Schedule is HERE!!!!

 

 

Monroe Camp & Retreat Center

24501 Camp Road, Laurel Hill, NC 28351

(910) 276-1654

SUMMER  CAMP 2015

Please check this schedule for additional dates listed!

Day Camp (Ages 5-9 years old)

 

July 6-10   13-17   20-24   27-30   Aug 3-7

 

 

Rookie Camp (Ages 6-9 years old)

 

July 8-10   22-24   29-31   Aug 5-7

 

 

Discovery Camp (Ages 8-10 years old)

 

July 5-10       Choices    Horse Camp or Dance Camp

July 19-24      Choices    Music Camp or Culinary Camp

July 26-31     Choices    Horse Camp or Swim Camp

Aug 2-7         Choices    Drama Camp or Sports Camp

 

 

Explorer Camp (Ages 11-16 years old) 

 

July 5-10       Choices    Mission Camp or Dance Camp

July 19-24     Choices    Horse Camp, Night Owls or Wilderness Camp

July 26-31     Choices    Mission Camp or Photography Camp

Aug 2-7         Choices    Drama Camp or Culinary Camp

 

 

CIT (Counselors in Training)

 

July 12-17 and July 19-24

July 26-31 and August 2-7

 

SAVE THE DATES

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The passing of Ms. Mary Hafer

 

With heavy hearts, Monroe Camp & Retreat Center announces that on December 10, 2014 Mrs. Mary Hafer entered into the Church Triumphant. Mrs. Mary Hafer and husband, A.B. Hafer were key founders of Camp Monroe. Mrs. Hafer loved children and desired to help create a place where children could enjoy playing outdoors together and grow in their faith. The Hafer Scholarship has helped thousands of young people come through our gates where they have learned to build relationships with God, nature, and one another.

The lyrics to the familiar camp song, “Pass It On” helps to describe Mary’s deep faith, generous character and the impact she had on Monroe’s ministry.

“It only takes a spark, to get the fire going
and soon all those around, will warm up in it’s glowing,
that’s how it is with God’s love, once you’ve experience it
you spread the love to everyone, you want to pass it on.”

On her 105th birthday, Mary was asked “What would you like to do?” She responded that on her 105th birthday, all she wanted was to watch her grandchildren ride horses at Camp Monroe. After all these years, Monroe had still meant an incredible amount to her. For years Mary “Passed it on” and now we look forward to continuing Mary’s great legacy of providing meaningful camp experiences for kids.

“Well done, good and faithful servant, Mary.”

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2015 STAFF APPLICATION IS HERE!! APPLY TODAY!

CLICK HERE:  Staff Application 2015

APPLY TODAY!

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A Beautiful Fall Morning at Monroe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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