Top 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF MCRC Summer Camp 2015

Top 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF MCRC Summer Camp 2015

10-FOOD: Maudie Parsons, Head Cook, oversees a lovely group of ladies who prepared delicious and nutritious meals for us, each day. This year we added a salad bar, extra cut-up fruit and vegetables, which the children devoured.

9-Church Donations: Last year, we ran out of equipment and supplies – but not this year! We had plenty of balls, First Aid supplies, lifejackets and hand soap this year thanks to all the church groups that collected items for us. Once again, thank you churches!

8-Operation Fun: First Presbyterian Church Lumberton raises money to send children in their community to Monroe, and has done so for 60+ years. This year, they sent a total of 50 campers! During this week we are always amazed to watch these children experience new things for the first time, such as riding on horses, canoeing, shooting a bow and arrow, cooking on a campfire and even hearing God’s message in a new way.

7- “Camp-in-a-Van:” First Presbyterian Church Sanford piloted our new program that brings camp to the church, much like a Vacation Bible School program. FPS expected to serve many of their own children but were delighted to find that more children from the community signed up, making for an awesome outreach ministry. We look forward to doing more programs like this in the future.

6-Specialty Programs: Dance, Drama, Culinary, Horse, Mission, Night Owls, Photography, Sports and Swim Camp were all a huge success this summer. With these particular programs we brought in professionals to give campers 2 hours of extra time each day to focus on areas of particular interest. The kids and counselors seemed to enjoy the variety that these activities brought to their day. As our campers age, we want to continue to give them programs that excite their curiosity and make them look forward to coming to camp next year.

5- Summer Staff: The Summer Staff is at the heart of MCRC’s Summer Camp program. This year we had a wide range of staff members who came from UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Pembroke, Appalachian State and Methodist University. Their interests, personalities and passions were as varied as the schools they attend. During Staff Training, there was an immediate bond made amongst the staff. It’s normal that among the members they often form cliques with people who have similar interests. But not this year. The staff worked together as a full team the entire summer. On Fridays, we gather to reflect on our High’s and Low’s of the week. Surrounded by the heat and the bugs, it’s amazing to hear how God is at work through their camp experience. For these college students, this experience is life changing. Many are eager to come back again next year!

4- Bus Donation: Bill Robertson of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Laurinburg lives out his faith by doing acts of service for those in the community. Bill is a great mechanic and loves to collect old school buses to be used for church or camp. This summer, Bill remodeled a 40-passenger school bus for Monroe’s use. Not only did he donate his bus, but he donated his time as bus driver all summer long. Every day and multiple times a day, the bus went to and from the Rivendell Equestrian Center and other locations for the specialty camps. Bill and his bus were both huge assets to the camp this summer.

3-Rivendell Equestrian Center: Since our horses retired in early spring before summer camp, we knew we would have to find a way for our campers to ride. Through God’s grace, we got in touch with Helen Adam’s, St. Andrews graduate, at the Rivendell Equestrian Center which is approximately 8 miles away from camp. The kids loved it! They enjoyed Helen’s instruction, the new horses, and the ability to stay in an air- conditioned area while they waited to ride. Using the Rivendell Equestrian Center and Helen’s leadership turned a negative into a big positive!

2-Chaplains in Residence: Bill Hayes, Eva Monroe Ruth, Whitney Wilkinson, Barbara Pipo and Samantha Taylor all did outstanding jobs leading our campers in worship. We believe the activities that we provide such as swimming, canoeing, crafting, archery, field games and more all help campers to grow in their abilities as well as their relationships with God and one another. During worship, each Chaplain creatively brought a message that helped the children to understand that “We are Living in God’s Time.” This summer we worshipped around the campfire, at Vesper Dell, and in Boyd Hall around Candlelight. We also partook in communion under the stars in Boyd Field. Each week we used the same curriculum but the Chaplain helped to make it unique with creative role play, beautiful poetry, praying with our eyes open, giving us something to take in our “pockets”, as well as a solid theological message for children today.

1- Meaningful Summer: Lastly, the highlight of the summer was the 209 campers we served through our residential, Operation Fun and Camp in a Van programs. At the beginning of my 3rd summer as Director, I was a bit anxious about our numbers, wanting Monroe to always exceed expectations. Sometimes, we spend a lot of time in our churches concerned about numbers as a way to define our success. While our numbers were not significantly lower (237 in 2014), I’m reminded of the huge difference we made to the kids that came to Monroe this summer.

As I get to know our campers and their families more and more, I realize that many kids have already had some difficult life experiences. So at Monroe we are able to create a safe space for kids to be kids, while also growing in skills and abilities. I watched this summer as our campers grew in their abilities to swim, canoe, ride a horse, as well as growing in their abilities to be away from home, to take care of themselves, to navigate peer relationships and grow in their faith. One camper shared with our chaplain “I’ve been going to church all my life, but somehow it all just clicked for me this week. Thank you.”

Today, children so desperately need to hear a hopeful message as they continue to navigate through their seasons of happiness, sadness, anger, and frustration. This summer, we provided our campers with a foundation of the Christian faith, walking through the liturgical season and reminding them of God’s presence with us through the ever changing seasons of life.

When I think back on this summer, I’m reminded of the story “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley. In the story, a man walks the beach daily throwing starfish back into the ocean. When asked why he would do such a thing, considering there were thousands of starfish on the beach daily, the Star Thrower, picks up a starfish throws it back in the ocean and says “made a difference to that one.” Every summer that we run our summer camp we are touching the lives of children through our ministry. So, we exceeded our expectations. Our campers get a chance to hear, share and live the gospel message. For Cheyenne, Jordan, Patrick, Joey, Eli, Rebecca, Raheem, Calista…and the list goes on – we made a difference to that one. We made a difference to the lives of 207 children. For which, this is THE HIGHLIGHT of the summer!

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Summer Camp 2015

 

…and that’s a wrap! MCRC Summer Camp 2015 has come to a close. I want to, once again, thank all those who made this summer possible. A special thanks to Bill Hayes, Eva Monroe Ruth, Whitney Wilkinson, Barbara Pipo and Samantha Taylor for their willingness to volunteer and serve as “Chaplains in Residence ” bringing us a daily message for a week at camp. For Helen Adams and the Rivendell Equestrian Center for providing a wonderful place to ride. Thank to our Nurses; Angela & Victoria for helping with medication and homesickness. Thank you, Shelia Swift, for teaching crafts. For Ms. Maudy Parsons and cooks; Shanetta, Hazel, Frances and Diane. Thank you to Bill Robertson for volunteering his time and resources by serving as our bus driver ALL summer. Thank you to all the program leaders; Maria Bingham, Chuck Frick, Ken MacDonald & Lou Ann for making the camp experience fun and creative.

I also want to thank our year round staff that puts in the extra hours to make summer camp possible. In matainence, Joseph Pate, Greg Bell, Randy Miller and Gary Aycock. As well as Camp Registrar and Office Manager, Lynda Bunch. We thank First Presbyterian Church in Sanford for helping us to launch a new “Camp in a Van” program and for First Presbyterian Church in Lumberton for their continued dedication to sending kids for the Operation Fun program. We thank the countless churches that supported us by sending us campers and/ or supplies. We also thank the parents for trusting us with your children and sending them to Monroe this summer.

Finally, I have to thank most our college students that served as a team on our 2015 Summer Staff. Thanks again to Chuck, Thomas, Greg, James, Taron, Zack, Christian, Briona, Serina, Gabby, Dareth, Jessica, Christian 2, Maggie, Heather, Madison, Ashleigh, Grette & Taylor for pouring your heart, mind and your very selves into making this summer a meaningful experience for everyone. THANK YOU!

 

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Book Today!!

 

Now is the time to book your Summer and/or Fall events!

Weekends Still Available (as of May 18th):

June 19- 22nd
July 10 – 12th, 17-19th & 24-26th
August 21-23rd, 28-30th
September: FULL
October: 9-11th, 23-25th

If you’re interested in a particular weekend that is not listed, please contact the camp. We may be able to accommodate your group!

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Laurinburg Presbyterian Church

Thank you, Laurinburg Presbyterian Church Middle and High School Youth!

We were glad to host your “End of the Year Picnic.”

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CAMP CARE

 THANK YOU, Southeastern Hospice of Robeson County for putting on another fantastic bereavement camp this year!

 Here are some of the pictures from Camp Care.

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Another beautiful evening at Monroe

 

 

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We’re growing!

 We’ve got tomatoes and lettuce growing in our garden.

Thanks again, Community Presbyterian Church!

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Open House

Mark your calendars for our Open House!

June 28, 2015 from 2:00-5:00pm

Spend a fun day at Monroe by; getting to know our Summer Staff, taking a tour of our facilities, swim in our pool, horseback ride, canoe on Lake Andrew and more. Invite your friends, family, neighbors and congregation to this great day at camp!

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Chaplain in Residence

Monroe Camp and Retreat Center is seeking clergy, Christian Educators and/or interns to serve as a Chaplain in Residence during our Summer Camp program. What does a chaplain do? Our Chaplains help minister to our campers and staff throughout the week while also helping to lead morning and evening worship. Curriculum is provided.

These weeks are still available:

July 5-10th
July 19-24th
July 26-31th
August 2-7th

If you are willing and able to serve, please be in contact with Rev. Lyndsey McCall at mccalllyndsey@gmail.com or (910)276-1654. We are eager to receive your call!

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Covenant Keepers

A special thanks goes to organizations and individuals that have already given a contribution to MCRC in 2015.  Our goal in 2015 is to reach $45,000 in contributions through our Covenant Keeper Program.  Monroe Covenant Keepers or “MC Keepers” for short, are churches and individuals who commit to supporting Monroe Camp and Retreat Center by praying regularly for the center’s ministry and providing support with talents and financial gifts.  Become a Covenant Keeper today by sending your $1 per member or $100 check (but not limited to) mailed to:

Monroe Camp & Retreat Center 24501 Camp Road, Laurel Hill  NC 2835 (Memo: Covenant Keepers)

God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations.” -Genesis 9:12

We give thanks to all those that support our ministry so that it may continue for future generations.

 

Current 2015 Donors

Clara and Julian Butler

Elizabeth B. Elliott

Rev. Laura Lupton

Janet and John P. Robertson, III

Eva and David Ruth

John Clark

Kathy Jones

Marie W. Hardister

E.M. Norfleet

Wright Killian

Peggy & Harold Gillis

Churches:

Faith Presbyterian Church

Jackson Springs Presbyterian Church

Laurinburg Presbyterian Church

Shallotte Presbyterian Church

Trinity Presbyterian Church

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