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2024 camping season is near

By: Anna Mutzenberger, Dakotas UMC Intern

Many exciting things are happening as our Dakotas United Methodist Camp and Retreat Centers prepare for the busy summer camping season. Gracious volunteers have done a lot of work across all three of our Dakotas camps. 


Canton UMC donates 60 pounds of coffee, and 4 kayak paddles to Lake Poinsett Camp. Photo from Lake Poinsett's Facebook page.

Lake Poinsett Camp and Retreat Center celebrated May 4th, commonly known as “Star Wars Day,” by inviting volunteers to help prepare for summer. Site Director Nicole Anderson and facilities manager Pat Graham took full advantage of the 13 volunteers who came to help and sent them out to tackle three different areas of the camp. 

One group worked on cleaning out the main lodge and kitchen, another on clearing the grounds, and a third on preparing the staff cabins. Lake Poinsett was gifted dorm-style beds from South Dakota State University, which allow the staff to loft their beds to add more space. SDSU also donated dressers to help with storage. 

Nicole spoke about this gracious gift, saying, “It’s like a whole breath of fresh air for the staff. When I walked in, I thought that this is not the same staff cabin that I stayed in when I was a staff member back in the day.”  Lake Poinsett is sharing some of the donatated  furniture with Wesley Acres and Storm Mountain.

Lake Poinsett Camp and Retreat Center received a generous donation from Canton United Methodist Church. The church in Canton, South Dakota, has a mission each year to raise funds and donations of coffee to supply the camp with enough coffee to last the whole summer. This year, Canton UMC donated 60 pounds of coffee and used donated funds to buy four new kayak paddles for the camp. 

At Storm Mountain Center, located in the Black Hills, a faithful group of volunteers from Pierre First UMC kept a 12-year tradition alive and spent a weekend helping with various projects around camp. 

Tanner Clark, the Site Director at Storm Mountain Center, said, “Regardless of what the camp needs, they hit up all our projects with an enthusiasm that is unique to volunteer crews.”

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The new sign and mailbox at Storm Mountain. Photo by Tanner Clark.

The Pierre First volunteers’ main project was removing and replacing the camp entrance sign. The sign is now more functional and does not disturb any of the national forest land. 

Storm Mountain is engaging local churches through an Earth Day Wilderness Fundraiser. The  goal is to gather supplies to take more camp activities outside to embrace God’s creation. So far, the camp has received enough donations for extra hammocks and tents. The hope is that funds will come in to upgrade backpacking gear. Storm Mountain will host two different backpacking camps this summer. 

Wesley Acres Camp, in Dazey, North Dakota, is excited to share about the growth in their Family Camp. They look forward to bringing families together and sharing the joy of camp across multiple generations in two sessions this summer. 

Wesley Acres also hosts a Minecraft camp, where campers can connect while playing the popular video game Minecraft. Not only do the campers play online together, they participate in various team-building activities and tasks outside of the virtual world. 

New leadership will be welcomed at Wesley Acres Camp. Current Site Directors Paul and Brenda Lint have accepted a call to serve the United Methodist Church in Spearfish, South Dakota. Paul and Brenda have been a staple of the ministry at Wesley Acres for many years. More information about the leadership transition at Wesley Acres will be shared soon.  

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Apply to work at camp this summer! Photo from Dakotas United Methodist Camps Facebook page.

There are many ways that you can support the Dakotas Camps. One way is through volunteering your time. Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries, Keith Shew, says, “There are volunteer opportunities in many areas, including assisting in the camp kitchens, leading cabin groups of campers, grounds care, facility maintenance, cleaning and housekeeping, and programming leadership.” 

Congregations and individuals are encouraged to support Dakotas United Methodist Camps by purchasing items on their wish lists or making online financial donations. You can find the wish lists for Lake Poinsett, Storm Mountain, and Wesley Acres at the provided links, on Facebook, or on the camping website. If you would like to donate funds or supplies, visit the donation page on the camping website or contact the camping office

Find a job at camp this summer. Lake Poinsett, Storm Mountain, and Wesley Acres are looking for seasonal employees. Check out the details. If you can’t work for the entire summer, contact the camp director to inquire about how you can work part-time or as a volunteer.

There is still time to register for camp. Adventure awaits, register today. 



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