For more than seventy years, Camp Tanako, located on the banks of Lake Catherine in Hot Springs, has remained a timeless Methodist tradition. This year, the United Methodist Camps and Retreat Ministries awarded Tanako a $30,000 grant in support of their newest outreach expansion project.

“The goal of the gift was to enable individual sites and ministries to take one significant step in the 2022 calendar year toward long-term impact and sustainability,” Jen Burch, an administrator of the United Methodist Camps and Retreat Ministries, said on the nonprofit’s website.

With the slow revival of camps and retreats after closures due to COVID-19, ministries like Tanako are innovating solutions to meet the ever-growing needs of the communities they serve. Although their tactics have transformed through challenging times, the heart of their mission, to nurture spiritual renewal, remains.

The Tanako To-Go program will offer Arkansas churches pop-up events for their children’s and youth ministries, as well as small groups. They intend to tailor each event to its location and offer fun team-building games, camp songs, and s’mores to foster a summer camp spirit all year.

“Our goal is to keep the Tanako name present throughout the year. A lot of folks think of Tanako as only a summer camp, but we are open year-round,” Kayla Hardage, Executive Director of Camp Tanako, said.

Hosting groups during the fall and winter months helps to keep the quintessential summer camps affordable. Tanako To-Go will further extend the availability of their programming and offer more personalized testimonials to local ministries. With the help of the grant, Tanako can take their Christ-centered community to greater heights.

Story update: The United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries recently announced additional grants awarded to Shoal Creek Camp for bunk beds and Mount Eagle Retreat Center for restroom renovations.

For more information about any of the Arkansas Conference Camping/Retreat Ministries, visit https://arumc.org/our-ministries/camping-and-retreat-ministries/.