Camp has looked different in Fall 2020 but God has still been a work. Emmanuel and Excelsior Covenant both had plans to do a Confirmation Retreat and a Youth Retreat. The ‘how’ to do a retreat at camp has been complicated by COVID- but it is not impossible. Covenant Pines has worked hard to do all we can to make camp as safe as possible and we are thankful to Emmanuel and Excelsior Covenant for their desire to work together and get their families and students to camp. Here is what they both had to say about the retreat experience, both churches had this fall at Covenant Pines.
Chris Studenski, Founding and Senior Pastor
Emmanuel Covenant Church
We were created for community. What better place to foster it than CPBC’s beautiful, four-season setting?
Yes. It CAN be done! We just brought 100+ to camp and would do it again in a heartbeat!
If planning a COVID-conscious Fall Retreat wasn’t challenging enough, we got hit with record cold and snow! It would have been tempting to throw in the towel, but we’re SO glad we didn’t. With the help of the remarkable team at Covenant Pines, we were able to give our church family memories that will last a lifetime. We found ways to safely sing outdoors around multiple campfires. We found ways to safely enjoy games. We were able to conduct physically-distanced sessions and services that brought us together.
And…. the food was just as amazing as always!
The Covenant Pines facility is like a Swiss Army Knife. The CPBC staff can help you make the most out of it. If you have ideas, they can help you bring them to life in safe and responsible ways. If you could use some creative help, they can draw from their own wealth of experience along with best practices from all around the country. Regardless of your sense of readiness, the team at Covenant Pines can help you prepare for, and guide you through, an event that people will thank you for.
It could be a long time before things return to normal. There are a number of wise voices saying they never will.
In a time when so much has been taken away, an event at Covenant Pines is a gift that you can give your family, friends, or church.
Kris Causton, Creative Resource Pastor
Excelsior Covenant Church
Our fall confirmation retreat is a significant time for our students to connect with each other and to dive deeper into the focus of teaching for the year. We really did not want to miss out on the impact of the retreat but knew with Covid that we had to make some changes. So, instead of piling 20+ kids into two vans and rooming together in a few cabins, we asked for parents to come along with their child and room together. The retreat center gave us enough room for each parent and student to have their own living space/bathroom, and the south side of the dining hall had enough room to distance for our teaching times. The beautiful outdoor space at Covenant Pines was part of our learning and connecting space in so many ways. We had teaching time on the beach, played games outside, shared a bonfire, and outdoor free time gave kids time to be together in ways they cannot indoors.
It turned out to be a wonderful weekend! Parents and students who were skeptical about the presence of so many adults were either pleasantly surprised or at least glad to have a retreat rather than not!
Lindsay said, “I felt like we ran 4 retreats: a student retreat, a parent/child retreat, a men’s retreat and a women’s retreat all in one as we watched different groups interact.”
Thank you Covenant Pines, for welcoming us, working with us, and investing in our ministry!
If you are interested in discussing what your church retreat could look like, start by reaching out to our Guest Service Director, Angie.