RAC Newsletter Summer 2009


RAC Newsletter - Summer 2009

Colleagues from our community of religiously
affiliated camps gathered in Orlando in
February at the annual RAC Luncheon at
the 2009 ACA National Conference, featuring
a warm and inspiring presentation by Michael
Brandwein. Attendees reflected on the uniqueness
of the religious camp experience, and ways
we can be intentional as we seek to instill
the values of our faith traditions through
all we do at camp. The RAC Council extends
a special thanks to Michael for the article “Maximizing
the Power of Religiously Affiliated Camps” on
page 1, which he shared in this issue.

Participants at the national conference
also had the opportunity to attend workshops
with a specific faith-based focus. This year,
we were blessed to welcome Rev. Jenny Phillips,
who shared The Climate Project. This interfaith
presentation highlighted the causes and impacts
of climate change in a faith-based version
of Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient
Truth. Rev. Phillips raised specific theological
support for creation care and suggested ways
that people of faith can be actively involved
in responding to climate change and education
our communities. The Rev. Jenny Phillips
is founder of Creation Change, a United Methodist
nonprofit organization that equips people
of faith for dynamic response to our changing
environment. Jenny develops resources and
curriculum in collaboration with such organizations
as the American Bible Society, ACA, and GreenFaith.
She was trained by Al Gore in giving this
presentation. jphillips@creationchange.org

Nancy Ferguson led the educational session “Feeding
the Spirits of Staff and Campers” at
the national conference, and a reprise at
Tri-State in New York in March. Nancy is
an author, editor of New Earth Outdoor Resources
camp curriculum, a Christian educator, and
a longtime camp leader. She retired this
year from her management role with the RAC
Council.

Those who attended the ACA Mid States
Camping Conference in Chicago had an opportunity
to participate in a workshop on “Exploring
the Spiritual Dimension of Camp.” Session
leader Mark Burkhardt, who oversees camping
and congregational ministries for the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America, is a longtime
member of the ACA-RAC Council. Mark shared
from his years of experience in intentionally
facilitating spiritual growth through camp
program activities and resources.

Religiously-Affiliated
Camps peers also gathered for informal sharing
at Tri-State and Mid States. These gatherings
provided a forum for folks to air some of
the joys, concerns, and challenges facing
us in religious camping. It was also a setting
to brainstorm ways RAC can resource us as
we carry on the valuable work of camp. One
of the richest rewards of attending conferences
is the fellowship with old and new friends — let’s
have more of this within the ACA-RAC community!
Would you like to facilitate a sharing time
for fellow religious camp leaders at your
next regional or sectional conference? Please
contact Jen Burch at jen_kenny99@hotmail.com.
Watch the RAC Web site for news of future
regional gathering opportunities.

The RAC Council’s Fall Meeting will
be held in Loma Mar, California, September
22-24, 2009. Does your faith tradition, religious
group, or fellowship of camps have a representative
on the Council? Check the roster of current
Council members online. Contact Jen Burch
to learn more about the Council or nominate
a representative from your tradition. All
voices and perspectives are needed at the
table.

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