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Camp DeWolfe Blog

The God of Flesh and Blood

Posted on Feb 15, 2016

Encountering God in my humanity

Last weekend I went to Camp DeWolfe for the Listening to God Retreat. Pulling up to Benson House was like a homecoming. Two years ago, I served as the Christian Formation director and spent the summer tucked away in the houses’ warm red wood planks. In-between sessions, I would do lesson plans as kids played in the pool outside my window. Sometimes I would prop up on the back porch, only to discover kids straggling by on rouge scavenger hunts.

This weekend was slightly different in nature. A small group of us gathered to be led by Fr. Joe, a Catholic Priest from Brooklyn, in experiencing God’s presence through our senses. We stepped out of the noise and clutter of our lives into a quiet, contemplative space. Throughout the weekend we got reacquainted with our physical senses—sight, touch, smell, taste, sound. And awakened our inner senses that often get buried—emotions, intuition, faith, memory.

Half way through the weekend, I couldn’t help but notice each session pointed back to our vulnerability. We encounter God in the here and now—our fleshy bodies and imperfect realities. We encounter God in the Son—who set aside strength and power to become a fragile baby. And we meet Jesus in the ordinary aspects, and fullness of, his humanity. He ate meals with friends, felt the cool water of baptism, bled blood and bore wounds. At times he was overcome with anger, at other times he wept. He did not shrink away from his earthly experience; he entered in.

His example invites us to do the same. It invites us to enter into our own humanity, to know our vulnerability, as a way of realizing our full dependence on God. This leads to a divine reciprocity—together we receive from God and give to one another. Together we walk this flesh and blood journey, deeper into the incarnate heart of God.

Before taking the Eucharist with a visiting priest from the diocese, I snuck down to the beach. I carefully descended the steep stairs covered in ice and framed in snow. The bare tree branches were starkly silhouetted. When I looked down at the shore I saw it laid out in strips—snow, sand, water darkening into deeper blues until it reached the horizon line. A native southern Californian, I never considered the possibility of snow on sand. As I walked along the quiet stretch, I realized I never considered the option of snow in seashells. I never considered the bright light of snow reflecting on the underside of seagull’s wings. I was delighted.


When we gathered in the chapel to receive Christ’s body and blood, the priest filled our palms with layers of wafers. They snapped like bones as I bit into several mouthfuls. I listened, I tasted. I saw the people standing in a loose circle around me. I felt the God of mystery and unusual parings and ordinary revelations entering into my experience. I perceived God fully knowing my journey, and fully making my journey known to me. I remembered the sweet liberation of dependence on God.

I left Camp DeWolfe, covered in snow, hoping to return in another season. Perhaps when kids are running wild, still wet from adventurous swims in the ocean. Perhaps when the ice has melted exposing the lush trail underneath. When the sights, sounds, and emotions evoke the memory still stored in my bones. The path of knowing God leads us deeper into our own humanity—and our senses take us there.

-By Christina Miller (Camp Alumni)

Looking for a summer camp?

Posted on Feb 11, 2016

Camp DeWolfe offers both a summer day camp and sleep-away camp program, for all youth ages 7-17 years old, in addition to Fall Camp and Winter Camp programming. Camp DeWolfe has 1/4 mile beach front property and a 12-mile view of Connecticut. Camp DeWolfe is a place where, for generations, thousands have come seeking to enjoy the beauty of the Long Island Sound, and experience the love of God through the power of nature and community.

Interested? The best thing is to book a tour or visit our Annual Camp Open Day on Sunday 15th May 12pm. Call us on 631-929-4325 or email office@campdewolfe.org

Here are the Dates and Rates for Summer 2016:

EXPLORER CAMP (ages 7-12): July 3rd – 8th 2016
*Early-Bird $495 until January 1st;
*Regular Rate: $595 until April 30th;
*Late Rate: $695 until June 15th.

A great way to introduce your child to camp! A 6 day camp designed for new elementary campers with taster sessions in activity areas including archery, swimming, and arts. Evening programs and Christian Formation sessions are tailored for new campers to make new friends and learn about God in a safe, fun and outdoor environment.

DISCOVERY CAMP (ages 7-13): July 10th – 22nd 2016
*Early-Bird $995 until January 1st;
*Regular Rate: $1195 until April 30th;
*Late Rate: $1395 until June 15th.

An engaging and energetic two-week camp for elementary youth to participate in a range of activities and programs on the Long Island Sound. Campers will be able to explore nature and build friendships, through interactive activities that center on God’s love and grace.

ADVENTURE CAMP (ages 11-15): July 24th – August 5th (2-week track) OR July 24th – August 12th 2016 (3-week track)
*Early-Bird $995 until January 1st OR $1295 for 3-week track;
*Regular Rate: $1195 until April 30th OR $1495 for 3-week track;
*Late Rate: $1395 until June 15th OR $1695 for 3-week track.

A two-week or three-week camp program for middle school youth to enjoy a place apart from the busy world and to experience God’s love through nature, community, and challenge. Opportunities to develop skills in activities including sailing, wilderness skills and swimming. Christian Formation programs are designed to encourage youth to discover their faith in an open and caring environment.

LEADERSHIP IN TRAINING (LIT) (ages 15-17): July 10th – August 12th 2016 for 5 week program for Years 1 and 2
OR July 3rd – August 12th 2016 for 6-week Year 3 program by Invitation only
*Early-Bird $1595 until January 1st OR $1795 for 6-week Year 3 program;
*Regular Rate $1695 until April 30th OR $1895 for 6-week Year 3 program;
*Late Rate $1795 until June 15th OR $1995 for 6-week Year 3 program.

N.B. Second Year and Third Year LITs are by invitation only

A challenging and advanced camp for high school youth to be empowered to discover their God-given potential and to grow in community. Opportunities to facilitate and lead a day camp program, master activity areas, develop new skills, and live out faith in practical and service-centred ways. Programs include Adventure Challenge workshops, solo reflection, and Christian Formation sessions that encourage youth to find true identity in God and learn how to lead others to Christ.

DAY CAMP: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Ages 7-13:  July 4th – 8th & July 11th – 15th & July 18th – 22nd 2016
Ages 11-15: July 25th – 29th & Aug 1st – 5th & Aug 8th – 12th 2016
*Early-Bird $300 per week until January 1st;
*Regular Rate $350 per week until April 30th;
*Late Rate: $400 per week until June 15th.

A Christian Day Camp for campers ages 7 – 15 to be able to enjoy God’s creation in the outdoor beach setting and make new friendships in a safe community. Opportunities to try swimming, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, arts, sports and more! 5-day sessions are by age for safety and supervision.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE – How can I find financial support for summer camp?

Scholarship applications from the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island are available for all youth in need and the deadline is May 1st. Scholarships are available first come first serve, for up to 50% of the camp session fee. The Camper must be registered for a summer camp session with registration form completed and at least $100 non-refundable deposit paid prior to applying for a scholarship award. Camp DeWolfe does not award 100% financial aid.

Click here to download the SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

Click here to Register for Summer Camp 2016

Sailing on the Long Island Sound

Sailing on the Long Island Sound

Why Camp?

Posted on Feb 4, 2016

Transformed lives

At camp, young people have the mental room to consider some of the most important issues of life. This break from the craziness of their regular routine allows campers to think about their future, to evaluate unhealthy patterns, and to discover the truth that God loves them and has an amazing plan for their lives.

Adult mentors

According to researchers, kids spend on average less than 40 minutes in meaningful conversation with their parents each week. At camp, caring adults, counselors and mentors come alongside campers, helping them think through decisions and experiences in a way that will prepare them for their future. Many campers point back to a positive role model they met at camp as one who helped shape the direction of their lives.

Nature and adventure

Camps are set in some of the most beautiful spots on the continent. Campers explore nature, participate in new adventures and test their limits in a healthy environment surrounded by the grandeur of God’s creation.

Lifelong friendships

Good friends who exert positive peer pressure can make all the difference in a kid’s life. Friendships with caring adults and other campers, forged through shared experience and the compressed time at camp, can last a lifetime and provide a connection that helps young people navigate the challenges of life.

Temporary Community

In a setting separate from their daily routine, with an opportunity to shed the expectations and pressures of others, campers are freed up to truly be themselves, to live above artificial limitations and blossom into who they were created to be.

-See more at The Power of Camp

Sailing on the Long Island Sound

Sailing on the Long Island Sound

Winter Camp Message

Posted on Jan 27, 2016

Good morning winter campers! I wish I could be with you, but shoveling since 5:00 has not brought me much closer to getting loose here. I should have planned last night the way Mr. Fredericksen did the night before he was going to have to leave the home he and Ellie had shared all their lives, and flown this rectory UP from Lynbrook to Camp DeWolfe!

Mr. Fredericksen made a decision that we all might make if we were able. Given the choice between UP and DOWN, most of us would choose UP. I would rather be feeling up than down. I would rather be looking up than down. The snow comes down from the clouds, but as it begins to fall it invites us to look up!

None of us reach upward, or keep from falling, or make progress toward our goals (our “Paradise Falls”) without help. Russell the Scout, called by the talking dogs the ‘tiny mailman’ (I love that!), comes to Mr. Fredericksen’s door, and into his life, offering to give him assistance. Mr. Fredericksen doesn’t want help at first. In fact, he even acts as if he’ll leave poor Russell on the front porch as the house sails above the clouds from North to South America (!).

But did you notice what happened over their time together, as they shared such amazing adventures? Russell does help Mr. Fredericksen in his own way, and Mr. Fredericksen helps Russell too. It’s mutual.

Russell, in ways that sometimes exasperate Mr. Fredericksen, stays by his side, brings other friends into the circle – Doug and Kevin – and gives him advice on how to get his home to the place he has yearned for since he was Russell’s age. By Russell’s help, Mr. Fredericksen discovers possibilities and strengths in himself that he thought were gone. Before he went ‘up,’ he seemed barely able to walk with his four-legged cane. A few days later he is swinging through the air like a super hero.

And Mr. Fredericksen helps Russell too. Through their growing friendship and coming to know each other well, Russell learns that older people are people too, that they have a lot to offer in wisdom and caring and love.

So it’s true. If we are going to rise up above where we are now, we are going to do it with help.

Today’s readings from God’s Word confirm this truth. In the first reading God’s people hear the voice of God as God’s Word is read to them for the first time together after 70 years of living as refugees outside their own land. In these words they hear hope and promise and caring, and they cry as they hear it. In these words there is help for them to look up and to look ahead to the future.

And the words we hear this morning from Saint Paul’s letter to his friends at church in the city of Corinth make the same point powerfully. Paul reminds the people, using the image of the parts of a body, that we all need each other. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” Without the feet, the head is not going to get very far!

We need each other to move, to live, to make progress, to reach toward our goals, to grow, to grow UP. Ultimately, this help we can give each other is all based on one foundation. That foundation is the help that Jesus provides us, without cost. Luke’s Gospel shares with us this morning Jesus’ first sermon, preached in his hometown of Nazareth. He shares the news that the Spirit of His Father has given him the possibility and the strength to help the blind to see and the prisoners go free, to help the poor to hear good news and everyone to realize that God is here and on our side. That help comes to us, directly from Jesus, and energizes our lives.

You know, in Seattle, Washington there is a house that belonged to a little old lady named Edith. Developers were building a new mall on her block a few years ago, and she alone refused to move (a lot like Carl Fredericksen). The foreman of the construction crew, Barry Martin, became Edith’s unlikely friend, and helped her in every way possible, right to the day of her death, right there in her own home. She stayed in her house and in fact it is still there, surrounded by the mall (see photo!). Barry helped Edith, like Russell helped Mr. Fredericksen. And Edith taught Barry a lot he didn’t know before then about life.

See, it really happens. We help each other. We help each other ‘up’!

On this beautiful morning, with the sun shining on the new snow and the sky shining with light, as your winter camp weekend comes toward its conclusion, you know that things are looking UP.

Amen!

-The Rev. Canon John McGinty (Mercer School of Theology)

Meet the Summer Staff 2016 – Part 8

Posted on Jan 21, 2016

1. What’s your name?

Hi, my name is Amoy McKenzie.

2. Where are you from?

I am from London which is in England.

3. What university/school do you attend? What major?

I studied at the University of Greenwich, and graduated in October 2015. Gained a degree in Youth and Community Work.

4. What’s your favourite Country/state?

My favourite country is Jamaica because that is where I was born and I love travelling there.

5. What’s your favourite camp activity and why?

My favourite camp activity is anything that involves being physical such as rock climbing, swimming.

6. What are you most looking forward to about next summer and why?

I am looking forward to spending my summer in America, meeting new and amazing people, experiencing a new culture and also working alongside the staff team and the kids to build my relationship further with God.

7. What’s your favourite camp core value (community, Christian Formation, Developing Leaders or Natural Setting) and Why?

My favourite camp core value would be, Natural setting because I love the idea of learning outdoors and experiencing nature whilst developing my relationship with God. What better place to grow spiritually incorporating the outdoors which God has created. I am really looking forward to being around all the beautiful natural setting camp has to offer!

8. What’s your dream job/vocation/calling for life?

Any job that relates to working with young people, I love the idea of building relationships with young people, supporting them and being part of their transition into adulthood.

Amoy McKenzie

Amoy McKenzie

 

Souper Bowl of Caring

Posted on Jan 18, 2016

This NFL season, Camp DeWolfe campers, retreat guests and staff are participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring!

The Souper Bowl of Caring’s mission statement is: “Using the energy of the Super Bowl to mobilize youth in a united national effort to care for people in their local communities who are hungry and those in need.” Their vision statement is to: “Transform the time around the Super Bowl into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving.” (www.souperbowl.org)

Camp DeWolfe’s chosen local charity will be Island Harvest – the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island, where Camp DeWolfe’s L.I.T.s ran food drives for, during summer 2015. Between now and Super Bowl 50, Camp DeWolfe will be collecting food and $ donations for Island Harvest, including during Winter Camp 2016. The collection will then be reported to SouperBowl online and then delivered to Island Harvest on February 8th – the day after Super Bowl 50 on February 7th!  Check out www.islandharvest.org for more information!

Interested in joining the largest weekend of caring in the USA this year? Simply make a donation of canned or non-perishable food items to Camp DeWolfe, or register your own youth or church group to run a Souper Bowl of Caring for your chosen local charity this season!

Food Drive

Food Drive

 

Meet the Summer Staff 2016 – Part 7

Posted on Jan 15, 2016

What’s your name?
Hello, my name is Amy!

Where are you from?
I am from a county called Northamptonshire in England.

What university/ school do you attend? What major?
I go to the University of Worcester in England and study Human Geography.

What is your favourite country/state?
My favourite country is France because the streets are so pretty and the weather is hot (which is rarely the case in England in summer!)

What’s your favourite camp activity and why?
I love swimming and any activity involving water so activities like kayaking and paddle boarding would have to be my favourite!

What are you looking forward to about next summer and why?
I am looking forward to spending my summer in a completely new country, experiencing a new culture, meeting lots of new people and building my relationship with God further.

What’s your favourite core value (community, Christian formation, developing leaders or natural setting?) and why?
My favourite core value is community because I think that if you have a good group of people surrounding you, your faith will grow, you will have to confidence to develop as a leader.

What is your dream job/ vocation/ calling for life?
Basically any job working with people and travelling! I like the idea of working as a relief worker when a natural disaster has occurred or an aid worker possibly. It seems a very rewarding job and you get to learn lots about cultures of the places you visit, which I find really interesting.

Amy Morton

Amy Morton

Only 6 months until summer!

Posted on Jan 14, 2016

My summer here at Camp DeWolfe has definitely been one of the biggest learning experiences of my life. As soon as I arrived at camp, I instantly felt part of the camp family. The bonds and friendships I have made here have been so strong – I am confident I have made amazing friends for life.

Camp DeWolfe will always have a special place in my heart, as here I developed my faith in God and have been involved in such a strong community of friends who genuinely care about each other.

Natural setting is my favourite core value at camp. It has been a really eye opening experience for me to be surrounded by the Long Island Sound and the breath taking scenery. To have been given the opportunity to take a step back from a world focused on technology and instead pay attention to building real relationships and appreciating nature has been so beneficial for me – and something I will try to remember when I get back to the ‘real’ world!

I would like to say thank you to the Tees family for giving me the opportunity to spend 9 weeks at Camp DeWolfe and to learn so much about myself, others and the true importance of community! Summer 2015 will certainly be one I will always remember!

Until next time…

-Julia Martin
Summer Camp Counselor/Climbing Instructor

Julia and her girls

Julia and her girls

Happy New Year!

Posted on Jan 8, 2016

Happy New Year!

Whatever you experienced in 2015 – the good, the bad and the ugly – are now all but shadows of the mind and memory – to be left at the feet of Jesus. What a sweet thing to be able to offer up a year of thanksgiving and worship God for what He did in 2015.  What a sacred thing to also be able to give all of our burdens, pains and hurts from 2015 to Jesus, trusting in Christ’s strength to carry those things that are too much for us to carry alone.

New Year is often a time full of hope with opportunity to start fresh, set goals, reflect and adjust how we live life  – yet we are to remember that every new day is a gift from God, as His mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3).  One week into the new year and already discouraged by some of your resolutions that are already slipping or you have yet to begin? Take heart and be encouraged: whatever is to come in 2016 – the good, the bad and the ugly, and just like the seasons in the North East of the USA – we will experience them all! –  each day, including today, is a new day to choose JOY and claim the gift of PEACE in whatever adventures, celebrations, storms and challenges may arise!

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”

-Prayer of St Francis

Jump for joy in 2016

Jump for Joy in 2016

Meet the Summer Staff 2016 – Part 6

Posted on Dec 22, 2015

1. What’s your name?
Stephen Tamke

2. Where are you from?
Garden City, NY.

3. What university do you attend? What major?
Virginia Theological Seminary. I am a postulant for Holy Orders with the Diocese of Long Island.

4. What’s your favorite country/state?
Favorite country is probably the UK and favorite state is New York.

5. What’s your favorite camp activity and why?
Probably swimming or archery. I always envisioned myself as Robin Hood as a kid. I don’t know why!

6. What are you most looking forward to next summer and why?
I am excited to get to know all my fellow campers and have a great summer learning and seeing where God is in all our lives.

7. What’s your favorite core value (community, christian formation, empowering leaders and natural setting) and Why?
Community, because when at camp your fellow campers become more than just your cabin mates, they become your friends and family for life.

8. What’s your dream job?
I would like to be a rector/parish priest.

Stephen Tamke

Stephen Tamke