The safety and health of campers and staff is always the highest priority at your Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodist Camps. Each of your six camps have a long history of planning for and managing communicable diseases. With the potential spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the United States, now is a great time to share our ongoing commitment to providing safe places for our campers and guests.
CLICK HERE to read the full Coronavirus response letter
We recognize there may be anxiety and apprehension around the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and attending summer camp. We understand your concerns. To help ease some of the anxiety, we have modified our refund policy. For summer 2020, we will provide a full refund for the cancellation of any camp registration up to two weeks before the start of the event. Reserve your spot today and sign up for camp worry-free!
We will continue to monitor the situation in our communities as we move closer to summer camp season. Your camps work closely with local and state public health departments to maintain effective protocols for the identification and appropriate treatment of any illnesses that may occur at camp, including COVID-19. We will keep you updated as new information becomes available.
On Dec. 21, Koronis Ministries Camp and Retreat Center experienced a fire that significantly damaged its kitchen and part of its historic Lakeview Lodge.
Check out the latest news from Northern Pines Camp!
A knitting retreat for knitters of all abilities
“We are so excited to see this long-awaited project come to fruition,” said Keith Shew, director of the Dakotas-Minnesota Camp and Retreat Ministry.
Check out the latest news from Koronis Ministries!
Check out the latest news from Northern Pines Camp!
Levi and Lara Ziegler will fill the role of camp director at Storm Mountain Center.
What a great summer ahead with the theme of PEACE WORKS! Can you see the fun and bright tie-dye shirts? Campers can be involved in the worldwide peace crane project and peace pole creation.
On Labor Day, about 150 people gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new Tabernacle at Koronis Ministries Camp and Retreat Center in Paynesville.
In a moving worship service, the nine-decade lifespan of the original Tabernacle was remembered and celebrated—and those assembled prayed over and blessed the site of a new building that will be ready to welcome guests by spring 2019.
Dan Ziegler, director of Koronis Ministries, described the original building as a holy space where all who came found fellowship with each other and with the Lord, and where thousands of people were “challenged to orient their lives toward Jesus.” But the historic Tabernacle had no restrooms, air conditioning, ceiling fans, or heat, and it wasn’t able to be used year-round. Years of use had resulted in a leaking roof and a cracked foundation that caused water to puddle inside.
The new Tabernacle will be a multi-level, multi-use meeting and worship space that’s available year-round and has state-of-the-art technology, modern amenities, and full accessibility. So far, nearly $1.7 million has been committed to the project. A capital campaign is underway to raise the remaining funds needed for the $2 million building. Each Minnesota United Methodist congregation has been challenged to give at least $1,500 to help bring this vision to reality, and Ziegler reported that dozens of churches have already risen to the occasion.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Bishop Bruce R. Ough gave a sermon in which he encouraged those assembled to build on the legacy of the past as we move into a new era with the new Tabernacle.
“Legacy is often a negative word,” he said. “Too often it applies looking backward or trying only to honor and preserve the past. But legacy is not about preservation; it is about purpose. Legacy is not about one’s fate; it is about one’s future. Legacy is not about holding onto the past; it is about building on a sure foundation... We are the persons designated to carry the legacy of the Koronis Tabernacle, and all of its ministries, into the future.”
One man who knows a lot about leaving a legacy is Dwight Rieke. He has attended Koronis for 91 of the 92 years he’s been alive.
Check out the latest news from Koronis Ministries!
Koronis Ministries’ new Tabernacle moved one step closer to reality in May when the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota United Methodist Church gave unanimous approval of this proposed meeting place.
Camp News Spring 2018 includes camp information updates on all six camps of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area Camp and Retreat Ministry.
Videos on Minnesota Vimeo. Continue the Vision and Legacy of Koronis Tabernacle now.
Teaching, Equipping, Empowering, Nurturing, Servants.
Koronis Ministries, on beautiful Lake Koronis, is seeking a full-time Facilities Manger to oversee the upkeep and enhancement of 50+ buildings and 185 acres.
Camp Chill is currently under construction and will return in 2019! Thank you to everyone who has made
this fundraiser for camp scholarships so successful for our conference! We want to make sure that even more people can go to camp, so we are taking a year to make Camp Chill 2019 the best yet!
Stay tuned for how you can raise camping scholarships with Camp Chill in winter 2019!
Did you know? We offer Church Codes! If your church is planning to offer financial assistance to your campers to help cover the cost of registration fees, a church code can help.
Registration for Summer Camp 2018 is Tuesday, January 9. 2018. We welcome you to view Camp Sessions online for all three Minnesota locations: Koronis, Kowakan, and Northern Pines.
Northern Pines Camp Information Newsletter
Koronis Ministries’ campaign for a new Tabernacle has entered its final stage, and plans for the new structure are beginning to move forward. If all goes as expected, site excavation will begin this Fall as workers remove the footers and slab from the old Tabernacle site in preparation for planned construction in the Spring.
We need your HELP...
Winter is coming and the camp needs volunteers to help us cut and split wood for the season! Come volunteer for a day of good work, fellowship, FREE food, and fresh apple cider. No experience needed, there's work for everyone - bring your chain saw if you've got one. Stay overnight if you'd like, as our guests!
Call the camp to sign up: (320) 243-4544
Camp Koronis has added a NEW Nature Arts & Crafts specialty for creative teens who see beauty in nature. This program is offered during Teen Week, July 23 - 28, 2017
Check out some of the great stuff happening with your United Methodist camps! Click here to read the Dakotas and Minnesota Area Camp Newsletter!
The annual Summer Theology Workshop will provide an in depth theological insight into "The Early Church: from Diverse Theology to Orthodoxy" for interested clergy and laypersons.
Northern Pines Camp and Retreat Center will have a Volunteer Work Day Saturday, May 20 from 9 am-5 pm. Lunch will be served to all volunteers. We have many projects to work on, for all gifts and abilities. Come join the fun as we clean, paint, rake and prepare our site for a summer of ministry. If you plan to attend, please email NPdirector@campminnesota.org or call 218-732-4713. Friday night lodging is available for those needing it.
Demolition was completed this week on two cabins at Northern Pines Camp and Retreat. This is a step forward in the plans to construct a new cabin on camp property in the future. Leslie Hobson, director, reflected on the demolition. “As I watched in fascination as the buildings came down, I was thankful for those who came before us creating this wonderful place. I thought of all of the campers and families who have experienced life in these cabins. I feel blessed to be part of the future of this camp as we continue to take the steps needed to build a new cabin.”
Assistant director, Carol Ford, shared her thoughts about the cabin demolition: "It was with mixed feelings that I watched the cabins come down. So many memories within the walls and yes, on the walls. But they were tired and worn. The foundation of Daisy Mae was no longer strong enough to support the cabin. Like when our faith foundation becomes weak it is time to rebuild and look forward. As the area where the cabins was cleared, a wonderful space emerged. A new place for people to experience God. The reason we are Northern Pines Camp."
Keith absolutely loves camp, knows the impact of a camping experience on the hearts and lives of campers, and wants anyone and everyone to experience camp in 2017!
Keith is set to plunge into the icy waters of Lake Koronis if the $500.00 goal is met. And, for each additional $100 raised over the $500, Keith will attach one full-sized bag of marshmallows to his body as "floaties" for his Camp Chill Challenge.
Please help support Keith to take the Camp Chill Challenge and help children, youth and families to attend camp this summer!
We did it! Thanks to your amazing generosity, we raised more than $10,000 for camp scholarships—and Bishop Ough is officially jumping into frigid Lake Koronis on Feb. 18! At the 2016 Annual Conference, LYFE campers challenged Bishop Ough to show his support for Camp Minnesota by doing a polar plunge, and he agreed to do so IF United Methodists pledged $10,000 for camp scholarships (which you did!). Your donations have not only prompted the bishop to go all in for the sake of sending kids to camp, but they will enable many kids to have a life-changing experience at Camp Minnesota this summer. In recent days, Bishop Ough has been busy preparing for his polar plunge, and you're invited to check out how he's getting ready. Watch this video, and share it with your congregation in person on Sunday and via social media! Watch and/or download video
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and we need your help in raising $10,000 to get Bishop Ough to jump into frozen Lake Koronis on Feb. 18! At the 2016 Annual Conference, LYFE campers challenged Bishop Ough to show his support for Camp Minnesota by taking the plunge, and he agreed to do so IF the conference pledges $10,000 for camperships (camp scholarships). We're a little more than halfway there with six weeks to go! Make a donation to see the bishop go ALL IN for the sake of sending kids to camp! Learn more and donate
Like to knit or want to learn to knit? Enjoy being around knitting and knitters? Want a little time away? You’re invited to this time-flexible knitting retreat at beautiful Northern Pines Camp and Retreat Center!
Knitting Our Lives Together
Be in the know! Click here to read the Winter 2016 Koronis Breezes Newsletter.
We are excited to welcome Levi and Lara Ziegler as program leaders for Kowakan Adventures, the Boundary Waters Wilderness arm of Camp Minnesota. Levi and Lara come with a wealth of camp and ministry experience, including: service in a wilderness camp setting, work with various children’s ministries, and most recently, through their program and administrative leadership at Camp Koronis. Levi grew up in the Christian camp setting with his father, Koronis Ministries’ Director Dan Ziegler, mother, Wendy, and five siblings.
Levi and Lara share a deep love of the out-of-doors as avid hikers, canoers, and nature enthusiasts. In 2015, they enjoyed a 1,200-mile trek together, hiking on the Appalachian Trail. “Nature is one of the most real and distraction free settings to experience the presence of God, and we want to facilitate a real quality experience of that for anyone who desires it” says Lara. “We want Kowakan to be a go-to place of wilderness based relationships and team-building for church and ministry groups in particular.”
Keith Shew, Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of the United Methodist Church, was enthusiastic about their appointment. “They are remarkable leaders, and I’m thrilled that they’ve expressed interest in overseeing our Kowakan ministry in 2017.”
Levi and Lara are replacing Josh Jirasek, who has stepped down from the Kowakan program leader position in order to serve full-time as Koronis Ministries’ Facilities Manager.
To schedule a Kowakan expedition for your group, email Kowakan@campminnesota.org or call 320-243-4544.
Thank you to everyone who responded to our email request for the contact information of your church's Camp Ambassador!
Everyone who replied was entered into a drawing and here are the winners:
GRAND PRIZE - One FREE week @ Summer Camp 2017 ($425 value)
DAK - Linton UMC - CA is Marlin Sapp
MN - Riverside UMC (Park Rapids) - CA is Kirsten Kisner
Cool Prize #1 - Camp Ministry Pullover ($60 value)
DAK - Frankfort UMC - CA is Deanna Bindenagel
MN - First UMC (Stillwater) - CA is Patsy Bellman
Cool Prize #2 - Coffee & Donuts for Staff
DAK - Madison UMC - CA is Gloria Van Duyn
MN - Spirit of Hope UMC - CA is Penny Meschke
Cool Prize #3 - $10 Starbucks Giftcard
DAK - Highmore UMC - CA is Benjamin McKird-Wilsey
MN - Hennepin Avenue UMC - CA is Nate Melcher
Congratulations to all!!
We still want your Camp Ambassador information!!! If you haven't sent it yet, please email email@example.com NOW! We want to make sure all the amazing camp information gets to the right person at your church!
Looking forward to an amazing 2017 Camping season with all of you!!
Area Camp Ambassador Coordinator
The 2016 Canadian Fishing Camp 1 was held July 28 - August 3, at Mahkwa Lodge on Lac Seul, Ontario. Led by Dan Hair and Marlys Carls-Steiskal, their group of dedicated campers enjoyed fishing, fellowship, and spiritual enrichment. Click here to view the remarkable photos from their expedition.
Consider joining us next year! Look for the Offsite Programs and Events portion of our upcoming 2017 Camp Minnesota brochure for details.
Read all about it! Click here to view the Fall 2016 Koronis Breezes Newsletter.
A project begun in June at Northern Pines has been completed, all thanks to volunteers under the leadership of Don Arnold. In June, Don Arnold brought a group of volunteers from Northern Light in Ramsey to begin the work of residing and staining the exterior of Woodward Cabin, a cabin at Northern Pines Camp and Retreat Center, Park Rapids, one of the camps of Camp Minnesota, Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
In October, an adult mission group from Eden Prairie United Methodist Church arrived at Northern Pines to spend a week working on projects at the camp. This group came prepared to work on the siding, bringing supplies and tools and a monetary gift to help pay for supplies needed to complete the siding project. This group of 7 individuals from Eden Prairie, Willmar, Hackensack, and Fort Pierre, SD were able to get the rest of the old siding off the cabin, stain the front side, and completed siding almost two sides of the cabin during their week at Northern Pines. Don Arnold was there all week to help the crew with the project. At the end of the week, a crew from Northern Light again came to Northern Pines to finish the project. With the help of the team of 3 people and Don’s tireless work through the next Monday, the siding and staining was finished. We are very grateful to all who helped complete Woodward Cabin’s new exterior.
by: Leslie Hobson
Are you looking for a relaxing place to get away with your family after a busy Advent and Christmas season? Now is the time to make your plans for the Northern Pines Clergy Family Weekend - January 6-8, 2017! You'll experience a weekend where your family will gather with friends both new and old, take time to renew your spirit and enjoy the beautiful setting at Northern Pines Camp & Retreat Center. Come experience this ideal setting to experience God.
We will offer planned activities for your family with plenty of free time for you to choose your own activities such as sledding, skating, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!
2017 FEES reflect a 25% discount for clergy families
Full Weekend (2 nights/5 meals) Half weekend (1 night/3 meals)
Adult (age 19+): $79 Adult ( age 19+): $57
Youth (age 10-18): $73 Youth (age 10-18): $53
Child (age 4-9): $55 Child (age 4-9): $42
Age 3 or under: Free
Immediate family maximum: $280 full weekend, $200 half weekend
Family max includes immediate members residing at same address.
You are welcome to bring friends, but they are not included in the maximum fee.
Lodging: Each family will be assigned a room in the Lodge or a cabin on a first come/first served basis. Limit of 12 families.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS: December 27, 2016
½ Weekend – Thursday/Friday (1 night/3 meals) **New this year!!
Arrival any time after 1:00 PM
Breakfast in Bed
Lunch at noon
Relax in front of the fireplace
Checkout and Departure at 3:00 PM
½ Weekend – Friday/Saturday (1 night/3 meals)
Full Weekend – Friday, Saturday, Sunday (2 nights/5 meals)
½ Weekend – Saturday/Sunday (1 night/3 meals)
Arrival any time after 5:00 PM
Campfire singing & S’mores
(½ Weekend – Saturday/Sunday Arrival any time after 1:00 PM)
Craft or naps
Story time for younger kiddos
(1/2 Weekend Saturday/Sunday Checkout and Departure at 3:00 PM)
Checkout and Departure at 3:00 PM
We need your help in raising $10,000 to get Bishop Ough to jump into frozen Lake Koronis on Feb. 18, 2017!
The camp and retreat ministries of the Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodist conferences are excited to share that we’ve partnered with Rachel Devereaux to help with a reboot of each conference’s camp ambassador outreach. Rachel is currently on staff at Cross Winds United Methodist Church in Maple Grove where she’s leading a powerful and growing ministry with youth! Rachel holds a degree in marketing, is in process to become a licensed local pastor. She regularly volunteers at camp, and currently serves on the area camp and retreat council. Rachel has a deep love for camping ministry, has been transformed through experiences at camp, and sees first-hand the impact a camping experience has on lives of children and youth. Rachel will be working closely with local church camp ambassadors, site directors, and our office staff to help even more children, youth, and families attend camp through the area wide camp ambassador outreach program. Watch for information from Rachel soon!
After spending the summer serving as interim director of Northern Pines Camp in Park Rapids, Leslie Hobson recently became its permanent director.
Our last week of conference camps was a full week! We had 34 Mini-Discovery campers led by Michelle Ford and a volunteer staff of 6. There were 33 Discovery campers and 17 Christian Friendship campers. We had all 8 of the Northern Pine staff working, as well as 2 staff from Koronis Camp and one of the former international staff from Northern Pines who volunteered for the week.
Pastor Don Eslinger was one of the volunteers for Mini-Discovery Camp. He shared this story about his time at camp:
“One of the highlights of my recent 3-camp event at Northern Pines with the very young ones was an evening event. My five boys (ranging from 6-8 years old) thought we should "sneak out" of our cabin after lights out. (Lights out are at 9:00 p.m.) Being the "strict" counselor that I am, I nevertheless agreed, if they would keep it a secret. And so, with flashlights in hand, (at 9:30) we quietly walked down to the lake and there watched the sunset, and the stars and moon come out. Also, as we sat on the bench, I told them to "listen to the silence", and then stated "For 60 seconds, NO talking". And so we sat, the little boys and me, and listened, while all on the bench. Then everybody got to share what they heard...the loons, the dragonflies, the water lapping, the wind blowing, a mosquito buzzing. Fun stuff!. Back in our cabin ever so quietly by 9:50, and all asleep by 10:05. If I didn't know better, I think there were six little boys sitting on that bench, listening to the sounds of silence."
How do campers find out about our camp offerings? That is what I was wondering last week when we had a number of campers who were not directly connected to a United Methodist Church. So I asked the campers, “How did you hear about this camp?” One of the campers said that her mother had gone online and found Northern Pines on Facebook. The camper had looked at all of the posts and pictures and thought Discovery Camp looked very fun, so her mother signed her up. Another camper was asked by a friend to come to camp. Another camper had gone to her church and they gave her a camp brochure to look at and she chose a camp from there. Another camper said her parent had gone to the conference website to look for a camp and she chose Northern Pines. We are very grateful for the many ways campers learn about camp and then sign up to attend. The first day of camp we talk about the courage to show up. It takes courage to come to a new place, to meet new people, and try new things.
We also learned that a stick by itself can be broken easily, but a bundle of sticks together cannot be broken....even by our strongman Program Director, Zach Brandt. When we stand up together we can't easily be broken or taken down. We learned in worship to have courage to stand up! And to do so with others in community!
Christian Friendship Camp 3 got into the Fourth of July spirit. With help from the staff, the camp pontoon boat was decorated and the campers were able to participate in the Fish Hook Lake Boat Parade on July 4th. That afternoon the campers attended the Park Rapids Fourth of July parade. During the week, campers had morning and evening worships, went to the beach, made crafts, and went fishing. Kelly, a dedicated Christian Friendship camper for three years now, made sure everyone who came to tour camp or visit them at meals heard that she caught a fish. She was so proud of herself!
Northern Pines Mini Treehouse Camp was a busy three days of Christ, creation and community. We had four wonderful volunteer staff for the week, working with the Northern Pines staff. Campers used words like, “fun', "awesome", "great", and "I can’t believe" to describe their camp experience. The busy days seemed to fly by. Campers went swimming, boating, tried archery, learned games, had morning chapel, evening campfires and worship. This two-night camp is just a taste of what these campers can expect when they are old enough to attend one of the week long Discovery Camps.
The Minnesota and Dakotas camping programs have been offering life-changing experiences for decades. Earlier this year, the two conferences’ camp and retreat ministries combined their strengths and leadership and came together to form a joint governance team. This new arrangement expands the camping-related offerings for United Methodists in each conference and allow the conferences to share best practices to create the strongest possible area camp and retreat ministry. Here's a look at the camp sites across the two conferences; how they are making a difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults; and what the new area partnership looks like. Watch the video here
This last week Northern Pines Camp and Retreat Center hosted Discovery 3, Christian Friendship, and Family Camp 1. Discovery campers were asked to give one word answers to describe one of the days of camp. Answers were, “fun, exciting, lesson learning, questioning, wet.” Each evening they had a campfire worship that included an activity to reinforce the scripture and daily theme. One evening they took a Forgiveness Walk and ended at the cross by the lake. Another night they collected sticks and learned that a single stick can be broken but if all of the sticks are held together they cannot be broken. At one of the worships campers stood and stated how they will stand up for justice…. For equal rights, for their beliefs, for family, for their friends, and for their faith.
Last week Northern Pines began its UMC camping season with a camp new to Northern Pines-LYFE Camp (Live Your Faith Every Day). This camp started in 1954 and has called other campuses “home” before coming to Northern Pines. This year 104 campers, leaders in training, and volunteer staff, led by Rev. Nate Melcher, experienced Christ, creation and community through the theme, “I Am Enough.” Dress up Dinner, a dance and talent show were some of the community building activities. Small groups, morning and evening worships, low ropes/initiative activities, and the Thursday Quest activity were experiences of Christ, and campers added to their story, that is part of God’s story in the world. As campers experienced Sanctuary time each evening they sat on the edge of the lake and watched the sunset, an experience of God’s creation.
Lake of the Woods Fishing Camp
May 16-19th, 2016
Our group of 16 was at Border View Lodge. Awesome lodging! Water Temp had dropped nearly 10 degrees over the cold weekend that shut down the walleye bite. But the Lord is good and fishing came on as it slowly re-warmed. Weather was sunny (no clouds and only light winds) Slow on Monday afternoon but we caught plenty of fish for dinner and a few take homes between 2 and 4:30 pm. It got better on Tuesday in four- mile bay and it was so nice that our group headed out to Bridges and the Gardens with several launches (about a 20 mile run) .
Wednesday was very calm (fishing in T shirts and wishing we had on shorts). The fishing was hot with many large fish being caught. The big fish for the trip was 30". Boats did better when they were moving. The hot jig that caught a lot of large fish was a 1/2 ounce chartreuse. We seemed to do equally well with live rainbows or frozen shiners.
Devotions, worship, communion, and evening games of "Cancellation Hearts" rounded out a great experience! Everyone had nice limits of WE (many 19's} and Sauger (many 15 plus). We did not catch any Sturgeon or Elpout this year. One Northern. However, a very large muskie surfaced with a small walleye in his mouth (I caught the little walleye and the muskie hit it on the way up).
The "Largest Walleye Award" went to Tom Yeager of Park UMC in Brainerd. We did not count and track the fish, but everyone was all smiles! All large fish were caught and released. We encourage CPR (Catch,Photo, Release).
By Chip Nielsen