Late June and early July has seen day after day of record-setting heat, but camp goes on.
“We just adjust our schedules to include more water time,” said Missouri Conference camping director Lee Walz.
Midway through the summer, Missouri’s United Methodist camps are a bit ahead of last year in terms of number of campers registered for camps at this time.
The first week of July there were 1,933 registered campers, up 10 from the same time in 2011.
Christine and Eric Barton, the new directors at Blue Mountain Camping and Retreat Center, have done well with facility improvements and outreach their first year, and their numbers are up.
Parent-child family camps have been very popular in 2012.
“We’ve had more than twice as many people sign up for family camp,” said Francesca Burton, camping assistant.
This year Rev. Chris Sloan from Christ Community UMC led a canoe camp on the Niangua River that involved more than 50 people. The Thirst Camp at Camp Galilee had 112 campers in 2011, this year it had 212. The Kerusso camp led by John Birkhead grew from 33 last year to 77 this year. An Athletes for Christ camp for junior high and high school last year had 18 campers, and this year it was split into two age groups and it grew to a total of 61 campers.
Leaders were prepared ahead of schedule this year.
“Out of 700 volunteers, we had more than 500 registered and certified by May 15,” Walz said.
There are still opportunities at some camps for late planners, or people whose plans have changed. Visit www.mocamps.org for more information.
When summer comes to an end, that doesn’t mean the camp facilities are closed until next year. All of the camps have an increased amount of year-round use. An example of one such event is the first Missouri Conference organized Women’s Retreat October 12 -14. Registration is open and space is limited. For more information e-mail fburton@moumethodist. org.