West Ohio’s camping and retreat ministry is committed to creating opportunities for campers and staff to be uniquely who God has created them to be, while experiencing love and belonging with a community rooted in extending a gracious welcome to others. We have been busy developing relationships with local churches, schools, and service organizations to live into that commitment because we believe that camp changes lives.
Through partnerships with Central State collegiate ministries, we will be welcoming staff from around the country and world who will bring unique perspectives to our programming and deepen our camping community. Some of these students are not only at the top of their class, but they are also discerning their own calls to ministry.
In collaboration with Global Village of Dayton, we have been providing urban camping ministry opportunities for families to become familiar with camp culture and dynamics so that urban campers can be more comfortable joining in our summer programing. One of our strongest partnerships has been with Heywood Elementary School in Troy, where we will be providing a camp-themed field day for students.
We are also providing two different opportunities for local churches looking for a mission experience for middle and high schoolers, without the hassle of making all the plans. Our mission adventure camps are perfect for small youth groups looking for a summer mission experience. The first experience will be at Camp Otterbein from June 26-July 1, and the second experience will be at Camp Widewater July 24-July 29.
Partnering with Church of the Messiah in Westerville, we will be deploying staff from Camp Wesley to bring Camp to the Community through VBS. This partnership allows Messiah to provide a high quality VBS program, while also reaching out into their community in new ways. It also gives our Camp Wesley staff a different camping experience and allows us to connect with first-time campers in new ways.
One of the most exciting developments is a relationship with the Ohio Deaf Service Center. This summer, West Ohio will be the site for three different OYO (Grand River) Camps for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. These three camps will be happening at each location, simultaneously with West Ohio programming, to allow their campers the opportunity to experience camp alongside hearing-abled campers.