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Dakotas Camps ready to welcome you in '22

By: Dave Stucke, Dakotas Conference communications

Smc Lookout

Campers enjoying lunch at a scenic overlook at Storm Mountain.

CAMP – It’s not just for youth anymore (but youth do have an awesome time there).

Our three Dakotas Conference camps - Wesley Acres, Storm Mountain, and Lake Poinsett - are excited to welcome campers this summer season. There have been upgrades to facilities and programs, and they are ready to make this the best season ever.

“Each site offers camps and events for all ages and all interests. If you or a member of your family has not been to camp before, we’d love to have you give your Dakotas camps a try this summer,” said Keith Shew, director of Dakotas-Minnesota Area Camp and retreat ministry.

Safety remains the top priority of the Dakotas camping ministry. Each of our three camps is accredited by the American Camp Association, and directors will be closely monitoring COVID-19 conditions prior to and during the camping season. They have safety protocols in place and the infrastructure to implement all necessary procedures.

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Guided climbing near Storm Mountain during "A Rockin' Experience" in 2021.

Storm Mountain Center

There will be excitement around the new “Gaga Ball” pit at Storm Mountain Center, near the Creekside Cabins, for the wilderness camps. Gaga Ball pits have been all the rage at camps in recent years. And as a part of their commitment to Creation Care and sustainability, they have established the new Storm Mountain Garden on the plateau.

“This will be the second year of our Jr. High and Teen Wilderness Adventure Camps based out of the Creekside Cabins and the archery range,” added Storm Mountain directors Lara and Levi Ziegler. “These were new in 2021 and we're still getting the word out!”

With pine forests, majestic rock outcroppings, mountain creeks, and the pristine beauty of the Black Hills, Storm Mountain Center is an amazing place to experience God’s powerful and infinite creation.

Lake Poinsett Camp and Living Waters Retreat Center
Centrally located in Eastern South Dakota, our “Lake Poinsett” camp is an easy drive from the most populous areas of our Conference. Site director Christy Heflin is looking forward to all the new and returning camps and campers this season. The next event is a confirmation retreat March 11-12, led by Rev. Valerie Hummel LaBounty. Of course, the camp has been making improvements over the years and is almost ready for the season. If you or your group would enjoy giving back through a volunteer work weekend, the days for that are April 1-2, and one or both days of help would be greatly appreciated, as well as any other donations of time or money. As the summer warms up, there will be a free event for clergy families July 5-8.

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Group session during Leadership Training Camp (LTC) at Lake Poinsett.

Also, new this summer July 31-August 3, we have a new camp for Women,” Christy adds, “Scrapbooking and Craft Camp and elementary camps all running at the same time, so Moms or Grandmas can come to camp and campers in 3-6th grades can be here at camp at the same time.”

Wesley Acres Camp and Retreat Center

Finding and planning is in place for a new bridge to connect the main campus with the challenge course, so that will be an exciting connection for campers and add a new, accessibility dimension for all the campers.

Director Brenda Lint says, “We are bringing back basketball for our Middle School Mayhem camp, and we have plans in place to make it a safe camp. We will have Coach Lynn Frederick, former DWU standout (and teammate of Rev. Eric Grinager), sharing his expert coaching and student development skills.”

Dovetailing with this year’s curriculum, Creation Speaks, the folks at Wesley Acres are building a sustainable Creation Care plan for the camp, to find ways all campers can be even better stewards of God’s amazing creation. More details to follow as the season approaches.

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Campers climb the Challenge Course at Wesley Acres Camp.

Without you, our campers and supporters of every generation, the hearts of our campers will have exciting transformations in. And without the generous camperships offered by so many of our Conference congregations, though individuals like you, our Dakotas Camp Ministry would not be able to reach the many, many lives that God has reached through camp.

“We are so grateful to the congregations and leaders of the Dakotas Conference who help share camping opportunities with their churches and communities,” Keith Shew said, “We love the partnership between camps and churches.  Camp would not happen without the help of our beloved Dakotas community!”

An experience at Storm Mountain, Wesley Acres, or Lake Poinsett can have a life changing, heart shaping impact on campers of all ages.  We hope to see EVERYONE at camp this summer!

Get info on camps and registration here.

Remember, the Early Bird discount ends April 30, and there are additional discounts here.

UMC

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