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New Miracle Camp Gear is Here!

By | Updates | No Comments

Our new Miracle Camp gear is in and we are so excited to share it with you!

Check out our new T-shirt design in two different colors with the coordinates of camp. Get ready for the fall and winter with our brand new hoodie. Represent Miracle Camp through an assortment of our new bags, stuffed animals, water bottles, and more. Get your game on in style with our dodgeball shirts in both blue and yellow!

Click the button below to visit our online store and get your merch today!

Mother Daughter Retreat!

By | Mother/Daughter Retreat | No Comments

Moms and daughters, are you looking for a time to get away together to laugh, play, and grow spiritually? Join us September 21st – 23rd for our Mother Daughter retreat. This event is for any mom with daughters in grade school (K-6).

Whether it is enjoying games or gathering around the fire by the lake, we hope this fall weekend provides you with the perfect space and activities to allow you and your daughters to connect and encourage each other. Dive in to God’s Word with our speaker for the weekend, Kayla Crist. Praise and worship will be led by Jennie Wellsand.

Browse the camp store filled with new merchandise. Enjoy a delightful treat from the coffee shop. Take a walk surrounded by the colors and smells of fall. Adventure over to the zipline, archery, or mini golf. Check out the craft shack and let your creative side run free.

This year we are featuring a couple different crafts. Get in the fall spirit with our wooden pumpkin creation. Different sizes of wood slices are available for this festive decoration. Additionally, tic-tac-toe rocks are a fun creation for a portable game, party favor, etc. Explore camp with your daughter in search of rocks of your choice and personalize them along with a cute burlap bag and tag.

We are so excited for what God has in store for this weekend with you and your daughter as you grow closer to Him and each other.

To find out more details and register, click the button below!

Father Son Retreat!

By | Father/Son Retreat | No Comments

We’re so excited to see all the dads and sons who will spend a weekend with us next month! Having quality, unrushed time with your son can be a challenge in today’s busy world, and Miracle Camp has created a retreat specifically designed for dads and sons to get away together and connect.

Our Father Son Retreat is coming up on October 5th – 7th. Dads with a son in grade school (K-6) – this weekend is for you! Come enjoy time with your boys away from the busyness of schedules and everyday routines. We have a ton of activities planned for you to connect with your son, including paint ball, zip line, archery, dodgeball, BB guns, and so much more.

While you play hard and laugh together, this time is a great opportunity for you to challenge your son spiritually. Grow in Christ together through sessions with our speaker, Dan Crist. Enjoy a time of worship led by Jon Hayes. We pray you and your son have great conversations about life as you spend time in the Bible together and reflect on what God teaches during this weekend.

You and your son plus games, worship, fun, and a weekend away at Miracle Camp – take advantage of this incredible retreat!

To find out more details and register, click the button below!

Fall 2018 Man Camp!

By | Men's Retreat (Man Camp) | No Comments

Leaves crunch in the crisp air. The smell of bacon and campfires mix. It’s almost time for Man Camp!

Join us September 7th – 9th for our fall Man Camp. We have a variety of exciting activities planned, including zipline, dodgeball, archery, trap shooting, fishing, and so much more. Come enjoy the steak-cookout while hanging out with other men. And don’t forget the bacon.

Most importantly, we are looking forward to the ways God is going to work. Caleb Culver and Andrew Williams are the two speakers for the weekend who will challenge and encourage you through God’s Word. A time of praise and worship will be led by Richard Adolph.

Spots are still open, so if you’re a guy 18 or older, register today! Or if you’re a dad, you can bring your son if he is 14 or older. You won’t want to miss this incredible weekend of adventure, food, biblical teaching, and being challenged in all the best ways possible.

To find out more details and register, click the button below!

That’s a Wrap!

By | Summer Camp | No Comments

It’s a happy kind of sad as the last campers turn the corner out of camp: happy because the past nine weeks have been filled with games, high-fives, deep conversations, new friends, old friends, and so much more. Sad because it is all coming to an end.

Summer has flown by, and this last Saturday we wrapped up our 2018 Summer Camp season. A few weeks of training combined with nine weeks of campers makes for a lifetime of memories. God worked in so many incredible ways this summer, and we were honored to have 1,345 campers in attendance. It is our prayer that each camper takes home what he or she learned and implements that into everyday life.

Our aim this summer and every summer is helping campers meet God or get to know Him better. Each aspect of Summer Camp pointed toward this and uniquely displayed it in different ways. Our Program Director, staff, and Program Office leaders ensured that camp ran smoothly through logistics so that campers would be safe and have the opportunity to see Jesus. Our Cabin Leaders modeled the love of Jesus as they connected one-on-one with each camper and led the cabins, creating a mentor relationship. Assistant Cabin Leaders helped Cabin Leaders facilitate discussions, worked different activities throughout camp, and modeled hospitality of Jesus as they connected with campers. Camp Aides stepped into their role of coming alongside the Summer Staff and reaching out to campers while developing leadership roles. These descriptions merely scratch the surface of the effort and energy put forth by each staff person involved.

Though the quieter campus now echoes a reminder of the absence of campers and Summer Staff, we are filled with gratitude. We at Miracle Camp are incredibly thankful for each camper who spent a week of their summer with us, and the parents and churches who made this possible. From blobbing to ziplining, campfires and meal times, high-energy games to stronger friendships and great cabin discussions, this has been one amazing summer. We hope the impact of this summer carries over into everyday life. Most importantly, we give thanks to God who has given us this place and the resources to share with you.

To find out more about Summer Camp, click the button below!

Present in the Details

By | Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

The newest t-shirt arrivals hang at the front of the room. Everything from drawstring bags to stuffed animals to jogger sweatpants and hats line the shelves. The freezer is stocked with chipwiches – a Miracle Camp classic. Assistant Cabin Leader Emma Zenz places the finishing touch on the merchandise before turning the sign to “OPEN” as kids gather at the door. She runs the Trading Post, our camp store, which is an especially popular place during Summer Camp.

Emma can’t contain her excitement as she beams: “I LOVE my job.” She’s one of our 18 Assistant Cabin Leaders for the summer and is from Northwest Ohio. Emma’s involvement with Miracle Camp began over ten years ago, ever since she was old enough to attend: first as a camper, then a Camp Aide; simultaneously, her family has been a part of Family Camp for eight years. Her roots at Miracle Camp shaped her love for ministry, which she wants to pursue vocationally. When Summer Camp ends, she will begin her Freshman year at Moody Bible Institute studying Youth Ministry. Therefore, this summer job aligned perfectly with her hopes for the future.

The essence of being an Assistant Cabin Leader is to serve alongside the Cabin Leader so that they can lead the campers well. This means helping facilitate conversations, allowing the Cabin Leader to have one-on-one time with each camper, leading devotions on the Cabin Leader’s night off, and much more. Intentionality is huge regarding interacting with the campers because they are only with the cabins at specific times, such as meals and certain activities.

Each Assistant Cabin Leader has a specific job in addition to helping lead. Some are assigned roles in areas such as Hospitality, Outdoor Adventure, Lifeguarding, Health Office, and Shake Up Kalamazoo. In Emma’s job at the Trading Post, she oversees inventory, preorders, stocking, and opens during free time for campers to visit. “Specifically in my Trading Post job, I get to connect with a lot of campers,” Emma says. “I like to make it a safe and inviting place. Campers can come in knowing their company is wanted if they don’t have friends to hang out with.”

While Cabin Leaders see a more obvious side of spiritual growth in campers, Emma offers a unique perspective of Assistant Cabin Leaders. “We get to see God cultivate conversations not only in devos, but even in free time.” She goes on to describe that even though something may not be seen as “spiritual,” God is still present. “I’ve seen God unite cabins through games and dance parties,” she explains. “He can initiate conversations over ice cream; you don’t have to only be in chapel or small groups to talk about Him.”

The Assistant Cabin Leader role balances out the Cabin Leader role as each position focuses on different aspects, yet both put Christ at the center. Assistant Cabin Leaders are able to step in and bring a new energy or support their Cabin Leaders in the most helpful way, even through simple details. Emma notes that even the details are important when it comes to the bigger picture of the gospel. She loves getting excited about “the little things that help campers get excited. When we make the gospel something we get excited about as well, it’s contagious.”

To find out more about becoming a future Assistant Cabin Leader, click the button below!

Leading by Following

By | Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

Meal-time chants. Dodgeball. Team-building. Afternoons on the water. Reading and reflection time. Worship and soaking in speaker messages. All these contribute to the familiarities of Summer Camp. The general structure sets the rhythm even though every week looks different from the next. “So much can happen inside each week,” Cabin Leader Kendall Miyakawa says. He enjoys the balance of an incredibly fun week while also leading the kids spiritually.

This summer is Kendall’s first experience with Miracle Camp. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he also spent seven years in Thailand, and considers both places his home. One of his high school teachers grew up coming to Miracle Camp and told him about the opportunity. Kendall is currently a sophomore at Taylor University, which is where he met several people who spent their summers at Miracle Camp. He discovered more details about working here from a friend and applied to be a Cabin Leader.

Now he’s about to wrap up a full summer of camp, reflecting on his time here and recognizing how God has been working: “I’ve had to learn a lot about finishing up one week, having expectations for how the next week is going to go, and learning to drop those.” Realizing that each camper comes with a different background and worldview, a large part of being a Cabin Leader has meant discovering what each camper needs and learning to connect in the best way, rather than walking into a week with a set plan. “You never know what direction a camper’s heart will go,” he notes. As a Cabin Leader, you need to “be sensitive to how the Lord is working inside each of your campers and do your best to meet their needs.”

The Cabin Leader role encompasses many aspects with one focus: pointing campers to Jesus. Miracle Camp trains each Cabin Leader to share Jesus, and weekly meetings occur to aid in that training and pray for opportunities to utilize it. This not only directly impacts the campers, but the Cabin Leaders get to carry that training over to relationships outside of Camp. As Cabin Leaders interact with campers, they are reminded to model the hospitality of Jesus. They embody this by connecting through one-on-ones, which are intentional times spent with each camper. This time is built into the schedule to listen to individual needs of the campers and speak the truth of Jesus over their lives. For Kendall, this involves asking questions and getting some perspective. He looks for relevant ways to share the Gospel as he listens to the Spirit for what each kid needs to hear.

Cabin Leaders begin their day with team prayer and personal devotional time. They implement their training as they pour into their campers by reflecting on chapel sessions, playing hard in games and activities, laughing together at meals, and meeting for one-on-ones. Sharing the gospel directly may not always happen, and Cabin Leaders may not see campers meet Jesus for the first time, but the training helps them prepare for those moments and glorify Christ through their actions. Kendall enjoys facilitating cabin discussions and seeing the campers invest in and encourage each other. One of his favorite parts of Summer Camp is seeing how campers arrive on Sunday and where they are when they leave on Saturday – the transformation that takes place. Cabin leaders have a unique front seat to the work God is doing in each of the campers. Miracle Camp is grateful for each Cabin Leader and their energy, intentionality, and servanthood as they exemplify Christ.

To find out more about becoming a future Cabin Leader, click the button below!

The Framework of Summer Camp

By | Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

Planning details is both necessary and important, but when you work in an environment like Summer Camp, flexibility is a key part of the job description, especially for Olivia Gramling. She is one of two Assistant Program Directors for Summer Camp, serving alongside 11 other Program Office (PO) staff members. Her role is difficult to describe because essentially her job is to make everyone else’s job easier. She works to pick up the pieces to make sure the other staff can accomplish their jobs.

The PO is responsible for running Summer Camp. With this team, leadership is the focus as they plan Summer Camp along with Eric Rupp, the Program Director. Additionally, they serve by helping other staff members, coming up with ideas, and more.

Planning Summer Camp is no easy undertaking, and while the groundwork begins months in advance, much of the preparation takes place onsite. Officially, the PO members spend a week of intensive training before the rest of Summer Staff arrives for two weeks of training. Orientation is a large part of this time, as well as getting familiar with the team and the flow of camp. During this week, the brainstorming begins to form the big picture. “It all comes together when you’re together,” Olivia says. “You work off of each other.”

A typical day for the PO varies depending on the circumstances, but there is a general structure. They meet every morning to get on the same page and determine who needs help with what activities. The day is a mix of planning schedules for the next week, facilitating the current week, setting up and tearing down, and being available for any changes that arise. These regular assignments create a routine for the PO.

Olivia describes Miracle Camp as her “second home”; she began attending as a second grader and never missed a year. She heard about Camp through her friends and her church that is affiliated with the FEC. After participating as a camper, she became a Camp Aide, then a Summer Staff member before joining PO, making this her second year serving as Assistant Program Director. Olivia’s position fits her well because she enjoys the behind-the-scenes work and her love language is acts of service: “I get to minister to the staff, who ministers to the kids, and that’s what I want to do in life.” After this summer, Olivia will begin a year-long fellowship at Sky Ranch in Texas.

“When you’re hired at Miracle Camp,” Olivia goes on to say, “you know that everyone is here for the same reasons, especially on PO. We’re all in similar walks of life, figuring out our faith together, and I value that a lot.”

The other Program Office staff members are:

Tanner Young – Activities Coordinator
Gabe Short & Olivia Gramling – Assistant Program Directors
Natalie Hoffmire & Jason Kimball – Head Male & Female Cabin Leaders
Lyndsey Rupp – Videographer
Jacie Smeltzer – Photographer
Annie Niedeck & Brett Holder – Camp Aide Coordinators
Mallory Tyree – Chapel Coordinator
Ellie Rupp – Health Assistant
Sarah Faivre – Head Lifeguard

If you would like to find out more about Summer Camp employment, click the button below!