Wow Summer came early! This is the earliest I can remember the snow being gone and leaving the lake. Not that I am complaining. We have a busy spring here at Mechuwana with many groups and some projects we need to get done before summer arrives. Putting a new roof on cabin 7/8 in the Lakeside Cabin area and remodeling a bathroom in the Village dean’s cabin are our top priorities.
Our registrations for camp are running a little behind last summer, and we have seen a large increase in the number of families asking for financial assistance. Gas prices are definitely on people’s mind. And for families who live a long way from Winthrop, they can easily add another $50-$100 to the price of camp depending on where they are coming from. We are determined to help every family so that no child is denied a chance to come to camp.
Last month, we had two wonderful Youth Leader training events. More than 80 youth have signed up to volunteer for at least one week this summer. This program continues to be one of the most valuable programs at camp. Youth Leaders learn so much from their experience by working with the younger campers. And they add so much to the life of a camp. Over the years these Youth Leaders turn into adult volunteers who continue to give back to Mechuwana.
Thank you so much for your continued support of Mechuwana program. It has really made a difference.
We hope to see you at camp this summer.
We would like to thank each of you for your support of Camp Mechuwana. Because of the generosity of thousands of people, Mechuwana has flourished for more than 60 years. Mechuwana continues to grow and reach out to people of all ages through our programs and our commitment to provide scholarships to families and individuals who are in need of financial assistance.
The economic reality of our state and country during the last two years has forced us to put much of our financial resources into scholarships. We turn no camper away for financial reasons. Mechuwana continues to work hard to meet the growing financial need of families.
This fall, Mechuwana was forced to deal with the Lodge roof. It was getting so bad that even after a small rainstorm there were leaks everywhere. After meeting with the Conference Trustees and having them look first hand at the roof, they agreed to provide Mechuwana with and EMERGENCY ONE-YEAR LOAN of $20,000. At the end of October we stripped more than 8,500 lbs. of shingles from the roof, replaced and fixed roof supports, fixed the chimney, replaced the facer boards, and put down a beautiful green metal roof. The work was completed just in time for the October snowstorm.
This is the second step in restoring this treasured building – the first step was putting a full foundation under it in 1993. With the roof and foundation now done, we can begin work on the rest of the building.
Because we put so much of our financial resources into providing scholarships for campers, we could really use some help to pay back this loan in one year. As we approach the holiday season and the end of the year we ask that you consider a gift to Mechuwana to help us pay back the emergency loan to the Conference Trustees.
An Idea for a Gift
Need a gift for someone? Know someone that is hard to buy for? Why not send a donation in someone’s honor. We can send a card to anyone you designate, letting them know that a donation was made in their honor to Mechuwana. We will send cards to them one week before Christmas letting them know that you sent us a very special gift in their name.
Please send a gift notice to:
Gift is from: Name______________________________
Grace and Peace,
Norman Thombs, Camp Director
This summer we were lucky enough to have Spencer Roberts share his talents with us related to web design. Spencer also spent many hours continuing the historical work started by David Swett. He completed the task of digitalizing all our photographs and old slides and began the process of putting some of these photos on our website. Together we are in the beginning stages of producing a history of camp using these documents.
One of the great finds of the summer were some old slides that were given to us this past winter. They show the early days of our camping program both here and at the YMCA camp. By this time next year we hope to have a
history of camp near completion.
WE NEED YOUR HELP in finding old slides, photos or even home movies of camp. Thanks to a gift of a slide scanner from David Swett, we are able to scan slides. Over the years we have received gifts of photos and slides, but we know there still must be a lot more out there. We would love to have as much material as we can, so please check your attic. We would especially like to find some home movies taken at camp.
I would like to thank Spencer Roberts, Ethan Thombs and David Swett for spending so many hours doing all the work. Our history is important and we need to preserve it for the generations to come. And don't think it is not
important to the younger campers; when I talk about the history of camp they show incredible interest.
Hope you are all enjoying the fall and getting ready for the holiday season.
Summer 2011 is officially here. Thank you to all the volunteers and hard working staff who have worked so diligently to get the camp ready for our first campers.
Our new waterfront is in place and is working great. It is much safer for younger campers and campers who have trouble walking. Thanks to everyone who helped us purchase the new docks and ramp.
I want to recognize a very special group of friends who call themselves the "New Jersey Group." For 13 years this missions group, who at one time or another have all lived in NJ, have spent the two weeks before camp begins volunteering at camp. They have done so many projects, it would be impossible to name them all. This year, they painted three cabins, built a wonderful deck on the old Day Camp building, and put the finishing touches on the new swim area. The staff all consider them family. Fred and Bonnie Smith, two members of this group, make up gift bags for each staff member. These gifts are cherished and we are so grateful for their thoughtfulness. This group also collects funds for work materials, and each year hands us more than $1,000 to go towards projects at camp. After much praying, the group decided that this would be their last trip to Mechuwana. We want them know how much we appreciate them and how much we will miss them. Thank you and God Bless.
We would like to thank each of you for your support of Camp Mechuwana. Because of the generosity of thousands of people Mechuwana has flourished for more than 60 years. Mechuwana continues to grow and reach out to people of all ages through our programs and our commitment to provide scholarships to families and individuals who are in need of financial assistance.
The economic reality of our state and country the last two years has forced us to put much of financial resources into scholarships. We turn no camper away for financial reasons. Due to the economy and the growing need for financial help from families, we have had to put some vital physical plant needs on hold. Consequently there are a few items that we need to address this year. These items directly reflect the safety and well being of our campers and volunteers.
As we enter the new year and get ready for our Summer 2011 season, we ask that you consider a gift toward the following items we need to purchase in 2011.
Needed for 2011:
New Swim Dock and Ramp: Cost $11,000.00
Automated External Defibrillators: (AED) Cost $ 1,200.00
Eye wash station for Nurses building and Maintenance building: Cost $ 750.00
Norman Thombs, Director
The year-round youth program at Mechuwana has always been very dear to my heart. Growing up I had the pleasure of attending rallies and those experiences changed my life. Youth rallies in the church can actually be traced back more than 100 years. At Mechuwana we are very proud to continue that tradition, and it continues to be very important to hundreds of youth.
The first weekend of November we held our first middle school event of the season. Again, I had a very life changing experience because, for the first time, my son Dylan was old enough to attend. He had been waiting for this day for a long time. As we brought his stuff into the Commons to check in, his face lit up when he saw staff members he knew from the summer. Within minutes, Beth and her staff were having the youth playing games and talking.
The theme of the weekend was a program called, "Words can hurt, words can help," presented by Jordan Shaw.
The worship services led by older youth and supported by the adults are some of the most powerful worship experiences I have ever witnessed. And when you talk to the youth, they always say that worship was great.
Dylan loved the weekend, and I loved the fact that we could offer him this experience. We should be so proud that Mechuwana can offer this experience to everyone.
That's what the “Friends of Mechuwana” program is all about; we are doing this today so my son will have the opportunity to take his son or daughter to his/her first rally.
If you haven't already, please consider becoming a part of the Friends of Mechuwana program. Together we are helping to secure the future of this vital ministry.If you haven’t joined yet, we encourage you to visit our Friends of Mechuwana
web page to learn more. You can also print off a pledge form and mail it in.
God Bless and Merry Christmas!
It’s the Fourth of July at Mechuwana and camp is in full swing. Thanks to the efforts of over 200 missions workers, two new bath and shower buildings are being built and the replacement for the building we lost during the Patriot’s Day storm is nearly complete.
Much work has been done on Asbury Chapel – a new lighting system, sound system, stage curtains, emergency exit, new paint, and a crow’s nest have all been put in place. Many thanks to Lee Griswold, Rick Casavant, Barb Petersen, Rian Lewis, Mitch Thomas, the 29ers missions group, Colorado missions team, the Georgia missions group, Kaplan Electric and some of our summer staff members – Traelynne Hinckley, Jarod Richmond, Zach Bowen, Mike Griswold, Craig Kempton, Ned Crockett, Bekah Church, Amy Jones, Nicole Grant, Bailey Roberts and Eileen Hays for their work.
We are very excited about the response from many of you to our new “Friends of Mechuwana” program. So far, over 100 individuals have pledged or donated close to $100,000 toward our $500,000 goal. If you haven’t joined yet, we encourage you to visit our Friends of Mechuwana
web page to learn more. You can also print off a pledge form and mail it in.
There are five more weeks of summer left – and we hope to see many of you at camp this summer. Thanks for your continued support of this ministry.
What a wonderful summer we had at Mechuwana! To begin with more than 1200 campers and another 230 adult counselors came to camp this summer. This made the summer of 2006 the biggest in the last 10 years.
I want to thank all the volunteers counselors for making this summer possible - without you this ministry could not survive. You are and always will be the critical link in the success of our ministry.
I also want to thank more than 90 Youth Leaders, who provided so much leadership and dedication. So many of our young campers look up to you and use you as role models. I hear over and over again from the young campers that they want to be like you some day. They see your commitment to Christ and to the ministry at Mechuwana and it becomes their goal to serve Mechuwana just like you are now. That is how it has worked for more than 60 years, the new generations have felt the calling to be part of the leadership for the next generation of campers.
What an incredible summer for our Missions Program! Under the leadership of Ned Crockett and Craig Kempton, more than 300 people came from all over the country to Winthrop, Maine. Many projects were completed: putting a new roof on a family's home, building a ramp into a house, beginning the construction of a fellowship hall at a UMC church and much more. One very special project was the complete renovation of a home for two very special little girls and a dad. Work was done from roof to basement including new bathrooms, kitchen and dinning room and two bed rooms. It is hard to put into words just what these missions campers have done for us. From the bottom of our hearts and for all those lives you helped, we say "thank you."
And finally I say thank you to the permanent staff. I have had 18 staffs and more than 300 different staff members work for me since becoming director. It is one of the biggest joys of my job to watch staff members become like families. This staff did just that - they were hard working, dedicated, fun and committed to the ministry of Mechuwana. They always put others' needs before their own. It was an honor to have you as a staff, one of the best I ever worked with.
And so we move on to fall and new exciting things. More than 4,000 people will come to Mechuwana this fall winter and spring. Youth rallies, another long tradition that we can actually trace back for more than a hundred years begin in September.
The first of October will bring the first phase in Asbury renovations the old stage has been torn out and and very soon a new stage with new lights and back drops will be put in. This work will be done by another missions team called the 29ers from Michigan.
Many physical changes have happened at Mechuwana over the years but as one person told me this summer who had not been at Mechuwana for almost 40 years, "it is like I never left, the spirit is constant, the feelings are the same, this truly is holy ground."
It seems like a long time since we broke ground on the Memorial Chapel this past May. Brian Church had designed and done the drawings so all we needed was for the weather to cooperate. Finally, after being held up by heavy rain that we thought would never end, the foundation was ready for the first of more than 20 volunteer groups to work on the project.
The first group was our friends from New Jersey, who under the guidance of Ned Crockett put up the four walls in two weeks. Much of this work was done in the rain and cold. When it was not raining, other members of the group stained the siding. Since those days in May more than 200 people from all over the country have volunteered their time and talents for the project. Today we are very close to completion; all that remains to be done is painting the inside, putting up the lights and putting down the carpet. We are hoping that we can have all these things done by Christmas.
We give thanks to all that have helped make this project a reality. Special thanks also needs to go out to all the professional contractors, plumbers, and electricians who either donated their time or did work at a much- reduced cost.
Because of the volunteers and donations of time and material we will have built this chapel that seats 120 people and has two bathrooms for under $80,000.00. At this time we have raised all but $12,000.00 of the total cost.
This place of worship will no doubt become a place of great importance at Mechuwana in the years to come. Who knows how many people will take part in a worship service, or who will for the first time hear the word of God spoken to them and respond by asking God to come into their lives.
A dedication service will be held in the spring. A dedication service for the Mechuwana Memorial Chapel will be held at 2 PM on Sunday, May 7th, led by Bishop Pete Weaver.
This month...we are having a guest column by Beth Libby and Cara Anderman, from the 2005 Mechuwana summer staff.
Greetings from the Waterfront!
We (Cara and Beth) would like to thank everyone who came to camp this summer. We had a wonderful time with you on the waterfront. Our hope is that everyone who went swimming and boating had a fabulous experience. We would like to acknowledge the counselors and youth leaders who helped us make the waterfront a much safer place. You were awesome!
The two of us have been on staff together for seven years now. Cara has been a lifeguard the entire time and Beth joined the waterfront after doing arts and crafts for a few summers. People often wonder what keeps pulling us back to Mechuwana. Some may think it is the tall, beautiful trees or the great swimming, but there is something else that whispers to us in the dead of winter. It's the Mechuwana Magic! Even though camp is breathtaking in its surroundings, the Spirit and the people of Mechuwana are what make it so special. In our time of being on staff, we have seen campers learn to swim, make strong friendships, and find out more about themselves and God. Some of these campers have even grown up to be on staff! We are very proud and thankful to have been a part of a ministry that is so loving and accepting. No camper is ever turned away because of financial difficulties. Not only do people volunteer their time, but many make it possible to give children the experience of Mechuwana by sponsoring them through camper scholarships. Thank you!
Speaking of giving of their times, the missions crews have given us quite the gift this summer. When we moved to camp in June, the chapel was just a foundation. In a matter of days the ever-faithful New Jersey crew started lifting the walls, and the dedication to building the new chapel spread throughout the rest of the mission teams. In fact, we often saw Norm scrambling to get more supplies because they were working so fast.
At the end of the summer, another group of long-time returners from Massachusetts put up insulation and built a porch! Mechuwana truly needed a sacred place of worship that could be used year-round. Since the chapel was built by volunteers who understand its importance, it has become all the more special. Thank you to our missions crews!
We hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful winter. Rallies and winter camps are great ways to connect with good camp friends. Email Beth Dimond for more information.
We'll miss you!Love,
Beth Libby and Cara Anderman PS- Just keep swimming...swimming...swimming...