Camp MiVoden Impacts Campers, Staff

All summer long Camp MiVoden in Hayden, Idaho, has an impact on staff and campers for Christ. This year's theme, “Made for More,” was chosen to help all find or rediscover that God has made each of us for a special purpose.

This past summer Darin Headley, a staff member, was baptized at the beginning of the summer. He had attended summer camps as a camper and really enjoyed it. He met God at camp and felt His acceptance, so he decided to give his life to Christ. He wanted to begin his summer with the ultimate decision for Christ — baptism. This happened during staff training week.

During Teen Camp, Eric Chavez was the camp pastor. He helped the campers see they were made for more than just this world; they were made for more in Christ. Six campers made the decision to be baptized at the end of Teen Camp.

At the end of summer, Michael Smith, the assistant camp director, asked to be baptized. He had served as staff for five years and had been baptized at a young age. He wanted to make this decision as an adult one more time. Jeff Wines, camp director and Upper Columbia Conference family life/youth director, had the pleasure of baptizing Smith in Hayden Lake.

These kinds of decisions for Jesus happen at 67 church-owned camps across the North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventists. Some camps are in rustic environments, operated during the summer, while others are large camps and conference centers that cater to both the church and secular groups who rent the facilities.

Camp MiVoden and many other Adventist camps have changed thousands of lives through the years. Have you ever wondered how summer camps got started in the Seventh-day Adventist Church?

The story of summer camps begins 89 years ago with two teenage boys who had a vision for ministering to other young people in their home state of Michigan. Luther Warren, 14, and Harry Fenner, 17, recognized the need for boys to have some kind of a ministry to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus. One day the two walked down the road talking about this, and they decided to kneel down and pray to God, asking Him to lead in their dreams and plans.

Not too far away, Grover Fattic, a volunteer conference Missionary Volunteer secretary. Had similar dreams for a wider ministry to young people. He presented his summer camping program ideas to the East Michigan Conference leadership. He received approval but no funding. He found the Townline Lake site — a Boy Scout camp. And the boys' prayers were answered.

That first camp cost $10 per camper and lasted 10 days. The camp was a bit primitive, and some parents did not let their boys stay, but 18 boys stayed, swam, camped and had a good time.

The next summer, Fattic organized a similar camp for the girls. Then this idea spread to Wisconsin, California, New England, and across the nation and world. Those humble beginnings grew into Adventist youth ministries, which includes Pathfinders, Adventurers and Adventist camp ministries.

For Camp MiVoden, this summer marks 76 year of summer camps. It is a place where young people make friends with Jesus. With six campers and two staff baptized and hundreds of decisions to be baptized, during one camping season, thousands of lives have been touched by Camp MiVoden, not to mention the other 66 camps across North America.

Information for this article gleaned from the story by Kimberly Luste Maran linked here: http://buff.ly/2dUoj0

Baptism video: https://vimeo.com/188916357

November 16, 2016 / Upper Columbia Conference
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