Operating at about 50% capacity this summer, we served 1,804 campers. Of those campers, 300 made first-time professions of faith while an additional 381 rededicated their lives to Christ while at camp.
Camping ministry continues to be a bridge between communities and our local United Methodist Churches. 48% of our campers this year attend one of our Holston United Methodist Churches. We are so grateful our churches continue to support camp by sending children and youth from their congregations.
Our Holston churches also help make camp affordable for families who have limited funds. Over $126,000 in camp scholarships were given by 72 churches in Holston Conference, which enabled 448 campers to attend one of our property camps. Additionally, Camp in the Community served 557 campers at no cost to the families. For our five camps combined, over 50% of our campers were able to attend at reduced or no cost to their families.
After being closed in 2020 due to Covid, our camps were thrilled to be able to share the love of Christ in the glory of creation this year. Countless hours of planning and research helped us to create Covid-protocols such as encouraging all staff to be vaccinated, mandating masks indoors, and social-distancing cohorts of campers. We are so happy to announce that we had zero cases of Covid at summer camp at all five of our Holston camps. God is good!
Thank you, Holston clergy and laity for supporting Camp & Retreat Ministries. We are honored to walk alongside you all in ministry. We could not share Christ at our camps without your generosity, guidance, and love. We look forward to summer 2022 and celebrating Jesus with our theme, “Light of the World.”
The Rev. Mary Thompson is executive director of Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries. The camps include Camp Bays Moutain (Kingsport, Tenn.), Camp Dickenson (Fries, Va.), Camp Lookout (Rising Fawn, Ga.), and Camp Wesley Woods (Townsend, ...