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Reflections with Camp & Retreat Ministries 

Seeing the Path and the Vistas

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

One of the gifts of Easter this year was that I found myself being able to lift my eyes and look to the future. This past year has been filled with attention to what is immediately in front of me, so that I have not spent a lot of time looking up and beyond. 

I believe there is good reason for this type of intense concentration and attention to the path. If you have ever walked on the edge of a steep drop-off, you know that if you take your eyes off the path it could spell disaster for you and those who are with you. We focus on our immediate surroundings for safety and self-preservation. 

We’re aware that when we get to the top of the mountain or maybe to a wide spot on the trail, we can stop and look out at the scenery and take it all in, but as long as we are moving on a treacherous path, we need to keep our eyes on where we are walking. I realized as we came to Easter this year that I had been spending a lot of time simply looking at what was immediately in front of me instead of pausing to take in the view and to look up and beyond this particular time and place.

I have come to understand that paying attention to the path in front of me, and looking up and beyond this place, are both essential for me and my well-being. These are two pieces that must be cared for at separate times, and yet they complement one another in ways that help us keep perspective on the experience of our journey. 

I believe that part of the power of Camp and Retreat Ministries is that it provides us opportunities to look up and beyond the routine of our usual lives. Being in a new or different place allows us a perspective on our daily existence that can affirm what we have been up to or it can shed light on ways that we might like to alter our typical activities to reflect more consistently the life that we are called to lead.

The excitement of Easter was compounded for me in knowing that we will be able to provide places for people to gather, to reflect on what this past year has taught, and to look up and see the wonder of God’s creation, the strength of being a part of a community, and the joy of making connection with God’s promise of life and love.  

See you on the adventure ahead,

Rev. Todd Bartlett 
Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries

*PHOTO: The Sawtooth Mountains tower in the distance, with Goat Lake in the foreground (Todd Bartlett).

Trauma-Informed Care

On Saturday, April 17, at 9:00 am Pacific time, Camp and Retreat Ministries will offer a three-hour training on Trauma-Informed Care. This training will provide the basics around trauma and its impact on the quality of our lives. In this training we will study trauma and the possible lasting impact of toxic stress; recognize flight, fight, and freeze; and discover how relationships and activities rebuild the brain. We will also learn practical ways to support a person who has experienced trauma. (All of us have experienced some level of trauma in this past year.)

Our awareness of the needs of our campers and guests will allow us to better serve them, especially as we all navigate the long transition to post-pandemic life. Camp volunteers are welcome to join the class, as well as anyone who is interested in exploring trauma-informed care for their own community or congregation. The cost is $25 (scholarships available) for the three-hour training, and registration is required (just click on the blue button below).

Our trainer for this event is Shauna Signorini. Visit her website to learn more about her work with Trauma-Informed Care.

Register here →

See you at camp this summer?

Calling all counselors, deans, chaplains, healthcare professionals, and all those who want to offer their presence as a support to camp in the summer of 2021! For this summer to be successful, Oregon-Idaho camps and retreat centers will need a robust team of volunteers. We expect a need for extra hands, especially in support roles in areas affected by COVID guidelines, like housekeeping, disinfecting, kitchen, and leadership support. We anticipate many roles may be modified to fit COVID restrictions. If you are interested in serving, please fill out the survey below, and then expect to hear more from the site-specific leadership closer to the summer season. We appreciate your flexibility as we forge ahead into a season of unknowns!  

Fill out the survey →

Blessings Report

  • Pussy willow buds at Suttle Lake
  • Oregon Camp Grants awarded to Magruder, Suttle Lake, and Wallowa Lake
  • Starting construction work on the foundation for the Damascus Cabin at Latgawa.

 Please send your blessings to share in future issues of the e-news. 

*PHOTO: Damascus Cabin at Latgawa, sitting directly on the ground, without benefit of a foundation (Todd Bartlett, 2017).

Give Today for the Future

Last year our amazing donors kept their eyes on the path, and helped us avoid falling off the cliff of red ink as we shut down our camps and placed our staff on furlough. This year, we're excited for the opportunity to again look at the big picture and dream of the future--and we invite you to do the same! Your donations help us achieve our vision of camp and retreat ministry that is once more offering spaces of Christian hospitality and learning that can transform lives. Thank you for joining with us in our mission!

Please donate today! →

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

1505 SW 18th Ave
Portland, OR 97201