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Spirit Water

Posted July 10, 2013 in Community Featured, Des Moines West
Maria Avino from Waterloo (left) and Tory Thompson from Muscatine enjoy s’mores during a recent retreat to Pictured Rocks Camp United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center.

Maria Avino from Waterloo (left) and Tory Thompson from Muscatine enjoy s’mores during a recent retreat to Pictured Rocks Camp United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center.

Episcopal Diocese Church youth will explore the waters of the Maquoketa River this summer in hopes of learning ways to be better worshipers and citizens. Kids will study water ecology with games and find out how they can make a difference with clean water efforts at the Pictured Rocks Camp United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center.

“The Episcopal Diocese of Iowa re-launched our camp program in 2009 after not having an Episcopal camp for many years,” said youth missioner Lydia Bucklin. “We have rented the Pictured Rocks camp in Monticello every year since then.”

According to the Episcopal Diocese Church website, the “Spirit Water”- themed camp will focus on baptism and the ways that the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives. Bucklin said the church expects to send 60 to 70 campers, which will be sectioned into three age groups: fourth-sixth grade, seventh-ninth grade and 10th-12th grade. The kids will leave July 29 to drive to the camp in Montecello, and return Aug. 2.

“Even more excited than the campers, though, might be the staff,” Bucklin said in an email. “Our staff is all volunteers who take a week out of their busy lives to create a community of unconditional acceptance and belonging for these young people.”

The $300 per person registration fee will include the cost of travel, food and miscellaneous expenses. Activities will keep the kids and teens busy having fun all week long with the variety of arts and crafts, nature hikes, archery, rock climbing, campfires and much more.

The daily schedule begins at 6:45 a.m. for the early birds and 7:30 a.m. for those who like the extra sleep. After breakfast and prayers, campers are sent to the program-time activity. Later in the day there will be time for swimming, resting with a “choose your own adventure” option to keep the fun going until dinner.

According to the Picture Rocks camp website, the venue offers “a significant spiritual growth opportunity” that others do not with an American Camp Association accreditation. To receive the accreditation, the camp must comply with nearly 300 health, safety and program quality standards. For more information about the camp, visit its website at www.picturedrocks.org.

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