Three camping and retreat initiatives for 2016

Camping_LogoArkansas Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries in 2016 will launch three initiatives to provide programming for all ages, hosted at the five camps within the Arkansas Conference. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming soon.

Initiative #1: Confirmation Retreats

A six-session Confirmation Retreat curriculum has been developed. It is designed for churches to be able to either incorporate it into an extended confirmation class as a retreat, or to be used as the bulk of the confirmation experience (with an additional four sessions to be provided to the local church so the experience can be completed with a pastor or congregation leader). We will offer the retreat for the first time Feb. 26-28, 2016 at Camp Tanako, and will soon announce dates for fall retreats at other camps around the state.

Initiative #2: Young Adult Transition and Discernment

A pair of retreats has been designed to reach graduating high school seniors and young adults ages 18 to 25. The first retreat will be held in the spring and is geared toward high school seniors from around the Arkansas Conference. The goal is to provide participants with tools and support for the transition to a faithful life beyond high school, when they might be away from their youth group, local church and family. It will introduce Arkansas Conference campus ministries and Wesley Foundations for those going to schools in-state, and also will address those entering the work force or military service.

The second retreat is a discernment retreat for young adults called AR Next, aimed at 18- to 25-year-olds exploring a call to ministry. It’s designed as a casual gathering of young adults and a variety of people who are both laity and clergy. Through conversation and storytelling, we hope to help young adults understand the many ways one can be in full-time ministry, and the variety of ways God calls each of us to a life in ministry.

Initiative #3: Partnership with 200,000 Reasons

In an effort to develop retreats for all age levels and church sizes, we plan to work with the 200,000 Reasons initiative to train local congregations in how to develop sustainable feeding programs in their local communities. To provide as many training opportunities for as many local churches as possible, these sessions will rotate through the camps around the Arkansas Conference.

—Michelle Moore, director of program and marketing for Arkansas Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries (michelle.moore@arumc.org)