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Deans | Ambassadors | News

Deans | Ambassadors | News

Camp Deans/Volunteer Camp Counselor

We are so excited to work alongside you for what promises to be another great summer at your camps!  Thank you so much for your gifts of time, commitment, leadership, and love with the children, youth and adults of the Dakotas and Minnesota UMC  Conferences.  There are a lot of exciting things happening in camp and retreat ministries and we're eager to share some highlights with you. 

All persons interested in serving as a camp deans/volunteer counselors in the Dakotas-Minnesota Area Camp and Retreat Ministries program are required to complete a Volunteer Application and an annual background check.  Simply Register Online for the camp you will be assisting with.  Once registered, the Volunteer Application will be available in the Online Forms section of your registration Dashboard.  This application should be completed a minimum of two weeks before camp to allow time to complete background checks.  Thank you for serving in this ministry! 

Below are some new opportunities for you as a camp dean/volunteer camp counselor and also forms and helpful resources for a positive experience  at camp for you and the campers. 

Dean/Volunteer Counselor Required Documentation

The forms and documents listed below can be found in the Online Forms section of your online registration Dashboard. 
**Signature required annually

  • Volunteer Application
  • Volunteer Dean/Leader Agreement (included in Volunteer Application)
  • Social Media and Communication Guidelines (included in Volunteer Application)
  • Child Abuse & Neglect Policy Statement and Appendix (included in Volunteer Application)
  • Annual Background Check (included in Volunteer Application)
  • Dakotas-Minnesota Area ADULT Camper Medical Information Form
  • Dakotas-Minnesota Area Release of Liability Waiver

Dean/Volunteer Counselor Helpful Information 

Be a shepherd

A shepherd is a person who helps to ensure our youngest campers have a great camp experience! Shepherds should plan to: be responsible for up to five campers, participate in all camp activities, supervise cabin time, and assist staff and deans as needed. Whenever possible, shepherds will be placed in cabins with the child/children
they’re bringing to camp. However, when moms come with sons and dads with daughters, or if additional staff of the same gender is needed to meet required supervision ratios, shepherds may be placed in sleeping rooms away from their own child/children.

All adults working with campers (including shepherds) must complete an annual background check. All shepherds must register at least seven days prior to the beginning of camp to allow time for the background check to be completed. 

Register early! There are a maximum number of shepherds for each camp. The fee for shepherds is $85.00.

2019 Summer Curriculum

Peace is a prayer for some and a life’s work for others. It’s a blessing we share and a longing within each of our hearts. Scripture is filled with stories of peace and justice, and camp is the perfect place to share them. Peace isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth the effort; because we know that peace works! Peace Works, the newest summer camp curriculum resource from InsideOut, provides a fun, enriching, spiritual, and biblically based camp experience for campers of all ages. From Bible studies about the biblical call for justice and peacemaking, to learning about how other cultures name and express peace around the world, Peace Works will educate and empower campers to become peacemakers in their communities. Creative arts projects such as peace cranes and peace poles will help campers express their personal hopes for peace and connect them to larger movements for peace around the world.

If you would like the 2019 Peace Works curriculum and resources, please email the Central Camping office

Camp Ambassadors

A Camp Ambassador is a vital part of the camping team and shares real-time camp and retreat information with the children, youth and families in their local churches and communities, as well as other ways to become involved in this life-changing ministry! Camp Ambassadors act as the spokesperson for UMC camping within their church.  

They are the conduit for information to flow between camp and local churches. Ambassadors work closely with their pastor/s, Christian education staff, church families and Camp staff to help make sure families stay in-tune with camping opportunities throughout the year, but primarily in the spring.  Camp Ambassadors work within their local churches to continue the tradition of sharing the mission and ministry of a UMC camping experience and are an instrumental part in helping campers experience the next level of connection to Christ, Creation, and Community. 

Camp Ambassadors are asked to:

  • Work with other church leaders to plan a Camp Sunday celebration—a day designed to provide multiple opportunities for people to hear about Dakotas Camping, including in worship
  • Work with church leaders to set a goal for camp participation and find ways to financially support campers
  • Promote Dakotas Camping through announcements, bulletins, and newsletters.
  • Discuss Dakotas Camping in Sunday School and with youth groups.
  • Answer questions and encourage people to register for camp!

Make sure we know who you are by completing the Camp Ambassador - Contact Information Form. It's quick and easy!

Camp Ambassador's “Hang TEN!” Incentive

Take camper Experiences to the Next level and receive TEN percent off the cost of camp!

We appreciate all the ways Camp Ambassadors help promote Dakotas UM Camps. As a way to say THANK YOU for all your hard work, we would like to offer you 10% off the price of YOUR next camp for every *new camper you register/registered this year! There is no limit on the number of *new campers or number of discounts you can claim! You may use this discount for yourself, for a family member, or as a gift to someone in your church or community to help them pay for camp. 

To redeem your discount(s), simply complete the “Hang TEN!” Incentive Form.  Remember, any *new camper you helped connect to camp this year is eligible to count as part of your discount incentive. If you have any questions, please contact

* New campers are defined as those who have not been to any Dakotas United Methodist Camp events in the past three years.

    Camp Ambassadors Resourses

    The camping ambassador for your church does not do their job alone.  The Dakotas Camping Staff is happy to work with your ambassador in helping inform your church and community of the camping opportunities in the Dakotas.

    Our goal is to make it easy…even FUN to share this powerful opportunity, rich in tradition and rooted in faith, which is why we have put together these amazing tools for you to use to share camp!!

    The Camp Ambassador Guide is your road map to everything you need to know!  Planning tips, a timeline guide, what to say, how to plan a Camp Sunday.

     Camp Sunday Worship Resources

    • Camp Brochures -  Please let the camping office know and we would be happy to send more!  If you would like to look at the catalog online click here - 2019 Camp Brochure
    • If you would like more camping posters to hang to promote Dakotas UM Camping you can email requests to
    • Worship Suggestions – including calls to worship, hymns, scriptures, prayers, and benedictions!  Use these ideas or change to make them fit your church! Thank you Rev. Paul Lint for writing the 2019 worship resources. 
    • Church Bulletin Cover (8.5 x 11, Landscape, Front and Back)
    • Promotional/Social Media image
    • 2019 Camp Video

    Camp News

    Encounter Camp This Summer: Invitation & Insights from Rev. Clay Lundberg: The 2019 Camping Season at your Dakotas UMC Camps is right around the corner. Rev. Clay, co-chair of the Dakotas-Minnesota Camping Council, shares his own experiences as a camper and how camp experiences are relevant to faith development. (May 2019)

    Rock that Doesn't Roll Camp Article: 2018 was another awesome year for your Dakotas Camps! Staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure our campers experienced Christ, creation, and community in ways only time at camp can provide. (October 2018)

    Camp Reaches People Handout: Reach! Event, Embrace Church, Sioux Falls, SD.  Dakotas-Minnesota Area camps REACH over 3100 campers annually at six locations. United Methodists and friends are REACHING camp: 48% of our Minnesota churches and 58% of our Dakotas churches sent at least one person to camp in 2018.  Many camps and events at Dakotas-Minnesota Area REACHED even more campers in 2018 with an increase over 2017. (October 2018


    Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000