Amidst the fall weather, the work at Camp DeWolfe is continually in preparation for the New Year when the Retreat season will be "officially" opened to all once again! We look forward to hosting and serving many guests between the months of January and June. Each group has its own particular purpose and characteristics, but there are some foundational similarities and reminders as to why groups and individuals are encouraged to "Retreat" to Camp DeWolfe.
A Place Apart- In today’s world there is a never ending supply of entertainment, events, and to do lists that surround us on an average day. There is continual stimulation exclusively offered now by our phones linking us to everything, everyone and everywhere, EXCEPT that is, to where we currently are and who is currently around us. Many retreat groups at camp simply come to put away (for a weekend or few days) the "things of this world" because they realize the inherent truth that, we as a society are in desperate need to experience silence. There are so many things that compete to fill lives and before long we can easily be consumed by it. A balance is needed to pause and rest our minds and hearts from the "noise" of life that separates us from each other and God. Coming to experience silence at Camp is a vast and profound experience.Jesus modeled solitude for us when he would find a place to be away from others. "At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place" (Luke 4:42). Jesus, God in flesh, "retreated" from his daily life, which encourages us to do the same. But this does ask the question, Why?…
God’s love- Is there any bigger reason? Mark 1:35 says, "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."Now Jesus was not praying that a certain team would win the World Series that year. But it had more to do with the fact that he realized that he must take the time to get up in the morning and be with His heavenly father to receive the love that He needed. Then, he could love everyone else that day who he came across. The same goes for all of us.
Nature- It is interesting to note how Jesus frequently retreated to a place in nature, such as a "mountain side". Not the middle of the city, or synagogue. But a mountain side, outside and in God’s creation. (Luke 6:12). This leads to the fact that God revels himself through nature. Have you ever seen a spectacular beach sunset, or mountains surrounding you as far as you can see, or a quiet walk in the woods? It all shouts the glory of our Lord, right before our eyes! God’s creation is experienced at Camp DeWolfe on morning beach walks, quiet strolls through the bluff, watching the wave’s crash down or star gazing on the grass field at night. It is a holy thing to experience God in nature, as He reminds us all who really is in control.
Community- Perhaps the biggest reason that a group comes to Camp DeWolfe is simply that they are a group and would like a place "to be" together. Today we find a striking decline in engagement of the community right around us. How many people do you see sitting in restaurants using their phone while disengaged from the people around them? How many children have you seen playing video games alone all night? The list can go on, but the reality is that God created us to be together for our benefit. Groups go on a "retreat" to support each other by simply being together and "being" the children of God.
Service-.Jesus models "service" for us in Luke 12. Jesus prayed on the mountainside (Nature) then called his disciples to himself (Community), and then preached to the surrounding area and healed people of their diseases (Service). Camp DeWolfe offers retreats because what happens during the group’s time goes beyond that weekend alone. It is quite amazing how after a weekend of being together at a camp retreat, people generally are ready to go and do something for others. Whether it beto go back to support the church, share with others whatGod shared with them that weekend, or specifically help those in need after realizing the great depth at which God’s love is for all of us.
We look forward to this upcoming season and welcome you to "retreat" to Wading River. We ask that you pray with us, that all those who come to experience God’s grace here would continue to be a blessing in their communities, schools and homes, all to God’s glory. For information about how to make your group or individual retreat reservation, please contact the camp office at 631 929 4325 or find us online at www.campdewolfe.org.