11 Camps. Best Summer Ever.
For many young people, fun in the sun with friends this summer is long overdue after the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic. Eleven camps across the U.S. and in Canada—most of which are expected to be in person according to safety guidelines—have been organized regionally through the national Youth and Young Adult Ministry (YAYAM) department of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) and its affiliated programs.
“We are so excited to get our young people back to summer camps,” said Katherine Anglin, national YAYAM coordinator. “Even before the pandemic, camps were the highlight of our young people’s summers. Our summer camps are a key to feeling a part of our community of faith, especially after such a tough time and with most communities spread out from others.”
Registration is now open for various camps scheduled for middle school and high school Unificationists in the coming weeks. In the Bay Area, Camp One Heart is already underway in person, running from June 20 to 23.
“After a tough year, it’s so exciting for all the participants and staff to finally be able to come together, even if things may still look a little different than before with camps in person and online,” said Camarie Eaton, national YAYAM administrator.
For some of the camps, details like retreat themes are still being developed, but organizers say they still anticipate a big turnout of young people who are ready to feel inspired and uplifted during a challenging time in the world. The summer camps typically offer a range of outdoor excursions, spiritual discussions, and inspirational text and presentations to cultivate a deeper relationship with God, FFWPU co-founders Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her late husband, the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, and fellow campers.
“I think there’s a lot of us out there that have felt so deprived of connection and a sense of community that the experiences we will be able to make together this summer will be even more fulfilling and impactful,” said Eaton.
“There are more locations and options this year to make sure things are staying within local and state restrictions,” said Anglin, “so we hope that everyone gets a chance to attend. We hope that our young people can feel how much God and True Parents love them through the people they experience at camp.” True Parents is an affectionate term for Rev. and Dr. Moon.
From June 27 to July 2, Camp Journey in Garden City, Utah, is available to high schoolers. Camp One Heart (Los Angeles edition) will also take place from June 30 to July 4 at camp Mozumdar—a temple modeled after the Taj Mahal hidden in the San Bernardino Mountains. This retreat is available to both middle and high schoolers.
From July 8 to 28, Ocean Challenge is happening in Kodiak, Alaska; however, registration for this program closed in May.
In the Southwest, Camp Lonestar at Tejas Trails in Blanco, Texas, is available for high schoolers from July 11 to 17. Camp Vonto, which will be held online from July 12 to 16 in Canada, is available for all youth.
From July 17 to 24, the EPIC Workshop for high schoolers will take place at Morning Garden in Gloucester, Mass. In Pennsylvania, back-to-back retreats at Camp Shehaqua in Hickory Run State Park are available for all ages from July 18 to 23, and July 26 to 31. A special family weekend retreat is from July 23 to 26.
In the Midwest, Camp Kogape will be held online for all youth from July 19 to 23. On the East Coast, Camp Aurora at Morning Garden in Gloucester, Mass., is available for youth from August 1 to 7. The dates for Camp Tongil in Seattle are to be determined.
“I know our staff is prepared to take on the extra challenges that might come this year,” said Anglin. “I am hopeful that all of the summer camps will be an extremely meaningful experience for everyone.”
Anglin said new material for parents will be available to look over while youth are at camp, which can help families prepare for reflective discussions once campers return home.
Early registration is advised for all camp participants. You can find more details including registration costs and deadlines here.
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