Camping is such an important part of the Dakotas Conference. So many lives have been touched by the camping ministry of the Conference. Downtown First UMC in Mitchell, South Dakota realizes the camps are really hurting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to cancel of the camping season for 2020. The congregation launched the Campfire Campaign to log miles walking, running and biking for the months of September through October. They are asking people to pledge or give funds; so much per mile, or per circuit, or just a donation for our Dakotas United Methodist camps. After one week, Downtown First UMC logged more than 105 miles. "According to our calculations we have logged enough miles to reach Lake Poinsett Camp. We are now working on logging miles to Wesley Acres," says Pastor Keith Nelson.
Rev. Keith Nelson, who serves Downtown First UMC issued this challenge to his congregration last week:
"I am challenging our church to walk, bike, and run in September through October. I am asking that you keep track of and report those miles. We are going to try to circle our camps and raise money while we do it. It is almost exactly 1,100 miles from Mitchell, South Dakota to Lake Poinsett, to Wesley Acres, to Storm Mountain, and back to Mitchell. We’re going to see if we can circle the camps—or log 1,100 miles by our walking, running, or cycling. Personally, I think we can do it a couple of times. Then we’re asking people to pledge or give funds; so much per mile, or per circuit, or just a donation to the cause. I’m personally pledging 10 cents a mile up to $550. Yes, I’m going to see if our church can make the circuit FIVE times."
Downtown First is fired up and ready to go. They have already started logging the pledges and miles. They are now challening the entire Dakotas Conference to get on board.
Nelson offers this challenge to everyone, "We are challenging other churches in the conference to join us. Hey, church – let’s have some fun and get some exercise too!!"