A while back, our Executive Director, Dave Cairns, met with Kevin Farmer. Kevin is the Head of Family Ministry at Hope Academy, a Christian school in Minneapolis. Dave called the meeting because he wanted to explore partnership opportunities with Hope. The conversation was very positive and both left with a desire to think of some good ways to work together.

Last year, Kevin approached the Covenant Pines leadership with an interesting idea. Hope Academy runs 4 weeks of summer school for all students in grades K-8. Their summer school only runs in the morning, but many parents have jobs and are unable to come pick up their kids when the school day is over. Kevin thought that Covenant Pines could help with this need. After a few conversations with Dave and Natalie the decision was made to run a Day Camp during one of the weeks of summer school.

We are very excited to partner with this amazing ministry. The mission of Hope Academy is to “foster hope in God within the inner-city neighborhoods of Minneapolis by providing youth with a remarkable, God-centered education.” Since our inception, Covenant Pines has existed to serve the youth of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. We are honored to come alongside the amazing work HA is doing in Minneapolis by bringing a little camp to the city.

God is good. We are so excited for what He has in store for the many groups going up to AC this summer. We have 40 groups scheduled to experience God and His creation in the BWCAW. That’s a 16 year high. Not only that, 35 of those groups were already booked in November. AC used to be referred to as hidden gem. Now it seems that the gem has been found and we are very thankful for that.

The majority of these groups are Covenant groups. These youth leaders work tirelessly all year for their students. They show up time and time again. It’s truly an honor to be a part of the ministry plan for their students. Covenant Pines Ministries is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church. We also have a Father Son trip and a Women’s trip from Covenant churches. It brings us a lot of joy to partner with our churches in such a unique way.

We will be hosting groups from the following Covenant Churches:

  • Linwood Covenant Church (MN)
  • First Covenant Church of St. Paul (MN)
  • Maple Grove Covenant Church (MN)
  • Bethlehem Covenant Church (MN)
  • Bloomington Covenant Church (MN)
  • Roseville Covenant Church (MN)
  • Anoka Covenant Church (MN)
  • City of Lakes (MN)
  • Harbert Covenant Church (MI)
  • Libertyville Covenant Church (IL)
  • Northwest Covenant (IL)
  • Batavia Covenant Church (IL)
  • Hinsdale Covenant Church (IL)

In addition to those groups, the Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church is again utilizing AC for it’s Adventures in Leadership program.

But the Covenant Church is not the only denomination that’s coming to AC. This summer we are also hosting a few non-covenant churches from Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota. People are willing to travel from all over the Midwest to experience the unique ministry offered by AC. Join us in prayer for these groups. We pray for safety, deepened relationships, and life changing moments.

We’ve been hard at work getting our third Lakeside Cabin ready for summer. Check out some pictures of the progress below.

In 2016, Brad & Brooke Shannon joined the CPM staff as Directors of Adventurous Christians. For the past two and half years these two, along with their three children, have been a key part of what makes AC so special. They served everyone who came to AC with Christ-like humility and care. Under their leadership, construction on the new Portage Haus building was completed, the roof of the lodge was replaced, and significant funds were raised for new building projects. Aside from these more visible projects, Brad and Brooke also organized and upgraded many behind-the-scenes parts of camp. They streamlined administrative processes, cleaned up the physical property, and recruited new groups and volunteers. Operating under the philosophy that “everything speaks,” they have brought intentionality and care into every aspect of AC.

We are sad to see the Shannons leave. They will be sorely missed. We’re thankful for their loving stewardship of AC during their time with us. They helped many people take their next steps with Christ on trail and on site. Please join us in praying for them as they take their next steps as a family.