2017 Winter Newsletter
January 11, 2017
Summer 2016 Recap
Wow! 2016 has come and gone so quickly, just like our 2016 summer camping season. The soils were prepared when the pre-camp staff arrived and began an intense week of training and work projects. The group accomplished much, dove into deep discussions, and renewed meaningful friendships with each other in readiness for the summer ahead. Adding in the harmonies of Performing Arts Camp made for a great start to the summer programming. The forty-five campers and over thirty staff members sure created a bustle around camp while rehearsing for the live two-night performance of Fiddler on the Roof! The show was a huge success! The true success, however, came in the form of the many lives that left impacted that week.
Following PAC, camp life was able to take in a deep breath and host a four-day day camp. The day campers loved spending time in the great National Forest experiencing many of the traditional camp activities. Boys camp came in with a boom and the campers’ energy levels were higher than ever! The counselors that staffed this week truly had a heart for the program and took the care to be sure that every young man heard the Gospel of Christ, had an opportunity to learn new skills, and discover deep truths of the Bible. Girls camp followed with such exhilaration. There’s always something special about seeing the legacy of traditional girls camp continued on our Huron Forest land. From the youngest Pathfinder to the graduating CILT, hearts were changed and leaders were developed into godly young women. The passionate girls camp staff never ceased to give their fullest attention to the campers and sought to guide them in Biblical principles and characteristics. The two sessions of girls camp ended with the graduation of five CILTs!
This season, more than 300 children and adults were influenced by the working of the Holy Spirit and a total of nine campers made commitments to Christ! Many new friends were made and old friendships were rekindled. The love of Christ was shared with all who entered our gates. It is my prayer that as we celebrate 75 years of ministry together that the seeds of God’s Word will continue to be planted, watered, and nurtured in the hearts of many more young people in the generations to come. Let’s praise God together for the mighty work that He did this 2016 season!
Krista (Pica) Kahsen
Performing Arts Camp
Be Our Guest!
Auditions are over and casting is complete! We are very excited for this year's season featuring Disney's Beauty and the Beast with performances on June 30th and July 1st at Oscoda High School in Oscoda, MI. Tickets will be available for purchase soon! Stay tuned to the Huron Forest Camp CedarRidge Performing Arts Company website for more details.
Horse Camp Updates
We are so excited for the return of horse camp this year! This past fall, we made several capital improvements to our horse program facilities. Over Labor Day weekend, twenty people joined forces to help us enlarge the riding arena to 20 meters, the width of a USDF dressage arena! At the end of October, a new barn roof was completed.
We are also excited to be adding a dual faucet hose connection to wet the arena surface to improve riding conditions for all of our camps. This year we will begin transitioning the barn to a space for horse camp. Interviews are underway now for our Horse Camp summer staff. If you know anyone interested in being a camper or a staff member, email us at email@example.com, fill out a staff application HERE, or register for Horse Camp HERE.
CILT (Campers in Leadership Training) Highlight
“I knew the first time I went to camp for a week when I was 6, that I wanted to do the CILT program. Nine years later, that dream finally came true! I grew so much in my year of CILT, in my Biblical knowledge and learning how to be a God honoring camp counselor and leader. I was blessed to have four other amazing girls go through this journey with me, and our bond is one that I will never forget; from our first crazy 2 weeks, to brainstorming all-camp ideas in the meetings throughout the year, to encouraging each other in the Lodge during our Junior counseling week. The leaders’ constant knowledge and patience were what got us all through this intense program. I am so thankful for the CILT program, and am excited for all the new adventures being on staff will bring!”
~ Kaylee (Archer), CILT class of 2016
New Board Member in 2017
We are so very excited to announce that Dianne Liddy (Tigger) has joined our Board of Directors this year. It was such a blessing to have her serve as our Interim Executive Director for the summer of 2016. Tigger first worked at Camp in 1971 and has been involved in camping ministry since then. Her leadership, wisdom, knowledge, and passion for Huron Forest Camp CedarRidge will continue to impact our camp as we grow in 2017. Stay tuned for updates from the Board of Directors as we continually seek to create an environment for camp to flourish with God's blessings. Welcome Tigger! We are so thankful that you've joined our team!
~ Devon Roberts (Maverick)
Our new Operations Team
The operations team is a group whose goal is to execute the vision for camp and coordinate volunteer involvement throughout the year. That vision includes current and future programming, advertising, marketing, camp improvements both operationally and aesthetically, as well as how to share the gospel with those who connect with camp (parents, campers, local area). The team is comprised of: (L to R in photo) Phil Bigos (NEO), Sarah Kaczmarek (Sander), Devon Roberts (Maverick), Michelle Ratering (Endro), Chelsey Dankert (Steller), Krista Kahsen (Pica), and Sarah Roberts (Rosie - not pictured) . As we meet throughout the year we will be brainstorming, planning, and vision casting for camp. In order for the operations team to reach its full potential your help is needed! There will be countless opportunities to help prepare camp to serve campers, staff and Christ. From taking surveys or compiling email databases to developing programming materials or fixing a bathroom, we need your help! If you are interested in being a part of the volunteer team, please send a message to info@CampCedarRidge.org.
New Registration Software
Over the past two years, our team has been hard at work developing a better online registration process, and now, it's finally here! We are using a new online registration tool to make registration easier for both campers and parents. After creating an account on our website, parents can easily add campers to the account and register them for their chosen weeks of camp. After the first registration, camper information is stored within the account, so it does not need to be re-entered when registering the following year! The new system also saves time for families with multiple campers by allowing them to enter parent/guardian and pickup information for the profile instead of needing to input it for each camper. We have added a new feature to the website, online Tuck Shop purchase tracking, which allows parents to see what their campers are purchasing and notifies them if their balance is running low. Our camper email system will now be integrated into new online tool, allowing us to stream-line e-mail delivery to campers. It's a great way to allow the entire family to send special notes to campers at camp. This new system is a great step forward in 2017! We look forward to continuing our improvements to make the camping experience better every year.
For many years we have been dreaming of an arrangement with the Forest Service to undergo a land swap of the many acres of boggy swamplands that camp owns for the top of the hill. While we love Fairy Forest and swamp stomping, we are not able to expand camp to any wetlands due to it being... well... wet. The expandable property we do own includes the slope of the hill, but not the top flat portion. We have been praying for God to make a way for this land swap to become a reality. A few years ago, a team from camp started the process and submitted an initial proposal to the Forest Service. Unfortunately, that plan stalled in the paperwork trail and bureaucracy of the federal government process. This past fall, our Executive Director, Devon Roberts, and Director of Property and Buildings, Harold Flood, met with the Forest Service to reassess the feasibility of the land swap and saw an exciting level of willingness and optimism about completing the project. The process can be quite lengthy (3-4 years) and very expensive ($75,000 and up). One of the major hurdles is to have a specific survey done that shows our actual property lines in relation to the Forest Service quadrant system. As God provides, during our 2007 expansion of the Grove and Ridge cabins, this survey was not only completed but in the correct format! So that step is complete! The next hurdle is an environmental analysis ("EA"). This analysis includes things like endangered wildlife, plant species, hazards, both man-made and natural, and Indian burial grounds (since we are close to several sites). It also requires a team of specialists to fly to complete the study. The EA can take a long time to schedule and is possibly the most expensive part of the land swap due to the specialists needed, scheduling logistics, and large area to cover. Again, God has provided! The Forest Service has already scheduled an EA in the adjacent quadrant for an existing project to bring a non-motorized bike path along River Road this spring. It is currently our hope, along with the Forest Service, that we will be able to add our section of the forest to the scheduled EA this spring to save at least a year in scheduling, as well as the entire cost of bringing in a team of specialists. Please pray that we are able to finalize adding our section to the study and that the cost would be manageable. Finally, the Forest Service does not swap land acre for acre, but rather land value for land value. Please pray that the value of our cedar swamp would far exceed that of the land on the hill, just south of our property. A favorable valuation would possibly allow us to increase our total property, adding land that would support new building and future expansion. We have a land swap committee assembled and are still in search of a lawyer to support us through this process. For more information, please email us at info@CampCedarRidge.org
July 30-Aug. 5
July 30-Aug. 5
- Performing Arts Camp
- Day Camp
- Boys Camp Week 1
- BILT (Boys In Leadership Training)
- SOAR Adventure Camp
(Survival on the Ausable River)
- Girls Week 1
- Girls Week 2
- CILT (Campers In Leadership Training)
- Horse Camp
- Family Camp