Category

Summer Camp

Our Mission: Biblical Focus

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The first, and arguably most important, part of our mission is Biblical Focus. More than anything, we desire to see people draw closer to God. We genuinely believe that the Bible is God’s Word and it is our ambition to obey and live according to Scripture in every decision we make as a staff. Our mindset needs to be centered on the things Jesus taught and how He lived His life.

Biblical focus is a huge part of our programmed events such as Man Camp, Women’s Retreat, Summer Camp, and Ice Camp. We are confident that the speakers we bring in will preach God’s Word during these retreats. We not only strive to share the Word with our guests but also teach them how to read the Bible on their own. Spending time in Scripture should be a habitual discipline, and so we want to prepare men, women, and kids to continue reading their Bible when they leave this place. We hope to see guests become devoted followers of Christ and to grow in their relationship with Him.

Like we said in our earlier post, every part of our mission is centered on glorifying Christ and lifting His name high. Over the next few months, we will touch on the other four parts of our mission and how they, along with Biblical Focus, all play into our ultimate purpose of facilitating life change by helping people grow closer to God.

Senior High 1: Izzy and Zoey

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One thing we love at here Miracle Camp is seeing the way God impacts the lives of campers. Every person has such a unique story to tell, and this is no different when it comes to Izzy and Zoey.

Having come from a rough background, Izzy and Zoey accepted Christ two years ago through attending a kids club in their neighborhood Bible study. They have been coming to Miracle Camp as campers ever since then, as their grandpa was one of the founders of camp.Last year’s camp experience is one that Izzy and Zoey will always remember. While having personal devotional time, the girls were able to share their testimonies with another girl in their cabin who had the same type of story. Zoey and Izzy’s testimony tells a beautiful story of how the girls came to realize this truth: fullness of life only comes from God and is far better than the emptiness that comes from trying to face life alone.

During Senior High 1 chapel sessions, our speaker Jesse Kahler walked campers through different methods to study the Bible. As Zoey and Izzy go back home after camp, they have the desire to develop a more routine devotional time. “We don’t just want to limit our devos, but spend as much time as we can be studying Scripture,” Izzy and Zoey agree.

Zoey explained that camp has taught her how to worship God and be in community with other believers. “I love how different we all are and how no matter where we are from, we all worship the same God and can worship together,” Izzy added.

Please join us as we continue to pray for Izzy and Zoey’s growth in the knowledge of God’s faithfulness in their lives.

Bekah’s Story

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Meet Bekah Hayes, a bubbly 10 year old girl from the Midwest. Bekah became a Christian when she was 7 years old through a conversation with her parents. She enjoys swimming, art, and spending quality time with her family. 

This past week was Bekah’s first time being a camper here at Miracle Camp, and she loved every part of it! While on a one-on-one with her counselor Ellie, Bekah expressed that she desires to get baptized when she goes back home. This decision was influenced by the chapel sessions that are held each day at camp. “Chapel has really helped me to understand more about Jesus and who He is,” she explained, “Jesus wants us to love Him, and that’s because He loves us with all of His heart.” To Bekah, getting baptized means publicly declaring to the world that she has trusted God with all of her heart.

Along with getting baptized, Bekah looks forward to reading her Bible more in-depth. Camp’s daily devotional times have helped shape her interest in reading the Bible further.

Please join us in praying for Bekah as she prepares to get baptized at her church surrounded by the support of her family and friends. And keep praying that God would continue to work in the hearts of more campers at Miracle Camp this summer.

Things You Can Do at Camp That You Can’t Do at Home: Cabin Unity!

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A big part of what makes camp so awesome is making new friends and spending time doing awesome things with your cabinmates. Cabins will do games together, go to chapel and do devotions together, and do so many other fun activities together. Each cabin will consist of about 10 campers and will be led by a counselor and assistant counselor who are college students that love challenging and hanging out with the kids who come for the summer. It’s amazing to see campers come away from the weekend with long lasting, genuine friendships with people from all over the midwest.

For more information on what summer camp looks like, or to register for camp this year, head to www.miraclecamp.com/summercamp!

 

Things You Can Do at Camp That You Can’t Do at Home: Chapel Sessions!

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One of the things we care about most is the spiritual growth of the guests and campers who are here and preparing them to continue to further their relationship with Jesus Christ as they leave camp. We love offering chapel sessions twice a day for campers that come to  where they can worship with a band and hundreds of other kids their age as well as listen to a speaker challenge them in their faith. After each evening chapel session, the campers will go with their cabin and counselor to do cabin devotions. The counselors will lead these devotions and campers will be able to discuss what they learned in the chapel session and how they can apply it to their life.

Each counselor will also have an hour one on one conversation with each camper.  These discussions are put into place so that each counselor can help each camper grow closer to God personally.  Counselors are trained to challenge students to read and apply God’s word and to spend time in prayer. Campers are given time for personal devotions after every morning chapel session. We want to train campers not just to hear God’s word, but also to read and study it for themselves.

For more information on what summer camp looks like, or to register for camp this year, head to www.miraclecamp.com/summercamp!

Things You Can Do at Camp That You Can’t Do at Home: Awesome Activities!

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We absolutely love being able to offer guests and campers things that they can do here at camp that they are unable to do at home. One of our favorite parts of camp is the awesome activities we have. We have everything from the zipline to the Blob that campers never seem to get enough of and are excited to do every time they come back. Here is a small list of some of our and our campers favorite things to do while they are at camp:

Zipline – A 480 ft. ride that you take after leaving our 40 ft. climbing tower.
The Blob – A huge inflatable water launcher that sends kids soaring into the air.
Gaga Ball – Be the last one in the ring while getting others out by hitting them in the legs with a ball.
Archery – Try to get a bullseye in one of the many targets at our archery range.
Initiatives – Bond your group together with our 10+ team building initiatives.
Paintball – Can you hit all your friends before getting hit yourself?
Small Boats – Kayak or canoe on our beautiful Bankson Lake!
Tubing – See if you can hold onto the tube while being driven around the lake.
Disc Golf – Bet you can’t get a hole in one on our 18 hole course!
Large Group Games – A staple of summer camp including Gold Rush and Hunger Games.
…and much more!

To see more activities that we offer or to register and try some of these out for yourself head to www.miraclecamp.com!

Summer Camp is Almost Here!!!

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Summer Camp will be here in less than 2 months! We are already planning and preparing for this summer and spots are starting to fill up fast! Here are the dates and ages for our Summer Camps for this year!

June 11-17: Middle School 1
June 18-24: Junior High 1
June 25 – July 1: Senior High 1
July 5-8: Grade School 1
July 9-15: Junior High 2
July 16-22: Senior High 2
July 23-29: Northwoods
July 30 – August 5: Grade School 2
July 30 – August 2: Grade School 3
August 6-12: Middle School 2

Grade School // 2nd – 4th Grade
Middle School // 5th – 7th Grade
Junior High // 6th – 8th Grade
Senior High // 9th – 12th Grade

For more information on our Summer Camps, go to www.miraclecamp.com/summercamp!

The Best Two Weeks of Your Summer!

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Camp Aiding is the best of both worlds. As a Camp Aide, you have the incredible opportunity to be partnered with a counselor and assistant counselor to gain an inside look at what goes into being a part of Miracle Camp’s summer staff team. Camp Aiding has greatly impacted my walk with Jesus Christ and I am so thankful for the opportunities and lessons I have learned through being a Camp Aide.

Camp Aide’s have a truly unique position for the two weeks they are serving at Miracle Camp. Each is assigned a specific cabin with campers who will learn together, have fun together, and experience Christ in many ways, especially through two chapel sessions every day and cabin devotions. When Camp Aides are not with their assigned cabin, they are out doing things like personal devotions, group devotions, and camp maintenance (which let me tell you, is much more fun than it sounds). It’s awesome to form deep, Christ-centered relationships with other Camp Aides who share the same hope and purpose; to proclaim the Gospel. Camp Aides are constantly being pushed into a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ.

Trying to narrow down my favorite part of Camp Aiding is extremely difficult because almost everything could be my favorite. One thing I really loved about Camp Aiding, though, is realizing different parts of who I am that I didn’t know beforehand by being encouraged and pushed to step outside my comfort zone. Being pushed out of your comfort zone is difficult, but I believe it is important part in understanding what Jesus wants to teach you. Camp Aides also get the experience of late night staff worship, which is incredible because it allows you to take the focus off yourself and respond to all that Christ is. All of these opportunities not only result in amazing relationships made with people at camp but also with an increased love for your own personal relationship with Christ. Camp Aiding will challenge you mentally, physically, and most importantly spiritually. It will impact you in a way that makes you want to tell someone because you can not keep the joy of Christ inside.

The greatest spiritual impact on me, through Camp Aiding, has been through personal devotions. Spending time in one part of scripture really quiets your mind and allows the Word of God to impact you. Getting to discuss what Christ is doing in the lives of other Camp Aides inspires me to grow as well. These discussions strengthen the relationships between other Camp Aides and shows how God speaks differently to people. Most importantly, as I touched on above, I am so thankful for how being a Camp Aide has impacted me in my own life by pushing me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been able to see that there is a bigger picture, that our God is constantly active, and that there is nowhere better to be than to be experiencing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Being surrounded by Christ followers, and Jesus, for two weeks will leave you wanting more, and will set a fire inside your soul to experience and tell others about what Christ is doing in your life. Camp Aiding has impacted my life for the long run and I am so thankful for all the opportunities, lessons, relationships, and applications being a Camp Aide has taught me over the years. If you are going to do one thing this summer, consider applying to Camp Aide at Miracle Camp. It will not disappoint.

 

Watch this video to see a glimpse of what Camp Aiding is like!

 

Why is Working at Camp the Best Summer Job Ever?

By | Life at Camp, MC Squared, Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

Hey! My name is Rob Haworth. I am a recent graduate of Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois and I am currently a youth pastor in Omaha, Nebraska. During my years at Olivet, I spent three summers at Miracle Camp (two as a Counselor, one as Head Male Counselor). I still cherish the relationships I built there and count those as some of the most incredible, God-filled times of my life. In the next few paragraphs, I’ll try to describe just what Miracle Camp means to me. It’s an impossible task, really. Try fitting Miracle Camp’s one and only Bankson Lake into a water bottle and you’ll know the struggle; but, as many before me have done, I will try my best to do justice to this amazing place.

The word that comes to mind when I think of camp is “impact.” In almost every testimonial, from staffers and campers alike, the word is everywhere. Miracle Camp’s own mission statement is completely focused on “facilitating life change.” That impact is reflected by the vast majority of summer staff that work at camp because they’ve spent their lives there. The counselors they’ve had, the friendships they’ve made, the messages they’ve heard: it all contributes to a deep desire to invest in that same kind of change in the lives of students. The memories they have and the culture in which they’ve grown up motivate them to serve. I love those stories. But that is not my story.

I was 18 years old, a freshman at Olivet, and I had no clue there was a place called Miracle Camp. I met a guy on my floor, now a good friend of mine, who had worked there before. He talked about it so much, almost like it was a dream. I know what he was feeling now, but back then it kind of freaked me out! He ended up showing me the staff video and, although it looked different than anything I had ever experienced before, it also seemed like a ton of fun. With Christmas break over and the summer looming on the horizon, my search for a job intensified. I knew God was calling me to work with youth, but I didn’t know where. Finally I submitted my application and, long story short, I got the job. I was a counselor at this mystery Christian camp in Michigan.

Staff training arrives and I pull up to camp. The grounds were beautiful and it was all very impressive, but the staff was what blew me away. Immediately I was accepted. I was supported, cared for, and taken into the family. As staff training went on, I began to learn more about what Miracle Camp does, the mission behind it, and the goals it seeks to achieve. Every week during my first two summers as a counselor, I was able to touch the lives of campers and learned more about what Miracle Camp is. Every single day this last summer as head male counselor that I tried to lay down my rights, comfort, and time for the staff so that they could show love painted a clearer picture of camp’s purpose.

The main way camp helped me grow was that it brought 1 John 3:16 to life. I thought I understood the verse, which reads, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters,” before I worked at camp. Looking back, I had no idea what it meant, but I quickly grew in my understanding, prompted by a mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion that brought me to the end of myself. Even now, as I continue striving to look more like Christ , I view that lesson as one of the most valuable that I have ever learned.

Sitting here racking my brain for the words to express everything camp that is into a neat concluding paragraph, I understand that this is an impossible task. I can’t think of words or phrases to sum it up. This isn’t writer’s block, though. My mind is anything but blank. The issue is that when I think of camp, I don’t think of words; I see faces. The people serving next to me all summer; the campers having a blast in a game or experiencing God in a chapel service; the laughter, the exhaustion, the tears: they all come flooding back bringing with them memories that perfectly describe what Miracle Camp is. What make Miracle Camp special are the people. It’s a staff united by one faith, energized by one Spirit, striving towards one mission. It’s God working through His servants to bring joy, show love, and build His Kingdom. That’s what Miracle Camp is. That’s Bankson in a bottle.

Check out this video from my first summer at camp to see a tiny glimpse of some of the things that I’ve experienced here at Miracle Camp and Retreat Center.

Why Should You Work at Camp?

By | Life at Camp, MC Squared, Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

My name is Maddie Short, and I am a senior at Indiana Wesleyan University. I have grown up going to camp since second grade and been apart of the camp aide program. The past three summers I have taken the role of assistant counselor and lifeguard, waterfront director, and videographer!

I almost think it might be easier for me to write about what summer camp HASN’T taught me, because I have really learned that much from my experiences.

Equating the experience of a summer at camp to a couple paragraphs is like trying to describe a color. You can’t formulate a sentence that fully gives an idea of what it looks like, without seeing it firsthand. Thus, camp is truly something that you have to experience in order to fully understand it.

When you work at Miracle Camp you choose to work for an organization that truly lives out their mission statement every day. You work with a group of people who plan their entire summer around that mission statement, and stick to it. Working here has taught me more about living life, and helped me gain a multitude of skills.

The motivation that one has to work at camp may be different from another. Personally, my inspiration came from the fact that I have gone to camp my entire life. To this day, there are certain counselors and assistant counselors that I still look up to. It might have only been one thing they said or did during my week at camp, but somehow it stuck with me until now. I remember each of my counselors and the summers that they gave me. I remember the way they loved the Lord and how they encouraged me to pursue my own relationship with the Lord. After having worked at camp for three summers, campers’ have reached out and contacted me directly outside of camp. They share small, simple stories or words of encouragement regarding what they learned at camp, and how it impacted them years later. It is these small reminders from campers that make the time invested all worth it. 

So that’s the inspiration behind it, now what did I learn from all my experiences and how did I grow? Well, first and foremost, I gained an understanding of selflessness. I didn’t fully understand this concept until I started working at camp. Camp taught me what it means to lay down the “rights” I think I deserve, and instead put the consideration of others first. Honestly, when I work at camp, I don’t really have a choice to be selfish. It’s almost is a natural way to teach myself how to serve others in the way God calls me to, with a humble heart and with the desire to serve those around me.

The list of practical and intangible skills could go on and on. I have developed better communication and relational skills with campers, parents, staff members, and superiors. Without effective communication, camp could not run. So, clear and concise communication is practiced throughout the entirety of the summer. One of the greatest takeaways I’ve gained is the ability to creatively think. Creative thinking happens in all different forms: group collaboration, self-initiative, when in a time constraint, or during planning sessions throughout the start of the summer. Nonetheless, creative programming is one of camp’s values, so it has been instilled in my blood since I have started working there. There have been many times where we had something planned, and due to weather or another circumstance, we had about 15 minutes to come up with a new plan for 200 campers. Surprisingly, situations like this were more frequent than the staff hoped, but looking back, these were some of my favorite times. Honestly, some of the best games were developed through situations when we were under pressure! There are so many opportunities at camp that allow for creativity within group collaboration.

One of the greatest blessings from working at camp results in the immense growth that takes place within. The entire summer is centered around Christ, so it gives the unique opportunity of practicing putting Christ at the center of all we do. I learned how to rely not on my own strength, but to rely on him through times when I was tired from a crazy week. There are so many opportunities to grow spiritually. I found myself growing the most through the set aside time for personal devotions, as well as the opportunity to listen to many different speakers presenting the gospel to the kids each week! There was always someone on staff who was willing to talk or listen, and grow alongside of me. Because the foundation of these friendships rests on the truth of Christ, I have formed some my best friendships through camp.

Aside from the intangible skills, I have also learned practical “camp” skills. You name it: ziplining, paintballing, outdoor games, campfire building, beach preparation, boat care, driving tubers, dodgeball, and essentially, turning anything into a game. In my role as the videographer, I stepped into it with zero knowledge. Up until the month before coming to camp, I had essentially never picked up a camera. Nonetheless, I knew my staff would support me in this role and it was a skillset I was excited to learn. It took a lot of research, time, and dedication, but because of camp, I learned video skills that I can use outside of camp, and are now contributing to my future today.

To wrap all of this up: I work at camp because I love the campers. I love that my creativity, confidence, and faith has been developed. And I love the relationships with staff members that I have developed. I work at camp because the Lord has given me the ability and opportunity to bless others by working for him through this ministry.

A summer at camp isn’t just a period of time in your life, rather it becomes a part of who you are and helps shape who you become. Words limit the fullness of my own personal camp experience, so I encourage you to experience it yourself and see what I have tried to describe. My greatest advice to anyone interested in working on summer staff? Apply now.

Click here to apply for this year’s summer staff!

Check out one of Maddie’s videos from this summer!