United Youth Camps: Camp Magruder
August 5, 2011
Experiencing a World Away from the World at Northwest Camp
100 United Youth Camps campers and 56 staff enjoyed a wonderful week together at Camp Magruder near Rockaway Beach on the Oregon coast! The weather this year was mostly sunny and warm, letting campers really enjoy the beach and outdoor activities. Our camp theme this year of “A World Away From the World” came alive in the daily Christian Living lessons and themes for the day. Those lessons and memory scriptures were the core around which all activities took place.
The lesson for each day was introduced with a talk by the dorm counselors, who placed a placard with that day’s theme in each dorm for visual reinforcement. The Christian Living classes taught the lessons to each dorm every morning after breakfast, and then the lessons were worked into every activity during the day. Even the campfire story to end the day tied into the theme.
Campers came up with songs each day to help with remembering the day’s key scripture. These lessons will be long remembered as campers and staff head home. Since this was our second year at Camp Magruder on the Oregon Coast, our staff was able to settle in and get ready for camp quickly once we arrived on location.
The Magruder staff hosts many different groups here during the year. They commented often how much they enjoyed having us here and noted the organization of the camp and the mature behavior of our campers. They especially appreciated the lack of litter during our week. When things are done “decently and in order” people notice and appreciate what they see.
One of the highlights of the camp was the beach campfire and bar-b-que on Monday. The “all camp” tug-of-war may have been the largest ever at a United camp. I was just thankful that the rope did not break! Experiencing the campfire on the beach as the sun sets over the ocean is a memorable experience.
Our United Church of God camp staff clearly wants to pass on important life lessons to the next generation of leaders in God’s church. In 1 Corinthians 12 we are told that God sets members in the body to benefit everyone, and camp this year was an outstanding example of this in action. We are so fortunate to have professional and qualified volunteers to fill every need that we have. Northwest Camp could not operate without them.
No doubt campers and staff will hold on to what we have learned and experienced here, and keep a part of this special “world away from the world” during the coming year.
Two comments from the Camper Surveys illustrate the result of camp:
“God is where our hearts should lie and we need to strive for character to be able to be the person God needs us to be in His kingdom (camper, age 16)”
“I learned about making good choices and learning to live my life as God wants me to (camper, age 18)”
Rex Sexton—Northwest Camp Director