A Family Newsletter about everything Michindoh
A Prayer for the Future
By Darren Kendall
God, as we wrestle with the anxiety of the unknown, it can be all too easy to focus on the darkness surrounding us rather than Your light which leads us. In the chaos of the uncertain, You remain our firm foundation. Truly You are doing works among the nations that are far above our understanding and yet what You reveal to us brings glory to Your Name. In the darkness, it is Your light that calls us forward. God. Help us to trust in Your Wisdom, Your Calling, Your Plan, and Your Love. Help us not forget the message of Easter but keep the cross as the center of our lives and the center of our focus. God, we pray for this Summer. Not that we would be lifted up, but that You would be lifted up and Your Name glorified. Use Michindoh as an instrument for Your Love as we celebrate in the truth of who You are. Each tomorrow at Michindoh belongs to you. God, give us the faith to follow You well. Give us Your Spirit so that we can follow Your Ways. Give us Your Heart so that we can love as You love.
"The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you." Psalms 33:13-22
A Letter From Our CEO
By Jeff Knoll
Spring is always an exciting time around Michindoh. There is something energizing about the days getting longer, the flowers blooming, and the buds forming in the trees. The woods are alive with the sounds of life. It is such a great reminder of the hope we have in Jesus Christ and the redemption that He brought through His death and resurrection. Life renewed each spring is such a beautiful picture of lives renewed through Christ. It brings a sense of Joy and Hope as we prepare to minister to those God sends to this ministry.
As we enter into another spring it is encouraging to see all the activity that is taking place at Michindoh and all the preparations for the ministry-rich seasons before us. After so many months of limited use due to COVID-19, it is a joy to see young people running throughout the grounds and groups of hundreds of Christ-followers worshiping Him in our facilities. Much effort has gone into creating an environment where young people can come to Michindoh and experience Christ’s love in a safe, but socially rich environment. People need to get out and enjoy fellowship. Young people need to play hard and experience life. We have developed programs and procedures that limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19, but at the same time provide the greatest benefits of Christian camping.
As we prepare for our summer season, we are looking to hire nearly 100 staff to minister with us to the thousands of youth that are scheduled to join us this summer. Each summer many people experience new life in Christ as they learn of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. It is such a blessing to see these young people worship the Lord with excitement and passion.
In this current environment, it is a real challenge to find individuals to Join us in this important ministry. If you have ever considered serving in Christian camping or you know of an individual who would consider ministering with us this summer, would you get in touch or get them in touch with us? We have staffing needs in every area of the ministry, from support services to working right with the youth. Each staff member plays a critical role in bringing the message of God’s love to thousands of youth. Consider working with us this summer or pray that God will lead the right individuals to join this ministry team.
Be a part of bringing new life to someone who needs to hear the message of God’s love.
With you in Christ,
Summer Guest Groups
By Travis Faveau
Before COVID, retreats were trending toward exciting, large crowds. People had never been so connected via tremendous social media networks. Sadly, relationship building was often lost to the crowd. Then COVID hit, and much of the remaining elements of community faded in the midst of shutdowns, quarantines, and social distancing. Folks have never been so separated, and the result has pushed our community mental health services to the max. The power of camp still shines brightly. COVID brought a return to the traditional format for retreats, where guests live, eat, play, pray, and worship with the same small group. Cabins were never meant to just be a place to sleep… they were meant to be small communities that fostered growing friendships.
Many of our ministry partners are now planning to permanently incorporate elements of the small group format back into their retreats after rediscovering how powerful of a tool it is for growing relationships. We encourage you to consider a retreat at Michindoh as an opportunity to begin reclaiming what was nearly lost - community and relationship. We would be very happy to discuss with you how we can work together to host a retreat that is both safe and impactful.
The Corona Virus pandemic has taken its toll on a lot of areas of camp, including Outdoor Education. A
spring season full of Schools eager to attend our camp was immediately halted with no glimmer of
returning. I’m happy to say that the OE drought has ended! In the last two weeks of March, Michindoh
hosted two school groups in person and on campus. After much communication with schools, principals, superintendents, health departments, directors, and staff, we have created a safe environment to run our program.
The staff of Michindoh were delighted to hear the laughter of campers again, after a year of having no school groups. We did all of our normal Outdoor Education classes and activities while adjusting to the pandemic safe practices when needed. In these two weeks, children enjoyed learning about Michigan Settlers in the early 1800s, Reptiles and Amphibians that are native to Michigan but exotic to regular school life, some creepy crawlers that most people hope to never find in their homes, and they learned about how to survive in the woods if the situation were to arise. Students gain a lot of knowledge but they also gain experience. For some students, this was the first time they had ever shot a bow and arrow or gone fishing. They were given challenges such as setting a goal and climbing our 30-foot rock wall, or working together as a team to complete a task, or to try and reduce their own food waste. Some challenges and goals were accomplished successfully and others may have fallen short, but falling short doesn’t mean failing. With encouragement from peers and adults, students would try again and again to reach their goal and complete their challenge, so that no one is left to fail.
Aside from learning, we also like to have a little fun here at camp. Students were able to tie-dye their very own t-shirt. They learned new group games like gaga ball, 9-square, and capture the fish. Some students learned a new craft. We also did come classic activities like dodgeball and a hike through the woods. We especially had fun in the evenings. Each night our programs were different and always a blast. Singing songs and telling stories over a campfire, being the first cabin to finish all the Wacky Olympics, we put their acting skills to the test with a skit night, and we showcased their dancing abilities with a good old fashioned square dance. Overall, a global pandemic and camp don’t really go hand in hand, but here at Michindoh we try to make it work as safely and as fun as possible.
Summer Camp 2021
By Darren Kendall
Summer Camp 2021 is almost here! As I write this, our first camp week is only 2 months away. Even as COVID-19 still remains a factor, we remain excited as we think back to how God worked through Michindoh Summer 2020. Our goal is to return to a more normal summer, and yet we remain flexible in order to comply with whatever regulations are required by both the health department and government. We have many goals at Michindoh, but ultimately one of our main priorities is to make sure that all our campers and guests have a safe and positive experience.
This year, we are offering 2 Discovery Camps, 4 Explorer Camps, 1 Adventure Camp, 1 Adrenaline Camp, and 6 Day Camps. Each week will offer a unique theme, unique games, and unique programming all supported by our many activities that campers can't get enough of. Do you have a teen between the ages of 14-17 in your house who is looking for valuable work experience with the added desire of growing as a Christian leader? Check out our Leadership in Training program. LIT's function as both campers and staff and therefore enjoy the benefit of a great program while also getting paid for every single week of camp.
You can keep updated with everything that we are planning and any changes in our programming by checking out our new website - still at Michindoh.com. We hope to see you back at Michindoh this summer!
This summer, I am returning to Michindoh for my second year as a counselor. I decided to come back to camp because it is a great opportunity to build relationships with campers and show them the love of Jesus all while having a lot of fun! I am so excited for this summer because, not only am I given the opportunity to teach my campers about faith in Jesus, but I also get to learn so much from my campers as well! I see the image of God in every camper. From fun games and activities, to chapel, to meals and everything in between, I get to see God transform hearts and minds in powerful ways. At the end of each week last year, I was confident that God did immeasurably more than I could have asked or imagined. Seeing all that He did, I was personally brought to a place of greater awe and trust in God and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for this year!
A Lasting Impact (LIT Program)
Several summers ago I was convinced by a friend to join Michindoh's Leader in Training Program. That was the first summer I started to realize my God-given potential. The LIT program left a lasting impact on me and my view on ministry. Now the script has been flipped and I get the honor and privilege of ministering to those who are now LITs. I look back at everything I received from the LIT program and I am excited to pass what I learned to the high schoolers who have chosen to set aside time for this amazing program this summer. 2 Timothy 2:2 states, “and what you (Timothy) have heard from me (Paul) in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” In that verse, there are four generations of discipleship! I have a passion for discipleship and a passion for these young men and woman who want to embrace their own potential. I hope and pray that five or ten years down the road, these young people can influence others with Christ at the forefront.
The Bible will be in the center of everything that we do this summer as we walk together in discipleship, truth and encouragement. I am also excited and thrilled about the fellowship the LIT program naturally elevates as we journey together as a team. By summer’s end, there will be stories, inside jokes, and memories built up from the various activities and events that will be landmarks for what the summer has meant to each one of us. More importantly, the friendships and bonds that will form will be invaluable. These factors make the LIT program truly special. I can’t help but look back and be thankful for that friend who provided that “push” into camp ministry. It has led to a few years of camp counseling and other opportunities to disciple that would have otherwise not happened. These more recent opportunities have continued to grow and discipline me. So, while this program is about the LITs, I too am excited to learn and grow more through this amazing summer coming up.
Join with us in giving thanks to God for how He continues to sustain Michindoh through COVID-19
Pray for God's continued leading as we continue into our busy season of ministry
Pray for strength and wisdom for our leaders who continue to need to make tough decisions.
Pray that God will continue to lead strong Christians to join our summer staff and pray that God will prepare their hearts and spirits to serve His Kingdom well.
Pray for all the campers who came to Summer 2021 that God will touch their hearts and minds
Pray specifically for campers who do not know God's love that they will receive the gospel this summer
We thank you so much for your partnership with us. It is your support that we lean on as God has called us to bear each other burdens in both love and thanksgiving. Our heart truly is to be a service to our family in Christ and we hope that you continue to walk with us through this difficult time. Please contact Darren at Darren@michindoh.com if there are any prayer requests you would like us to be praying for.