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Winter Camp 2024

2024 -2-13 | Pastor Kristin Devine Mueller

Just a few short weeks ago, we took 12 students and 4 leaders up to Covenant Harbor in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for a Winter Camp weekend. Throughout our weekend, God used the time to encourage, challenge, and build up our students as they spent time with God and with each other. The weekend is incredibly inspiring, and also slightly exhausting, as we have an intense block of time together on the bus, in our cabins, in worship services, at meals, and in activities and games. Students run on youthful energy, while our fearless leaders follow along and rally their energy and strength from a place of faith and love for our teens.

Our theme this year was “Movement,” and we are thankful for all the ways that Covenant Harbor thoughtfully integrates this theme and Biblical concept throughout all parts of the weekend. There’s a lot of laughter, as each worship service has character actors who play games with the students and set up the theme. We sing and praise God together, led this year by a band called “Divine Resonance.”

Throughout the 4 weekend worship sessions, there is also a speaker who brings us through parts of the Biblical story and encourages us on our journey with God. This year’s speaker, Rev. Joon Hwang, connected with our students from the very start, and we heard quotes from Pastor Joon all weekend long. He took us through John 1, the story of Jesus calling the disciples (Luke 5), the story of Jesus feeding 5000 (John 6), and Paul’s writing in Romans 6 on being dead to sin and alive in Christ. Pastor Joon opened the Scriptures and spoke directly from God’s word. His only slides were the Scripture passage, and his passion for God’s story kept us completely engaged. We are thankful for the gifted leaders that Covenant Harbor brings to build up the faith of our students!

We had plenty of time for play as well, as we played games in our cabin and took part in “The Game,” the larger weekend game developed by Covenant Harbor to get students moving around the camp, solving puzzles, and being a part of a little friendly competition. We played Stumpball together, and now plan to refine our skills throughout the year so that we are ready for this camp classic game next year! Students could choose to participate in the adventures of the Giant Swing, the Climbing Tower and Zip Line, or the High Ropes course. Students could also sled, try archery, throw axes, make a craft, or hang out and enjoy some hot chocolate or a latte. Each year, the camp clears enough ice for the Polar Plunge, a run-and-dunk-yourself event in the cold waters of Lake Geneva. We had 5 brave students take part this year!

For the past few years, Covenant Harbor has also planned “Sacred Spaces,” a time where students can take part in different spiritual practices at various stations set up throughout camp. Students were invited to connect with God through music, art, Bible passages, journaling, prayer walk, intercessory prayer, and gratitude. In our conversations we were able to tie these sacred spaces and practices into what we have been reflecting on at church as we go deeper in transformation through the ECC Rule of Life, specifically Apprenticeship.

We would encourage you to find a student who attended Winter Camp and ask about that student’s experience. Winter Camp at Covenant Harbor also comes around every year, so we invite you to consider if there’s a student you know who might want to attend, or if you might want to be a chaperone. If you’d like to give toward Winter Camp scholarships, we have an ongoing fund to help get students to camp each year. Thank you for your prayers and support for our Winter Camp experience this year!