Faith Formation at our Camps
The Lutheran Camping Corporation of Central Pennsylvania operates three unique outdoor ministry sites on the territory of the Lower Susquehanna Synod, each affording the participant the opportunity to experience God in Creation, in powerfully interactive and faithful ways.
Camp Nawakwa: Arendtsville, PA
Camp Kirchenwald: Colebrook, PA
The Wittel Farm: Elizabethtown, PA
All of the web links included here will take you to the camping corporation’s website, where you will find links to their various spring, summer, and fall programming and summer camps. As traditional faith formation ministry opportunities in congregations takes a summer sabbath, consider suggesting camp, as a way to keep youth and their families immersed in faithful conversation and practices.
Growing Project at Wittel Farm
The Wittel Farm, long known as a location for days of prayer and reflection, has recently also been returned to a working farm. Working cooperatively, the Lutheran Camping Corporation and Hunger-Free Lancaster County, have partnered to shepherd The Growing Project at Wittel Farm. With approximately five acres of corn and other fruits and vegetables, volunteers help plant, tend, and harvest the crops that are shared at no cost, with people living with the realities of food insecurity in Lancaster county.
Volunteers can attend regularly-scheduled “dinner church” meal and worship experiences at the farm in the summer months, and can access not only a day of service, but engage in service-learning experiences, led by the project director Pastor Matt Lenahan. To learn more about ways you can register a group to serve at the farm on Wednesdays, Saturdays or Sundays, please visit our Growing Project web page, at https://www.lss-elca.org/faith-formation/growing-project-at-wittel-farm/
The Harrisburg Area Confirmation Camp, serves approximately 30+ congregations that attend from various conferences, across our synod. Between 250-300 youth and their congregational advisors gather each year for one week in June (June 21-27, 2020), to explore the ways God is calling them into a life of discipleship in the world.
Pastors and congregational youthworkers and volunteers comprise the event staff, and serve alongside college-aged students who assist as small group discussion leaders alongside adult staff, and as cabin counselors. Youth in grades 7-12, can participate in one of a number of curriculum tracks:
Pathfinders (7th grade)
Saints (8th grade)
God’s Gifted People (9th grade)
Maturing in the Body of Christ (10th grade)
Leadership Training (11th Grade)
Counselors (12th grade+college undergrads)
Each track has a week-long curriculum, led by adult staff and counselors, meeting primarily in small groups, but the week is highlighted by all-camp worship on a daily basis, along with all-camp games, activities, campfires, and opportunities for fellowship and peer-to-peer learning. While the overall theme of the week focuses on what it means to be a baptized Child of God in today’s world, each track focuses on a different aspect of our development as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Started in the early 70’s as a cooperative ministry of Harrisburg city Lutheran churches, the camp now has participating congregations from a variety of conferences, but still bears the original name. To learn more about the different tracks, about the 40+ year history of this camp, or to find out how to become a member congregation, visit their website at: http://harrisburgconfirmationcamp.org/
Pastor Kevin leads evening worship at Upper Temple
The All Saints Confirmation Camp, is a partnership of 20+ synod congregations, held in June (June 14-19, 2020), many from the Gettysburg, Hanover and Chambersburg Conferences. Pastors and youth leaders from the various member congregations comprise the staff who lead small group teachings and conversations on a variety of topics related to Confirmation faith formation, Topics include, but are not limited to:
The Ten Commandments
The Sacraments: Holy Communion & Baptism
Service in Jesus Name
Youth in the first two years of Confirmation in their home congregations participate in these small group conversations held each morning, and gather with their friends and leaders from their home congregations for conga-time, or “congregation-time,” each day after lunch. Afternoons are spent participating in traditional camp activities like swimming, games, crafts, with cabin groups and Nawakwa staff. Evenings are community activities like campfires, skit nights, outdoor camp games, and inspired worship often held in the beautiful natural chapels dotting the Nawakwa countryside.
For congregations looking to reinforce the basic tenets of Confirmation ministry in the home congregation, this is an ideal cooperative community approach. Say for example, you have just a handful of youth, or have limited opportunity to offer regularly scheduled Confirmation classes, this camp offering will help youth engage with their peers while exploring more deeply the basic building blocks of Confirmation. While it does not “replace” more regular Confirmation study, it does compliment whatever you might offer in your home congregation, and exposes youth to other trained leaders and caring adults.
Youth who have been confirmed are also welcome to attend for third and fourth year tracks, focused specifically on leadership development what it means to be a servant leader in the manner of Jesus. In 2019 for example, participants spent a day at First Fruits Farm, a non-profit Christian farm in northern Maryland that grows fruits and vegetables to help those facing food insecurity issues in the Baltimore area. Youth worked alongside volunteers, who help maintain the farm year-round. For many it was one of the highlights of their week, and these powerful “off-site” service opportunities are one of the things that make All Saints Confirmation Camp unique.
Congregations interested in participating in All Saints Confirmation Camp can contact Pastor Kevin Shively, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Pastor Steve Herr, email@example.com, for details on how to get involved in this annual ministry. Congregations are expected to send at least one adult, preferably the pastor or youth leader, with their youth participants.
3rd & 4th year youth serving
at First Fruits Farm
Worshipping at Bishop Chapel