Photo of campers smiling and waving on Ridge Bridge
Summer Camp is almost here and we are SO EXCITED! Camper parents, be sure to sign in to your CampBrain account to complete forms and payment. Be on the lookout for our recent overview email, as well as a follow-up email about two weeks in advance of your camp week. See you soon!!
Want to volunteer at camp for a week? We would love to have your help this summer! Summer Camp volunteers typically help with kitchen support, maintenance, set up / clean up, special projects, and more. Sign up in CampBrain here. Questions? Reply to this email for more info!
Now booking group retreats for Fall 2021! NEW! Book now, pay later option for 2021 group retreats. Make plans with your groups who are meeting virtually now and would like to gather in person later.
Questions? Reply to this email for more info!
Prayers of the People: Please share this prayer with your congregation, family, and/or community on June 13 as we enter the Summer Camp season.
God of Creation,
We give you thanks for the many outdoor ministries across the nation that provide us with a sacred space in God's creation (especially Caroline Furnace, Hungry Mother, and Mar-Lu-Ridge). We pray for a safe, healthy, and fun summer for all campers, staff, and volunteers. May your hand guide their work in all they do, and may their ministry continue to share love, build community, and change lives.
Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer
Staff Training Update
What a great start to the summer!
It has been a busy two weeks of staff training! We've been busy swimming at the lake, canoeing on the Shenandoah, cleaning and working around camp, making so many campfires, and more! We have learned a lot more about ourselves and each other through studying enneagram, learning love languages, and doing many teambuilding activities.
On Friday, the staff learned how to cook stew and fruit cobbler over a campfire in a dutch oven! We ended the night singing Wagon Wheel before sleeping outdoors in our hammocks. Saturday morning started bright and early with a polar plunge. But, according to one of our counselors, “it wasn’t even that bad.” We are all so excited to greet campers in less than 2 weeks!
Summer 2021 Theme: Purpose
Our theme for 2021 is Purpose: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20) as we consider ways in which we can navigate our time together in worship, bible study, conversation, games, hiking, swimming, crafts, and much more. The overall goal for this year is to provide a sense of purpose to all staff, campers, families and retreat guests through the following goals and outcomes.
Live: to provide outdoor experiences in nature through age appropriate activities.
Outcome = to provide time for physical activity during all sessions that will encourage physical health based upon age and capability.
Connect: to provide multiple venues for a cohort model - face to face, mobile, and hybrid options.
Outcome = to provide community-based support and relief from the anxiety created by the ongoing pandemic and social justice issues.
Affirm: to provide daily opportunities to grow in faith and community by sharing spiritual beliefs, asking questions, and discussing age appropriate topics.
Outcome = to utilize tools such as curriculum-based activities, experiential learning, FAITH5, and debriefs, to learn from one another and grow together.
Gather: to provide fun and engaging ways for small group cohorts to gather through activities, campfires, and team building, plus safe large group events.
Outcome = to provide space to safely share songs, games, and stories that create Purpose around the goals of Live, Connect, and Affirm.
Hiring: Director of Sales, Marketing & Communications
This is a full-time, year-round position. The Director of Sales, Marketing & Communications is responsible for identifying, developing, and coordinating with retreat groups. Additional duties include creating and implementing the marketing plan, managing the website and communication channels, and performing as a host to retreat guests during their stay.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Interviews begin in mid-June. We will conduct a background check and contact references before employment.
Faith Where You Are (for Young Adults) September 24-26 at the Farmhouse Answer the Call. Come Canoe. Let's Connect. Let's spend time together out in God's beautiful creation, sharing the weekend with an inspiring community of diverse leaders. You'll learn and discern how your faith can thrive in your everyday - where is your faith leading you, and how can you lead through your faith? This retreat is designed for young adults and adults in life transition, but all beliefs and ages are welcome and encouraged. Faith Where You Are includes meals and a Saturday canoe trip on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Lodging is in the Farmhouse OR Cabin Village - TBD based upon current guidelines and best practices. Weekend: $125 | Scholarships available - contact us for more info.
Quiet Day, Let's Take a 2nd Saturday, October 2, from 10am to 2pmQuiet Day is dedicated to calming, quieting, centering reflection. We'll begin with orientation and meditation in the Upper Room led by Rev. Heidi David-Young, then conclude in the same way. Bring lunch to eat at your leisure; no cost to participate and no RSVP needed.
Adventure Weekend October 8-11 in the Cabin Village
Come on your own, bring your family, or organize a group and explore the Shenandoah Valley! We'll provide lodging and meals in the Cabin Village and help you plan your adventures. During warm weather, nearby activities may include river canoeing/kayaking/tubing, horseback riding, rock climbing, ziplining, hiking, biking, and fishing. In the winter, we're just under an hour from skiing, snowboarding, and tubing at Massanutten and Bryce Resorts - plus, winter hikes in Fort Valley are spectacular. Year round, we have some great breweries and wineries nearby, plus apple orchards, farm tours, antiquing, and more.
COVID-19 Note: Caroline Furnace follows the guidelines and requirements of CDC, VDH, and American Camp Association (ACA), in consultation with our healthcare advisory team. Risk mitigation for Summer 2021 includes use of small group cohorts, staff and guest health screening, hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE), a designated quarantine space, limited off-site activities, a no visitor policy, and more.
Registration closes 16 days in advance of each camp week. For example, Week One camps (June 20-24) closed on Friday, June 4.
The FDA has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds. We encourage all camper families to get vaccinated as soon as you are able. The vaccine serves as an additional layer of protection in our risk mitigation plan for this summer.
Grades 1-3: Week Two Explorer (June 27-July 1) - Girls' Cabin
Grades 4-6: Week Five Adventure (July 18-22)
Grades 4-6: Week Seven Adventure (August 1-5)
Grades 7-9: Week Six Night (July 25-29) - Girls' Sukkah
NEW! Youth Group Service + Adventure Week, July 4-8
$375 per person; some activities may cost extra
Customizable lodging, meals, and activities for small groups (contact your pastor / youth leader). Bring your small group to camp for a week of service projects and adventure! This is a great opportunity for your ELCA Youth Gathering group to build community in 2021 before the 2022 Gathering. This is a safe alternative to international mission trips in 2021. The daily schedule is custom-built to fit your group; both on-site and off-site service projects and adventures are available. No youth group? No problem! Family / friend groups are welcome as well. Make your plans now; space is limited!
Questions? Want to learn more? Reply to this email!
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at (540) 449-0012
Our mission is to provide unforgettable faith, education, and renewal experiences in God's creation for all God's people.