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With two weeks of staff training and three weeks of camp already in the books, the 53rd summer of Northland Camp is off to a fantastic start. A staff of 120 from 19 different colleges and universities, 27 different states, and 3 foreign countries arrived in late May to begin training for our eight weeks of summer camps. Training included instruction in mission, counseling, game philosophies, core values, program set-up, practice times, cleaning times, games, music rehearsals, evening services, small groups, and more. But the highlight of staff training was our study of Colossians, specifically 3:1-17, and our theme of “Seeking Things Above.” The emphasis for our staff, and ultimately our campers, is the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ for our lives.
Since staff training ended, we have conducted a Family Camp and two weeks of Teen and Pioneer Village (junior) camps. During our week of Family Camp, Northland favorites Les Ollila and Doug McLachlan shared the speaking duties to minister to the adults of forty-five families from across the Midwest. Children and teens also enjoyed their groups that met twice daily to participate in the same study of Colossians as their parents. The value of an entire family studying through a passage of Scripture proves to be a highlight at camp, especially at meal time when talk about Christ permeates the dining hall. Of course, families participate in dozens of fun events throughout the week, including two huge hits: bluegrass music and Thursday family night with improv comedy.
For Teen Camps, we launched and operated Spy Games 2013; Teams Recon and X-Com competed to earn a place as agents with NIA (Northland Intelligence Agency). Some traditional favorite competitions combined with some original creations have given campers plenty to stay involved. Other free time activities provide times for relaxation and making new friends. Steve Pettit (Week 1) and Will Galkin (Week 2) were our featured speakers for the first two weeks. We sensed God’s grace especially during Week 2 as we experienced one of the most diverse weeks in a long time. To God’s glory, many professed faith in Christ for the first time throughout the week, as well as upon their return home.
Pioneer Village enjoyed Mike Egerdahl and Joe Kopp as their speakers the first two weeks. These men served along our junior camp staff to point hundreds of 4th-6th graders to Christ during sessions and their Colossians study. These speakers also enjoy the opportunity to creatively develop junior-age-specific games and competitions that help build relationships as a platform for the gospel.