2019 will mark 47 years of this continuous summer Christian residential camping ministry supported and presented by the combined Episcopal Parishes and Missions of the Willapa Hills Region of the Diocese of Olympia.
St. John, Olympia, with the shared leadership of Brother Michael Stonebraker, Order of the Holy Cross, created the foundation of Camp Michael's beginning. In 1991, the expanded support began as a shared Regional Ministry and continues today. Program development from year-to-year meets new challenges, welcomes new campers and watches returning campers grow into leadership positions.
This ministry bears the name CAMP MICHAEL and the short arm cross logo as a tribute to Brother Michael. The combined Episcopal Churches of this regional area are committed to sponsoring and supporting this vital, on-going happy summer camping experience for as long as there are children, energy and vision for a Christ-centered camping ministry.
The shared Ministry of the Willapa Hills Regional Congregations
of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia
St. Andrew, Aberdeen; St. Hugh of Lincoln, Allyn; St. Luke, Elma; St. Germain, Hoodsport; St. Benedict, Lacey; St. Mark, Montesano; St. Christopher, Olympia; St.John/San Juan, Olympia; St. David of Wales/St. David de Gales, Shelton
For those wondering, "What is Camp Michael?" we have prepared answers to some commonly asked questions.
Q. What is Camp Michael?
A. Camp Michael is a youth camp for children who have completed first grade through ninth grade. This camp is held every summer through a cooperative effort from the Willapa Hills Region of the Diocese of Olympia. Our very own St. John's, with the shared leadership of Brother Michael Stonebraker, Order of the Holy Cross, created the foundation of Camp Michael's beginning. In 1991, Camp Michael expanded into a shared regional ministry and continues today. This ministry bears the name Camp Michael and the short arm cross logo as a tribute to Brother Michael. The combined Episcopal Churches of this regional area are committed to sponsoring and supporting this vital, on-going summer camping experience for as long as there are children and energy and vision for a Christ-centered camping ministry.
Q. What do you do at Camp Michael?
A. Camp Michael offers a traditional sleep away camp experience with a spiritual element. Those attending Camp Michael pray together, share meals and community, worship daily, reflect on the days' teachings, play games, do arts and crafts, swim, go canoeing, learn archery, try photography, complete quests, sing around a campfire, tell silly jokes, perform skits and make lifelong friends. There is also quiet reflection time because the day is so busy!
Q. When is Camp Michael?
A. Camp Michael is tentatively scheduled July 20-24, 2020. Arrival and departure details are still in the planning stage.
Q. Where is Camp Michael?
A. Camp Michael is held at the Gwinwood Conference and Event Center located on Hicks Lake in Lacey, WA. Its nearby location provides convenient access for those looking to volunteer for this ministry.
Q. Who can go to Camp Michael?
A. Children completing grades 1-6 can sign up as campers and stay at this overnight camp. Older youth finishing grades 7-9 can register as counselors-in-training (or CIT for short). Counselors-in-training are expected to have more responsibility than campers as they prepare transition to eventually become counselors. They help the younger children learn all about camp life and assist counselors, but still have time for plenty of fun all around camp. Many campers eagerly look forward to their turn to become a CIT! Students who have completed grades 10 and above can apply to become a camp counselor. Also, volunteers can sign up and come out to experience this unique ministry. Please search your heart and see if God is calling you to lend time and talent to this very important week of youth ministry.
Q. Do I have to be an Episcopalian to register my child for camp?
A. No, just like our church, we are open to those who would like to join us as we explore our faith. We encourage you to invite a friend!
Q. Does my child have to stay overnight at camp?
A. Camp Michael offers a day camper option to arrive at breakfast and leave after evening campfire. It is a full experience without staying the night. If you are unsure if your child is ready for the overnight experience or have another reason for preferring the day camp option, you can try this option. All campers can also sign up for overnight and if it does not work out, can switch to the day option. The overnight option guarantees a bunk if you need one.
Q. What does it cost to attend camp?
A. Camp fees are kept as low as possible through many volunteers and the support of the Willapa Hills Regional Churches. Fees are yet to be determined, covers the cost of renting Gwinwood, meals, themed t-shirt, and necessary camp supplies. Directors, counselors, nurses and other staff serve as volunteers. Camp Michael does provide some financial assistance to those campers without a home church available to sponsor them. For those facing exceptional need, we ask that you pay what you are able and can arrange flexible payment options if needed.
Q. Where do I sign up?
A. Please visit our registration page website to register. Registration will be open starting April 1, 2020. If you have more questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those without computer access can schedule registration by phone.
We look forward to seeing you at Camp Michael!
We welcome campers who have completed the 1st grade through the 6th grade! Camper assignments are grouped as 1st through 3rd graders and 4th through 6th graders. Counselors-In-Training are those who have completed the 7th, 8th & 9th grades. The 9th graders are considered important to the support of Cabin Counselors and receive additional camper exposure in this last training year in preparation for a staff/counselor position next year.
DAY CAMPER - $275
This specialized program is designed to meet the needs of campers who, for a variety of reason, wish NOT to sleep over at camp. Day-Campers will be asked to arrive early enough to take part in the morning programs and be a full participating member of the cabin group they are assigned and to remain at camp throughout the day. On the last night in camp, this group of campers will be offered a "sleepover at camp" if they wish.
RESIDENTIAL CAMPER - $300
Campers who reside at camp from Tuesday through Saturday will be housed in cabins supervised by trained Counselors. Cabin age groups are 1st through 3rd graders and 4th through 6th graders. Every effort is made to honor Cabin-mate requests within those age groups.
COUNSELOR-IN-TRAINING (CIT) - $300
This program is for youth who are ready for the mature step toward a future staff position. 7th, 8th and 9th graders will enjoy an added level of camping experience through the training necessary to assume the role of a counselor.