Tag

ohio

The Adventure of Facing Fear

By | Life at Camp | No Comments

The cable wobbles as you steady yourself, clinging for dear life to the rope hanging above you. “It didn’t look as high up from the ground,” you think to yourself as you try to not look down. Your friends at the end loudly cheer you on, breaking fear’s paralyzing hold as you inch along the obstacle. One…more…step…and you breathe a sigh of relief when your feet reach the edge of the platform. Exhilarated, you move on to the next obstacle, pushing your fear to the side once again.

Fear. It’s a universal human trait. Regardless of different walks of life, skills, abilities, etc., fear of some sort plays a part in each person’s life. The theme of fear is woven all throughout Scripture, with “do not fear” occurring as one of the most common exhortations found in the Bible.

At Miracle Camp, our Activities ministry is purposefully designed to help guests face and overcome their fear. There’s no better way to work out our salvation “with fear and trembling” than in high pressure situations such as crossing high rope obstacles 40 feet in the air. The great amount of trust required to take that initial step off the zipline parallels the bigger picture of letting go of the fear that holds us back from trusting God.

For some, the adventure activities are a thrill or simply an enjoyable interest. They cross the obstacles with ease and a healthy fear as they glide off the zipline tower. What allows them to do this is the knowledge that they are safe and secure with proper instructions and equipment. For others, these challenges can seem like insurmountable endeavors. A first-time zipliner may stand at the top, more consumed by fear the longer he or she hesitates, sometimes talking themselves out of the adventure. “If only they knew how much fun it is!” or “if they just step off, they will realize how safe they are!” others plead as they encourage the nervous one.

How often are we this same way about trusting God in life situations? Sometimes we are the person at the top of the zipline, questioning God, “are you sure this next step is safe? Can I trust that You will catch me?” Instead of living in fear of life circumstances, what would it look like to only have a fear of the Lord? Maybe God is calling you to a new place or career. Maybe He is asking you to have courage to live fully right where He has you. Maybe He wants you to forgive that person or let go of whatever it is you’re holding to so tightly. Proverbs 1:7 says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” When we replace our earthly fear with a reverent fear of God, we begin stepping out in trust, implementing the lessons learned at camp into daily life.

The well-known Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5, declares, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Just as a person cannot half-heartedly decide to zipline or cross a rope obstacle, trusting God requires our full heart as we plunge into following Him. There is such reward seeing a guest’s face turn to joy after completing the challenge in which they were so afraid. And we will find an immense reward waiting for us, too, when we choose to trust God.

Whether it’s high ropes and zipline adventures, or rock wall and our team-building initiatives, here at Miracle Camp we love creating experiences for guests to face their fears and trust God in a deeper way before heading home, and then to hopefully carry this out in every aspect of life.

For more information about Miracle Camp and the activities we offer, click the button below!

Our Favorites for Fall

By | Staff | No Comments

The leaves pop with bright oranges and yellows, signaling autumn’s arrival. While the beauty is evident, we know it means the cold season is fast approaching. The next few months provide the perfect opportunity to not merely endure the time spent indoors, but to enjoy it. Settle in for a movie or game night with hot cider, curl up with a blanket and good book, or get out the speaker and add some new rhythms to your day. If you are looking for some ways to prepare for the upcoming season, here are some favorite suggestions from our staff and interns of ways to make the most of time spent inside! We hope you find these ideas helpful, encouraging, and fun.

Books

  • Gospel Fluency – Jeff Vanderstelt
  • Mere Christianity – C. S. Lewis
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  • Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  • Garden City – John Mark Comer
  • Screwtape Letters – C. S. Lewis
  • Desiring God – John Piper
  • When I Don’t Desire God – John Piper
  • Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Acts: A Visual Guide by Kevin DeYoung and Chris Ranson
  • With – Skye Jethani
  • Celebration of Discipline – Richard J. Foster
  • Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling
  • Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands – Paul David Tripp
  • Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series – easy to read Bible commentaries that show how Christ is exalted in every chapter and verse of Scripture

Movies

  • “The Story of God” documentary series with Morgan Freeman
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • “Courageous”
  • “Saving Private Ryan”
  • “A Christmas Story”
  • “Princess Bride”
  • “Pride and Prejudice”
  • “Amazing Grace”
  • Harry Potter series
  • “Pink Panther”

Music

Artists

  • Elevation Worship
  • Matt Boswell
  • Steve Taylor
  • Larry Norman
  • The Lowly Heirs
  • John Denver
  • Chris Renzema
  • John Tibbs
  • Cory Asbury
  • Ben Rector
  • Taylor Swift
  • TobyMac
  • John Williams

Albums

  • Living Hope – Phil Wickham
  • Followers – Tenth Avenue North
  • Vice Verses – Switchfoot
  • Gold – Britt Nicole
  • Fortunate Fall – Audrey Assad

Books For Kids

  • The Chronicles of Narnia (series) – C. S. Lewis
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw – Beverly Cleary and Paul O. Zelinsky
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society (series) – Trenton Lee Stewart
  • God’s Very Good Idea – Trillia Newbell
  • Little Dog Lost – Rene Guillot
  • The Bronze Bow – Elizabeth George Spear
  • The Berenstain Bears – Stan & Jan Berenstain
  • My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George
  • Any book by Mo Willems or Jon Klassen

Movies For Kids

  • “Ratatouille”
  • “VeggieTales: It’s a Meaningful Life”
  • “Ferdinand”
  • “Peter Pan”
  • “Robin Hood”

Music For Kids

  • Sing the Bible – Randall Goodgame
  • Seeds Family Worship albums
  • Bullfrogs and Butterflies: God is my friend
  • Hide ‘Em in Your Heart – Steve Green

In the Kitchen – This season is the perfect time to try out new recipes! Here are a few cookbook recommendations:

  • Mexico One Plate at a Time
  • The Escoffier Cookbook
  • The Whole30 Cookbook

Games

  • Pandemic
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Codenames
  • Unlock! Escape Adventures
  • Telestrations
  • Dutch Blitz
  • Sushi Go Party!
  • Euchre

Overview of MC

By | Updates | No Comments

“You have events in the winter?” “What do you do when you don’t have summer camp?” “What kind of groups do you serve/host?”

These are great questions that we frequently receive! A lot happens here at Miracle Camp, and we want you to be in the know. As observed from our name, we are a camp and retreat center. But what do we actually do?

Who is Miracle Camp for?
Everyone. All year long, we host different events for specific age groups and demographics. We create programmed events designed for youth, women, men, married couples, families, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, pastors, and more. Some new additions we will feature in the coming year are our Mother/Son and Father/Daughter retreats, as well as a retreat geared toward Young Adults. Additionally, we offer our space to guest groups who want to hold a retreat of their own.

What are guest groups?
Glad you asked. Guest groups include people from churches to family reunions to colleges and a variety of other groups. Miracle Camp aims to provide a retreat atmosphere so guest groups can enjoy nature, a comfortable space to meet, good food, and fun activities. Want to book Miracle Camp for your next retreat? Call or send us an email, or click the button below for more information!

What activities are offered in the colder months?
Though the waterfront activities are not in use during the cold season, the fun doesn’t stop. In fact, one of our busiest seasons is winter, due to our youth Ice Camps from January to March. The beautiful Michigan winter is the opportune time for our outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, winter tubing, snow field games, broomball, etc. Warm up with a hot drink from the coffee shop or join a group of friends playing board games. Our craft shack, gymnasium, game room, and camp store are available year-round as well.

Why does Miracle Camp exist?
Miracle Camp aims to facilitate life change by helping people grow closer to God. We desire to glorify God in everything we do, from planning events to running activities to preparing food. Ensuring that we provide a biblical focus with excellent hospitality is a top priority. God has given us this space for a purpose, and we want to share it with you.

For more information about Miracle Camp, our mission, or events we offer, click the button below!

Update on the Evergreen Project!

By | Keeping Faith, Updates | No Comments

A lot is happening with the Evergreen Project, and we are excited to share an update!

Most recently, concrete floors have been poured. They are now completed in the interior gathering area between the bunkhouses as well as the front and side porch entries.

We are thrilled to have a volunteer group from Morton church next week that will begin working on the building’s exterior siding and overhang. One of our goals is to get the eave-spouts and downspouts installed soon to prevent all the rain running off the roof from washing out the hills that lead down to Bankson Lake.

The next phase of this project is to install the underground plumbing so the concrete floors can be completed and stud walls erected for the bunk rooms and bathrooms. This will also allow us to install all the exterior doors and close up the building before the cold weather gets here. We will then be able to continue the work on the HVAC and electrical installations throughout the winter.

Stay tuned in the coming months to see the progress! To find out more about the Evergreen Project, click the button below!

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!