Sending your child to camp for the first time is a BIG deal. We completely understand and we do not take the responsibility lightly! At Covenant Pines, work hard to establish trust with parents to make sure you feel confident sending your child to camp. Earlier this month, we held our Parent Coffee Open House, and thought we’d share some common questions we get from first time parents sending their children to Covenant Pines. 

Question: Can my child contact me if they are missing home? 

Answer: We discourage campers from using their phones/devices while at camp for a multitude of reasons. If your child is really having a difficult time, they can talk to their counselor who will discuss with one of our full time staff about calling home from the office. One of our staff will touch base with the parent to come up with a plan. Usually a call home isn’t even necessary! You can always email your camper by using our email system ( or send them notes to open each day. We also upload photos to facebook each day so you can see your camper having fun! 

Question: My child will feel much more comfortable if they are with a friend, will they be placed in the same cabin as their friends? 

Answer: We do our very best to honor the cabin pals listed on registration forms. We group cabins together by cabin pals and then by church. If your camper’s friend is listed as a cabin pal on their registration, they will be in a cabin together. 

Question: How are your counselors trained? 

Answer: We spend two weeks before summer training our staff on many topics – including emotional and spiritual development, First Aid + CPR, camper safety and more. Each one of our staff are required to pass a background check, as well as complete MinistrySafe training, which is a sexual abuse awareness training. 

Question: My child is neurodivergent. Is Covenant Pines equipped to care for my child? 

Answer: Yes! We want Covenant Pines to be a welcoming place to all campers. What is most helpful to us is having enough information ahead of time to accommodate your camper. Please fill out your campers health form thoroughly, and feel free to reach out to us if you’d feel better about an in person conversation. We have served many neurodivergent campers over the years and they have a great time at Covenant Pines. We’ll work together to make sure it is a positive experience. 

Question: How much money should I load in my camper’s camper wallet? 

Answer: We have a cashless system at Covenant Pines, so campers have spending money loaded into their “camper wallet” on their registration. Campers spend money at the canteen, craft hall and camp store. Canteen and craft hall items range from $1-$5, while camp store items vary and are more expensive. Here is a list of sample items in our camp store and their cost to give you an idea! You can also load more money into camper wallet throughout the week. 

Click here to see a complete list of FAQ’s on our website. Of course, if your question hasn’t been answered, please reach out to us! You can start be emailing our Office at 


As the year comes to a close, we here at Covenant Pines Ministries are reflecting on what we are grateful for. Working at camp comes with it’s fair share of challenges and sacrifices, but each one of us feels fortunate to be called to serve in this place. In the spirit of our year end Gratitude Campaign, here are the ways that we at CPM are grateful this holiday season. As you read these, I encourage you to think about what you are grateful for in your own life!

“I’m grateful for all the relationships that I’ve established through my work at Covenant Pines Ministries. Each year I look forward to reconnecting with campers and families at churches, at our Off Site events and at camp.” – Holly Abramson

“I’m grateful to work alongside people who genuinely care about young people. I’m also grateful for the countless volunteers who pour into making camp possible.” – Matt Braun

“I’m filled with the Gratitude for the staff – seasonal and year-round – that God calls to CPM. Each one has a growing faith that they share with campers. Some do it in obvious ways and others are behind the scenes. The CPM staff are continually giving of themselves to fulfill the CPM mission.” – Dave Cairns 

“I’m grateful that my faith is an accepted and encouraged part of my vocation, that I don’t have to hide who I am and what I believe to be an ‘effective employee.’ I’m grateful that God is active in this place, when I can see it and when I can’t and that nothing is wasted. I’m grateful for the challenges in my work that give me opportunities to grow and that I’m surrounded by people who encourage me to be positive and see the lessons.” – Trisha Haugen

“I am thankful for being able to work in a Christian community with people who care for each other.” – Jared Jensen 

“I am seriously so thankful for our volunteers who come up to camp. I think about this often! I often get the pleasure of hearing about projects that got done by volunteers who were up that week, and I am always amazed to hear about the work that was done. I have also been deeply blessed by volunteers who come up and help out around the kitchen, something as simple as stepping in to serve for a meal, or traying up some hashbrowns is more helpful than it may seem.” – Lilly Klett 

“Something I am grateful for about Covenant Pines is the opportunity to get to serve many people throughout the year through the ministry of food. I am also grateful for this beautiful place I get to call work and home. It has been a huge blessing to get to share this place I call home with friends and family and invite them into a space that ministers to so many people’s lives.” – Pam Lofgren

“One thing I’m grateful for about camp is that for the past 13 years it’s been my second home and I can’t imagine a year  without camp. I’m so grateful for the friendships I’ve made at camp as well as being able to pour into all the campers and see how God moves in them.” – Sydney O’Connor 

“I am grateful for the conversations that are had at AC with guests and staff alike. Being able to listen to other’s perspectives and experiences is priceless.” – Ian O’Donnell

“While working on ministry staff at Covenant Pines I have been so grateful to see my campers from the summer come up with their churches throughout the retreat season. It is so fun to create the relationships throughout the summer and then get to see them come up months later and hear how they’ve grown. Getting to see their big smiles and give them a hug when they see me is the main reason why I love what I get to do!” – Logan Rhodes

“I am thankful that I get to experience God’s creation at camp, everyday. Between the trees, plants, and wild animals, I see the creativity and the complexity of God.” – Lexi Schafer

“I am grateful for the family that working at camp has gifted me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people who surround me. My camp family isn’t limited to the people who work here, but also includes all of the kids and adults that I meet while working here! It’s been such a blessing to be able to build upon existing relationships along with creating new and fruitful ones.” – Mia Schaller

“I’m grateful for the volunteers who come up to help improve the facilities of Covenant Pines. We have a dedicated small, but growing, group of volunteers who deeply care for this place and the work God does here. We would not be able to keep up without their countless hours of service.” – Bryan Schmidt 

“I’m grateful for the staff community at AC. Living and working alongside good friends has been a significant blessing over the years. Friendships that began by working together at camp have been a continued source for support, growth, and community that I’m very grateful for.” – Lina Swanson 

“I am very thankful for the beauty and opportunities for solitude that AC offers but what really fills me with gratitude are the opportunities to be alongside people as they grow into new things.  Staff especially.  The moments and life we share are windows into their hearts and I am privileged and thankful that they share them with me” – Matt White 

As we close out 2023, please know that we are so grateful for all of your support of Covenant Pines Ministries! We are so thankful for each of our campers, volunteers, donors and friends. Merry Christmas!

You are invited to join us for a very exciting day at Covenant Pines Bible Camp! After years of dreaming, fundraising and construction – our new Worship Center will be ready to use in Summer of 2024! We are looking forward to this day of celebration with the Covenant Pines community as we take the time to honor and dedicate the building to God.

Here are the details for the Worship Center Dedication:

Saturday April 20, 2024

10:00 am – 3:00 pm at Covenant Pines Bible Camp


10:00 am: Arrive

11:00 am: Dedication Ceremony in the New Worship Center

12:30: Lunch 

1:15: Free Time around Camp

3:00: Depart 

If you plan to attend, and have not filled out the RSVP form, please email Executive Director, Dave Cairns directly.

If you have questions, please email Dave Cairns.

Learn more about the Worship Center and the Next Steps Campaign here. To follow along with the Worship Center Construction progress, visit our website!

We hope to see you in April to celebrate this special day in Covenant Pines history!

Though summer is often our busiest time of year, ministry still continues as we transition into our retreat season. And this past September, we had one of the busiest transitions yet. Starting after Labor Day, Covenant Pines had mid week groups at camp each week through the first week of October, including 3 school groups on school retreats.

It has been exciting to see these school groups utilize camp as a way to create memories and build relationships for their students. It is also exciting to see these new partnerships emerge with these schools and continue to create experiences for students in the retreat season. We were delighted to have Hope Academy, Lakeview Christian Academy and Minnehaha Academy join us this fall. This is in addition to the day retreats we have been hosting for the McGregor Schools BARR program!

We also were fortunate to have the Covenant Retired In Ministry Retreat as well as our first ever Pickleball Retreat as midweek groups in September. Adventurous Christians led a half day of leadership experiences at Stella Marais School in Duluth in September as well.

Between Covenant Pines Bible Camp and Adventurous Christians, CPM served nearly 1400 guests and served close to 7000 meals so far this fall. That is just about how many campers Covenant Pines would serve in one summer! Our staff is tired, but fulfilled! It is great to see churches, colleges and school groups use camp as a way to further their ministries’ mission, and to see their organizations thriving with robust attendance at their retreats.

Our retreat season is off to a busy start and will continue to be so! It feels great to have a flourishing retreat ministry. Today we welcome over 100 high school students and 25 leaders for our Sr. High MEA Retreat at Covenant Pines and we just wrapped up a staff retreat for Lake Beauty Bible Camp at AC, with a guest group arriving tonight as well. Keep Covenant Pines Ministries in your prayers as you remember!

At the end of each of our canoe trips at Adventurous Christians, participants fill out what we call a “Summer Trip Reflections” form. Participants are asked to rate certain parts of their experience and are then asked a series of reflective questions. While looking through these trip reflections, whether it was from a 7th grader or a woman in her mid-50s, I noticed an overwhelming theme: “I didn’t think that I could do it, but I did. I can do hard things.”

When discussing promoting and marketing canoe trips at Adventurous Christians, we really do try to help people understand what they are signing up for. A week on trail through the Boundary Waters, though beautiful, is challenging. Each day our canoe groups are faced with making sure their needs are met – eating, sleeping, getting from one place to another…often at the mercy of the weather while carrying packs and portaging canoes. Sometimes after a long day of paddling and portaging, cooking a meal in the rain is the last thing you want to do – but, you have to do it.

These moments are difficult, but they are transformational. One student wrote on their trip reflection, “I learned on my canoe trip that I am able to have fun while also doing really hard things. I learned to stay positive and have fun with my friends, even if I was uncomfortable.” Reflections like this bring us so much joy. Moments on trail are hard, but the attitude participants choose is key.

This year we offered a canoe trip for adult women. The group was a mixed group of ladies ranging in ages and backgrounds. One trip reflection read, “I learned that I can still do challenging things, even at my age. It may take longer, but it still gets done!” Again, another reflection that encompasses our hope for our canoers. Rising to the challenge, even while accepting limitations is also key in the success of a canoe trip.

Finally, a high school student shared on their reflection,

“What really stuck out to me was how similar this trip was with devotion to God. It’s hard at first, but if you keep at it consistently, it will get so much easier.”

Can we get an AMEN?!

We are so proud of all of our canoe trip participants this summer for conquering the challenges of their trip and learning about themselves and God along the way.