Category

MC Squared: Parents

Help Us End This Year Well!

By | Giving, MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, MC Squared: Parents, MC Squared: Retreat Organizers | No Comments

43,379 is a 2017 milestone.

In the mid-1900s, facilitating youth retreats became a prevalent way of reaching the next generation; those camps appeared to be effective in communicating the message and love of Jesus. As a result, in 1965, a group of churches concluded its search for a suitable place to permanently anchor their annual youth summer camps, a permanent place to support the ministry of the local church. Through the sacrificial dedication of a few men and women, the dream of Miracle Camp became a reality.

Today, we are humbled that God continues to choose to use this place. In 2017, the number of lives that have been impacted since our inception by our Summer Camp program alone reached 43,379. Every person in that number matters because each represents an individual who is loved by Jesus. Amazingly, that number is only the beginning as it does not include our other programmed events, like Ice Camp, Man Camp, Women’s Retreat, Family Camp, Parent/Child Camps and Marriage Retreats, or our guest group registrations. Combining those means the lives impacted reaches into hundreds of thousands.

That number is not for our glory. God has chosen to use this place for His purposes, and He continues to show Himself in mighty ways. We believe God has positioned this place to be a catalyst that impacts the world for many years to come. Our heart’s desire is to bring others to Christ and equip them to spread His Word!

As you reflect on how God has impacted your life, please prayerfully consider joining us in this mission with a gift. You will be making a significant Kingdom investment. Miracle Camp depends upon the voluntary generosity of affiliated churches and supporting individuals. Your contributions help us share the hope that is found in Jesus, impact lives for the kingdom, and strengthen the ministry of the local church. To make a secure gift online, please visit www.miraclecamp.com/giving.

Blessings,

Jonathan L. Hyde
Executive Director

We’re Only $36,000 Away!!

By | Keeping Faith, MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, MC Squared: Parents, MC Squared: Retreat Organizers | No Comments

Thanks to your help and support, we are only $36,000 away from meeting our $300,000 match for the Evergreen Project! Starting last year, a donor came to us with this matching opportunity to completely fund the Evergreen Project. We are blown away by the generosity and selflessness of all who have helped but we still need your help to completely fund this renovation. Any gift, big or small, is appreciated!

As we look to continue to improve camp, our guests are always on the front of our minds. Our goal throughout this whole campaign is to increase capacity so more people can hear the message of Jesus Christ, improve the safety of our guests, and focus on stewardship towards the local church.

We again want to thank you for your prayers and support. Without you none of this would be possible!

If you would like more information on the Evergreen Project, or if you would like to give, visit www.miraclecamp.com/the-evergreen-project/!

Free Pastors Retreat

By | MC Squared, MC Squared: Church Leaders, MC Squared: Parents, Pastors Retreat | No Comments

Know a pastor that needs a few days rest from ministry life? Know a pastor that needs a time of spiritual refreshment?

Miracle Camp can now help! For the first time ever, Miracle Camp is providing a short mid-week getaway for any and all pastors – TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE! We exist to serve churches, and one of the best ways we can serve churches is to serve those who lead churches. So, please, come (or make your pastor come) and use this time for whatever you need: spend time with God, solitude in nature, connect with others, or just enjoy camp’s activities. This offer is open to all pastors and will be held October 9 – 11, so spread the word! Register online at: www.miraclecamp.com/pastorsretreat.

  • Personal Devo Time
  • Nature
  • Biblical Teaching
  • Relaxation and Solitude
  • Networking and Fellowship
  • Activities
  • Round Table Discussions
  • Prayer
  • All meals, lodging, and activities are free of charge (you only need to find a way to get here)

Keeping Faith Rewind: The Figg Family

By | Family Camp, Keeping Faith, MC Squared, MC Squared: Parents, Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

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This week’s Keeping Faith Rewind is Karl and Holly Figg’s story. Karl and Holly’s family has been involved in Miracle Camp and Retreat Center for many years. Their children have attended summer camps, they have all come to family camp, and many of their children have worked as counselors, lifeguards, and more on our summer camp staff team.

When we plan programs, we seek to partner with local churches and seek to create programs that will impact the entire family. That’s why we offer more than just summer camp and youth winter retreats in Michigan. We also offer men’s retreats, women’s retreats, marriage retreats, and more! The Figg family has been to it all!

Listen as they tell you more about how their family has been impacted by this ministry.

Keeping Faith Rewind: The Gerber Family’s Story

By | Family Camp, Keeping Faith, MC Squared, MC Squared: Parents | No Comments

Gerber-Family_Thumb2

Today’s Keeping Faith Rewind is about the Gerber family, a loyal Miracle Camp family from the Fort Wayne area. Miracle Camp and Retreat Center is often thought of as a place for just kids, but as this video shows…it’s for the whole family.

Be sure to check out the Gerber family Keeping Faith Story on our Keeping Faith page!

Do you have a story like the Gerber family? We want to hear it! Send us an email, write on our Facebook wall, or send us a letter. We know stories like this happen often at camp. We want to make it our mission to share these stories that have changed your lives. Thanks for reading!

 

Like Father, Like Son – Why parent/child retreats are so beneficial

By | Father/Son Retreat, MC Squared: Parents, Mother/Daughter Retreat | No Comments

When I was young, my father and I went on a father/son campout with our church. I was probably 8 or 9 years old and to me, my father was the coolest person in the world. Yes, quite soon after that my father became the least cool person in the world while I was in junior high and high school, but you will be glad to know that he is once again top of my list now that I have children.

Looking back at that campout, I am amazed that I liked it. The camp we went to was in terrible shape, had very little to do, the food was terrible, and I’m sure we barely slept.

But it was amazing.

I remember cooking food (once again that tasted terrible) over a campfire in a tin can and roasting hot dogs and s’mores. I loved that my dad prepared something different (and semi-tasty) in the tin cans while everyone else was left with burnt potatoes and terrible beef. I remember playing games in the dark and thinking it was super fun to sleep in a sleeping bag (I mean…who doesn’t like sleeping in a sticky container that you can barely move in). I remember trying to climb a “cliff” with my friends while our dad’s watched. I”m sure in retrospect is was a 15 foot sleep hill, but it still felt cool.

But the thing I remember the most was waking up before everyone else with my dad. The fire had gone out from the night before and I was disappointed. I loved watching the fire. But then, my dad did something I will never forget. He said, “hey, you want to see something cool?” Of course I did. He then got down on one knee, gathered some dry leaves and stick, peeled back the ashes until there were a few barely glowing embers and began to blow gently. At first, nothing happened, but then the coals began to glow a little brighter, then the leaves began to smoke a little, and then in front of my wondering little eyes, we had a roaring morning campfire.

My dad was the coolest.

A few years ago I had the privilege of showing my son how to start a campfire from nothing. I’m not sure he had the same reaction that I did when I was young, but it was fun to pass something along.

This is the power of a parent/child retreat. I have noticed that my children mimic my actions more than they mimic what I say. At Miracle Camp’s father/son retreat and mother/daughter retreat, your children will be able to be with just you for an extended period of time (in much better food and housing conditions I might add). They will be able to watch and observe what you say and do, and I think you’ll find that they will have some memories that stick with them for the rest of their lives.

Around that same time in my life I started reading through my Bible regularly. You know why I did it? Because I saw my father reading his Bible at the kitchen table every single morning at 6:30am.

You never know the power of your little, every day actions.

Bible Reading Plans

By | Family Camp, MC Squared: Church Leaders, MC Squared: Parents, Summer Camp | No Comments

One of our biggest hopes for campers is that they keep pursuing God in faith as they head home from camp. We don’t expect them to always feel the same emotions they felt at camp, but we pray that they will have the same commitment to Christ at home that they did at camp. One of the best ways to do that is to spend time in prayer and time reading the Bible. Our favorite method is for parents and children to read through a plan together. Here are a few Bible reading plans that can get you started:

5 Minutes a Day Plan – This is the easiest plan and in 5 minutes a day you can read one chapter of the New Testament and finish in 1 year

1 Year Chronological Plan – Read through the whole Bible in one year by reading 3 chapters each day

1 Year Blended Plan – Read some of the Old Testament and the New Testament each day and complete the whole Bible in one year

Read New Testament in 90 days – This plan has you read several chapters of the New Testament each day and you can easily finish in 3 months.

To pray, we encourage campers to simply talk with God. Prayer isn’t all about making requests, though that is part of it. It’s also about sharing life with the person who cares the most about you. You can talk to Him about how you feel about things at school, you can ask Him for advice when you’re discouraged, and you can thank Him for the good things happening in your life. The more time you spend with God in prayer, the closer your relationship will be.

Here’s an acronym that we like to use sometimes to help guide our prayer times:

  • A – Adoration – this simply means to praise God or to tell Him what you like about him. Give God some complements!
  • C – Confession – sometimes there are things that get in the way of our relationship with God. It’s important to apologize for those sins and wrong decisions we’ve made.
  • T – Thanksgiving – this is a time to simply thank God for the positive (and even sometimes negative) aspects of our lives. When we follow God, everything has a purpose and we can thank him for that.
  • S – Specific Requests – this is what most people think of when they think of prayer. It’s an important part, but it’s not the only part. In this section simply talk to God about your needs and to ask Him to work in the lives of people you know and around the world.

As always, if you need any guidance or other resource ideas, please feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help you and your family grow close to God.

Meet our 2016 Summer Staff

By | MC Squared: Parents, Staff, Summer Camp, Updates | No Comments

We are now two days into summer camp and are having a great time. Campers are hearing the Bible taught in a relevant way and of course, any week of summer camp is always filled with fun.

We wanted to send you a sheet that includes all of our staff for this summer. We would love it if you would pray for a different one each day, that God would give them strength, that God would work through them and in them, and that they our ministry would be safe and effective this summer.

Thanks so much for joining our team by lifting us up in prayer!

If you would like to download a PDF of these summer staff pictures to print and hang on your wall as a reminder just click the link below:

Download – 2016 Face Sheet Final

2016 Face Sheet page 22016 Face Sheet page 1

Things We Teach Our Camp Counselors – Part 4

By | MC Squared: Parents, Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

Unity and Teamwork – The Unsung Heroes of Training

When people think about training for a job they think about all the practical aspects: safety, knowledge, emergency preparedness, etc. However, very often fun, unity, and teamwork is overlooked. Obviously, the first and most obvious parts of training are super important. But if bonding and team building isn’t part of training, somehow the other things seem to fall apart. Team building and bonding during staff training is the glue that holds all the other parts together.

We pay our staff for a whole week before any camper shows up, and we ask them to come a few days early before that week of training just for some fun. We’ll do things such as taking a camping trip to northern Michigan, an Olympic opening ceremony for the first night, sharing testimonies with one another, and our favorite…an all staff Amazing Race all around southwest Michigan!

Throughout the summer we will continue to build unity among our staff by helping them plan trips to area cities, going to a Chicago Fire soccer game, providing weekly worship times, going to church together, and praying together. When people have fun together, they also work and collaborate really well together.

Why is unity important?

To be an example for the campers

In John 17, Jesus prays for his disciples that they will be one (unified) so that the world will know that Jesus is sent by God. This is our prayer for our staff that they may have a love for one another that is obvious to parents and campers that Jesus is real and changes lives. We want their unity to be the best example of the hope, joy, and full life that God has given us.

To improve work quality

We believe that when a team is unified and they like each other, they do their work better. We find that a unified staff has a better emotional maturity and mental maturity to take care of the kids in a fun safe way. They aren’t as distracted as a staff that is thinking about a problem they have with another staff member. Instead, they are enjoying their work, enjoying being with each other, and are happier for the kids.

To help us select better staff in the future

We have found that the best way to recruit staff is by word of mouth. And the best staff tend to be friends with other really good potential staff. It’s kind of a guilt by association, but in reverse. So we find that when we focus on unity during training and during the summer, the best staff are more willing to talk about what a great time they had with their friends. And that in turn, helps us have an even better summer staff each consecutive year. You can never only just focus on the summer in front of you…you have to always think for the future.

There are many other reasons for focusing on unity, but those are a few. But the main thing…

It’s Biblical…and it’s the right thing to do…

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” -Eph 4:1-3

Things We Teach Our Camp Counselors – Part 3

By | MC Squared: Parents, Safety, Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

For the past several weeks we have been covering the topic of things we teach our summer camp counselors. Last week we talked about how we train our summer staff to handle emergencies at summer camp.

Unfortunately, we can train our staff to be perfect counselors, we can train them how to respond in emergency situations, and Miracle Camp and Retreat Center can be a perfect place, but there will still be problems.

That’s because more than one camper comes to camp each week!

This week’s topic – handling problems caused by campers

As soon as two campers come to camp there are bound to be problems. Unfortunately sometimes there is bullying caused by another camper, or maybe another camper is being rude and disruptive during a cabin time, or maybe it’s as simple as a homesick camper that requires extra attention. Whatever the situation we want our staff to follow some steps to help preserve an amazing week for the other campers in their cabin.

Step #1 – Intervene Immediately

The first and most important step when there are problems is to do something. This seems like it shouldn’t need to be said, but in American culture, often our first response to problems is to walk the other way or to pretend like it didn’t happen. We don’t like to confront people and we don’t like dealing with problems. Sometimes we hope they will just go away on their own.

However, while we are caring for other children, it’s important that we intervene right away. Sometimes children will not speak up for themselves so we try to train our staff to recognize when a camper might be bothered by other camper’s behavior. The most important thing is for our staff to stop the disruptive behavior…and we provide them with some steps to do that.

Step #2 – Tell Someone (Probably someone on the program team)

The other things we’re not very good at as human beings is telling someone about the problem. We so often want to be independent and try to take care of things on our own, as if that were a sign of strength. But in this situation we want our staff to involve our leadership team early. This is so we know about the problem before it turns into a bigger problem. Our leadership team is a group of staff who are veterans in camping. They have experience in handling problems and difficulties and are excellent at giving advice and lending a hand when needed.

The other reason we like the program office to be aware of the problems early is because we want to do Step #3 really well…

Step #3 – Involve Parents Early

There’s no one who knows your camper better than you. We train our staff that if they are in doubt about whether they should call home or not, they should call home. Sometimes a camper who is homesick can be calmed down by a quick word of advice from the parent to the counselor. Sometimes a camper who has been bullied doesn’t feel alone and singled out if they know their parents are behind them. And we have found that parents feel much more secure when they know that we’re paying attention to the condition of their camper.

We’re not perfect

Every week isn’t perfect and we’re not perfect at stopping problems caused by other campers, but as our trained staff follow these steps and seek to make every week an amazing week for every camper, we believe for your camper it will be pretty close to a perfect week!

Our promise to parents is that we will do our best to recognize problems, address problems quickly and effectively, and involve your advice early if needed.

And as always…if you have a concern…give us a call. We use phone calls from you as an opportunity to improve our training for our next group of staff, and sometimes even in mid summer. We enjoy hearing from you and how we can improve!