Little did I realize in 1994 when I started in full-time camping ministry that 30 years later I would still be serving at a Christian camp. I have served in leadership roles at Covenant camps in three states, as well as run a day camp. Memories from these years fill my brain when I reflect on the staff I’ve served with, the friendships developed and campers lives impacted by God. As we welcome in 2024, I want to stop reflecting and look forward to the future of Covenant Pines Ministries.

This upcoming year will be significantly marked with the opening of the Worship Center at Covenant Pines Bible Camp. The existing Chapel has served generations of campers from its dedication in 1957 to summer campers in 2023. For many, this building is where they heard the truth of the Gospel and were encouraged to take a next step in Christian faith. While we move into a new building this summer, I’m confident that God will continue to call campers to follow Jesus. May these words from the Chapel dedication ring true for future generations as they meet in the Worship Center…..

For worship in prayer and praise; for the ministry of the Word of God and the proclamation of the gospel message of Jesus Christ as the Savior from sin; to the salvation of souls and the upbuilding of the church in the knowledge of our Lord; for the administration of the sacraments, 

We dedicate this chapel for this holy ministry.

For the instruction of children and youth in the truths of the Christian faith; for the promotion of Christian character, 

We dedicate this house, to minister to childhood, youth and the home.

But there is more…. Adventurous Christians is launching the SALT program this summer. The Serving And Learning Team is designed for high school students who want to explore what the basecamp staff experience is at AC while learning tangible life skills and more about following Jesus. A portion of their time at AC will be spent building a new boardwalk to the dock and enjoying a day trip in trail. AC is also excited about the future construction of a new Health Center building. The Health Center will house two rooms for campers who become ill while at camp, as well as two year-round staff apartments, summer staff housing and a new trail room. While not fully funded, a significant amount of funds have already been donated for this project and we are seeking a contractor to begin the building process.

And still more…. In McGregor, the Fireside Lounge will undergo a renewal of sorts with new furniture for campers to gather, drink coffee and share the day’s stories in. A new foam machine will create a backdrop for wonderful memories to be made.

It’s often easy to look backwards to reflect on memories and experiences we’ve had with a fond nostalgia. As we move into 2024, I’m striving for the future and what God will do through Covenant Pines Ministries this year. I invite you to join me in creating new memories this year.

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.

We have decided to add an option for guests to stay overnight on Friday 4/19. Breakfast will be served at 8:15 on Saturday morning. If you are interested, please email Jared. There is limited space available and housing will be based on a first come, first serve basis. Camp will accept donations for the overnight stay. 

Here are the details for the Worship Center Dedication:

Saturday April 20, 2024

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

Schedule:

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, please fill out this RSVP form. If you hope to stay overnight, please email Jared. If you hope to stay overnight, please fill out the RSVP form AND email Jared. Please RSVP by Monday April 8. Thanks!

If you have questions, please email Holly. 

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!

Our mission at Covenant Pines Ministries is to encourage campers to take their Next Step in Christian faith. We focus on this mission all year round, but during our summer ministry season we have the privilege of operating all four of our ministry centers; serving students, families and individuals at Covenant Pines Bible Camp, Adventurous Christians, Silver Beach Family Camp and Covenant Pines Off Site. After each summer of ministry, we like to share stories about how campers around CPM have taken next steps.

Covenant Pines Bible Camp: Campers at CPBC make commitments each week to dedicate their life to Jesus, make a change back home, start going back to youth group and more. This is truly the heartbeat of the summer and why we do what we do. One story that sticks out from this summer is from a high school camper who spent time at camp as a SWEAT. After this camper returned home, we were notified that this high schooler had made a personal donation to the Next Steps Campaign. We were so encouraged by this tangible next step of tithing by this camper!

 

Adventurous Christians: At AC, the challenge of a week on trail really helps people reflect on what their next steps are. This summer, one student while on trail felt particularly inspired by the leadership development on trail as well as the satisfaction of completing a canoe trip. In this student’s trip reflection he mentioned that one day he hopes to be a guide at AC to help provide this experience to others. We love to see next steps like this!

 

Silver Beach Family Camp: One of the best things about Silver Beach Family Camp is the community that is created over years and years. These families see each other every year and get to know each other, watch each other’s children grow up and families evolve. One Silver Beacher commented on the way Silver Beachers come back to each other every year and share stories of faith, and how they are able to encourage each other in their own walks with God.

 

Covenant Pines Off Site: One of the biggest and highly anticipated Off Site events each summer is our Covenant Pines Golf Tournament. The tournament is a fundraiser to raise money for camper scholarships. This year, we had a record breaking year for sponsorship. It was so cool to see businesses and individuals take their own next step in faith and generosity by sponsoring the event. Because of this, we were able to raise $16,000 for our camper scholarship fund – allowing campers to continue to take a next step in Christian faith.

 

These are just a few of the ways campers have taken next steps around Covenant Pines Ministries this summer. As we conclude another full summer of ministry, we look forward to continuing our mission as we transition into retreat season.

It is a really exciting time at Covenant Pines Bible Camp. Not only do we kick off Summer Youth Camps on Monday, but a long time dream of building a new Worship Center has become reality. We broke ground on the Worship Center on April 15, and construction has been underway since.

The Worship Center will be located towards the entrance of camp, where the old Maintenance garage used to be. Camp will look a little different this summer as the Worship Center site will be very visible – but we have plans to make sure the impact of the construction is minimal to our campers’ experience

We are working with the contractor Bj Baas, located in Cambridge, MN who provides a job supervisor during work hours of the project, which is from about 7:00 am-7:00 pm each day. The construction site is fully fenced off, and it will be clearly communicated and visually clear  that campers should stay away from the site. Campers may notice a little extra noise during the day, but the site should be wrapped up with work each day in time for chapel and bedtime for campers.

The biggest impacts for the summer will mostly be convenience. Due to the location of the site, parking on the first and last days of camp will be crowded. Some of the boundaries for our all camp games may need to be adjusted, but other than that, we don’t foresee any major impact on campers. We hope they see the construction and are excited to use the Worship Center when it is completed!

If you want to follow along with the progress of the construction, we will post weekly updates on our website here.

Our four pillars of camp are safe, fun, gospel and experience. We are working hard this summer to make sure your campers are safe with this project going on, and we promise kids will still have fun, hear the gospel message of Jesus Christ and have a great experience at Covenant Pines!

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