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Reflections on values with Camp & Retreat Ministries

"Practicing" Hope to Shine Light Into the World

 Value 2: Hope

By Jane Petke, Director at Suttle Lake Camp

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness." – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Today’s America is full of division, isolation, and stress. I’ve often wondered what the difference is between those that are overwhelmed by these negative things, which seem to fill our current culture, and those that rise above it all. Why is one person dragged down with the weight of fear, but another can rise above negativity, seeing the goodness that is all around them? I believe the difference comes from hope. 

Hope, like so many other values, is something that cannot be held or seen, yet those who embody hope hold on to faith and look beyond what is immediately apparent. Their perspective reaches beyond any current experience of grief, pain, or anger, allowing them to know that challenging times are followed by times of joy, love, and peace. This perspective extends beyond themselves, recognizing that they are part of a bigger world and that God’s goodness is bigger still.

Hope takes practice. In order to be hopeful, it’s necessary to look beyond the negative things happening in life and begin to recognize other’s caring actions and kind words. Hope comes when we are grateful.  Hope comes when we are part of a community that celebrates the generosity of others and tells the stories of those who have overcome obstacles to achieve success. 

Camp is one place where we practice hope: We struggle together on the challenge course and celebrate the gifts shared to allow us to overcome the task we’ve been given. We pause and look for God’s presence in the nature that surrounds us. We gather around the campfire to pray, giving thanks for the many ways we’ve experienced God’s light through the day. We begin to recognize the goodness in us and all around us. We live, work, and play together in an intentional way that embraces the integrity of being a Christian community, practicing shining light into the world. That light, along with hope, gets a little bit brighter the more we practice. 

- Jane

Larry Haley Named Sawtooth Director 

It is my pleasure to announce that Larry Haley has been selected as the next director at Sawtooth Camp. Larry comes with experience in marketing, engineering and management, having worked for HP as well as various start-up companies.

While his work life may have been centered on technology, his personal life has included a lot of camping. This has included backpacking, the use of llamas for pack animals, and trailer camping. 

Larry is an active member of the Fruitland UMC where he and his wife, Kay, have lived for the past three years. They were also members of Eagle UMC before a 7-year sojourn in Texas. Larry and Kay have two adult sons and one grandson.

Larry says, “I feel the opportunity to participate in the leadership of Sawtooth Camp is a blessing. Before seeing the notice of the need of a new director for Sawtooth Camp in November of last year, I couldn’t even imagine such an opportunity involving church and the outdoors – a perfect example of how God can manage beyond our knowledge and expectations. I pray that I can meet the expectations and needs of the camp team and that they will pray for me.”

You can extend a welcome to Larry by sending him an email at:

- Todd Bartlett

Blessings Report  

In their weekly e-news, the National United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministry includes a blessings report. This report gives readers the opportunity to share the blessings that they experience at camp. We are happy to provide a similar report in our weekly publication! 

  • Wonderful Counselors who inspire us
  • Fun Songs to share around the campfire
  • Powerful Worships

Please send your blessings to share in future issues of the e-news. Click on this link


Go Camping E-News is a publication of Camp and Retreat Ministries, a collaboration of the OR-ID Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon.

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Portland, OR 97201