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Iowa UM Camps present plans for on-site ministry in 2021

Iowa UM Camps present plans for on-site ministry in 2021

4/16/2021
In 2020, Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps suspended on-site programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, this upcoming summer, plans are in place to have youth on-site so they can learn about Jesus Christ and make new friends.  “Sharing Christ with young people at camp is what we do best. We are thrilled to welcome back youth and adults to camp,” said Bryan Johnson, Director of Camps and Retreats.  The Iowa Camps Team consulted with the American Camp Association and the ...

Iowa Conference renaming districts to honor the legacy of camping program

Iowa Conference renaming districts to honor the legacy of camping program

4/9/2021
As the Iowa Annual Conference transitions from eight districts to five, the districts will be renamed to honor the legacy of the Iowa United Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Camp and Retreat Centers. The discernment of the new district names began in March 2020, and a small task force was officially named by the Bishop in March 2021. The new district names will be in effect on July 1, 2021. Central District will become the Riverview Park District Northeast District will become the ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps announces 2021 Annual Campaign results

Iowa United Methodist Camps announces 2021 Annual Campaign results

3/30/2021
In preparation for having youth on-site in summer 2021, Iowa United Methodist Camps completed their second Annual Campaign at the end of February. This year over 100 volunteers campaigned for one month on behalf of the Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist youth camping program.  As apportionment funding through the IAUMC continues to shift, Iowa United Methodist Camps are shifting as well to continue sharing Christ with kids. The Annual Campaign is a big part of that model as a primary ...

Wesley Woods Equestrian Coordinator Receives Award

Wesley Woods Equestrian Coordinator Receives Award

3/22/2021
Laura Hutler, Equestrian Coordinator at Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp, has received the Distinguished Service Award through the Great Rivers chapter of the American Camp Association. This award is presented to an individual who has given “outstanding and distinguished service” to a camping program within the Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri area.    Laura was nominated by a group of camping professionals within the Midwest who recognized the value of the work that she has done this past ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps Announces Matching Gifts

Iowa United Methodist Camps Announces Matching Gifts

2/12/2021
Halfway through an Annual February Campaign to support youth attending camp, Iowa United Methodist Camps have raised over $100,000 to share the love of Christ with young people. Now, an exciting announcement has been made.  “We’ve been incredibly blessed by a couple of generous families who have been positively impacted through Iowa’s shared United Methodist Camping Ministry,” says Bryan Johnson, Director of Camps and Retreats. “Any pledge made to Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp this ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps launches annual campaign

Iowa United Methodist Camps launches annual campaign

1/26/2021
Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps are excited to launch their second annual campaign this February in preparation for offering youth programs on-site in summer 2021.    Director of Camps and Retreats, Bryan Johnson, views youth camping as a way to support youth and the future of United Methodism, “The sustainability of any church relies upon developing and growing the Christian faith in as many as possible. In that vein, Iowa United Methodist Camps are proud to be places where ...

Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

1/8/2021
Epiphany Address Transcript: WATCHING OVER ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE   January 4, 2021, Bishop Laurie Haller Epiphany Address  Iowa Annual Conference Bishop Laurie Haller:   Good evening, friends. Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am deeply grateful that you have chosen to participate in this time of reflection and celebration of where we have been as United Methodists in Iowa and how God is leading us into a future with hope. This is a very tender time in the life ...

Ministry reports for the January 4th Epiphany Address

Ministry reports for the January 4th Epiphany Address

12/28/2020
All clergy and laypersons in the Iowa Conference are invited to Bishop Laurie’s Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love, Livestreamed on Monday evening, January 4, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The address will be recorded for future viewing.   The address is based upon the Gospel Lesson for the Epiphany of Jesus Christ, Matthew 2:1-12. She intends to offer both a word of hope for the New Year and share reports on the formation of Circuit Ministry, church finances, a process for ...

Wesley Woods Festival kicks off an exciting fall season

Wesley Woods Festival kicks off an exciting fall season

10/15/2020
Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp in Indianola, IA is continuing to impact lives in the name of Christ this fall season. October 17, 2020, from 1-4 pm is the annual Fall Festival at camp, and Gracie Green, the Program Coordinator at Wesley Woods, is excited to host youth and families.    “It’s going to be so great having people back on grounds in this new way,” says Gracie. “With COVID-19 we have been looking for different ways to be flexible while still keeping people safe. The Fall Festival ...

2021 Summer Camp Registration is now open!

2021 Summer Camp Registration is now open!

7/1/2020
To pick your camp, download the 2021 Summer Camp Brochure and register today for an adventure of a lifetime!  

Iowa United Methodist Camps announce summer ministry plans

Iowa United Methodist Camps announce summer ministry plans

5/22/2020
Registration for Backyard Camp can be found at www.iaumc.org/camps. The Summer of 2020 is just around the corner and with it comes opportunities to connect in different ways than ever before. Iowa United Methodist Camps are proud to announce “Backyard Camp”, a one-of-a-kind summer program offering from the combined staff at Wesley Woods and Okoboji United Methodist Camps.  Bryan Johnson, Director of Camps and Retreats says “connection with friends old and new is one of the best parts of the ...

2020 Summer Camp announcement

2020 Summer Camp announcement

4/29/2020
To supporters of the Iowa United Methodist Camping Ministry: The Iowa United Methodist Camping Ministry has adopted core values which guide our values, principles and decision making. Our first core value is to “ensure guests feel safe, secure and loved”. As a result, today we are announcing that due to ongoing concerns regarding the safety and health of our campers, families and staff due to COVID-19 we will be cancelling all summer programs at Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps ...

Camp Lake Okoboji hires new Program Director

Camp Lake Okoboji hires new Program Director

3/10/2020
It is an exciting week as we welcome Phil Bargfrede as the Program Coordinator at Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center (LOUMC).  Phil, and his wife Theresa, are moving to Spirit Lake from Grimes, Iowa where Phil served as the Children’s Director at Grimes United Methodist Church for ten years. Phil was also a member of the Iowa Board of Camps, a volunteer-based team working to better Iowa UMC Camping Ministries.  Phil is passionate about youth ministry because, “…it is not ...

Iowa Conference Camping – a life-changing experience

Iowa Conference Camping – a life-changing experience

3/9/2020
Before you know it, summer will be here, and with it, an opportunity for kids of all ages to enjoy the unique experience that only an Iowa United Methodist camp can bring. Naturally that includes fun stuff like swimming, hiking, canoeing, archery, and crafts – but there’s so much more to it.  Click here to listen to the Iowa Conference Conversations podcast with Bryan Johnson  “We have three core values,” states Bryan Johnson, Director of Camping and Christian Formation.  “We want to make sure ...

Iowa U.M. Camps Campaign enters its third week

Iowa U.M. Camps Campaign enters its third week

2/17/2020
The first-ever Iowa United Methodist Camps Annual Campaign is in its third week with positive results. “We are thrilled that people are saying yes to outdoor youth ministry,” says Duane Daby, campaign chair. “For young people camping is so often the catalyst for faith formation and discipleship. The Iowa Board of Camps and Retreats is positioning itself to thrive not just this year, but future years.” Through the first two full weeks of the campaign over 150 people have made pledges to either ...

Board of Camp and Retreat Ministries launches its first Annual Campaign in February

Board of Camp and Retreat Ministries launches its first Annual Campaign in February

1/31/2020
“At the end of the week there’s a 99% chance that you’ll be crying because it’s so fun that you won’t want to leave” — Rodney, 9 years old, talking about his time at the Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp The Iowa Board of Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries (BOCCRM) is thrilled to launch its first Annual Campaign in beginning in February to support Iowa United Methodist Camps. This annual campaign is a direct fundraising campaign that will support Wesley Woods and Lake Okoboji United ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps inaugural giving campaign begins February 1, 2020

Iowa United Methodist Camps inaugural giving campaign begins February 1, 2020

1/8/2020
See the 2020 Camping Catalog United Methodist Camps are at an important time here in Iowa. They are envisioning a loss of funding through the Conference via apportionment funds. Although losing all of their funding through the church can be seen as an intimidating challenge, they find themselves excited about the possibilities this opens up for them. Starting in February of 2020, they will be holding their inaugural Campaign to raise funds to support Iowa United Methodist Camps! In order for ...

Iowa UM Camp registration for the 2020 season is now open

Iowa UM Camp registration for the 2020 season is now open

12/4/2019
The 2020 Iowa United Methodist Camp registration is now open and our programming has been developed to offer a summer of friendships, faith building at Lake Okoboji and Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Centers. Lake Okoboji Camp Located just off the shores of West Lake Okoboji, generations of campers have enjoyed afternoons at the Lake and evenings around the campfire. Onsite activities include archery, high ropes, go-karts, disc-golf, mountain boarding, canoeing, and so much more. At Lake Okoboji...

Eric Scheve hired as Site Director at Okoboji U.M. Camp

Eric Scheve hired as Site Director at Okoboji U.M. Camp

10/21/2019
The Iowa Board of Conference Camps and Retreat Ministries is excited to announce that Eric Scheve has been hired as Site Director at the Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp. Eric has been a long-time employee of the camp, starting as  summer staff in 2011 and progressing now into his new role. “I have always loved working with people and camp is a perfect place to make that happen,” says Eric. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue making the Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp a place ...

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

8/26/2019
Former campers, employees, camp counselors, board members, and supporters gathered on the grounds of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center for the Deconsecrating Service held on August 25, 2019.  Speaking about the history of Pictured Rocks, Camp Director Gabe Dorrell said, “The reality came to fruition in 1961 when the first campers enjoyed camp here in this sacred space. History goes with us. When we leave this place, the relationships that have been built, that have been ...

A New Way to Support Camping

A New Way to Support Camping

5/15/2019
A New Way to Support Camping Iowa United Methodist Camps are excited to launch the Kindling Club, a new way to ensure the sustainability of camping across the state for the next generation of youth and adults. Okoboji, Pictured Rocks and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps have impacted hundreds of thousands of lives over the past 100+ years. Many people, myself included, look at their time at camp as the single most formational faith experience of their lives. If you weren’t already aware,...

FAQs about Pictured Rocks Camp

FAQs about Pictured Rocks Camp

5/15/2019
The status of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp has been a topic of conversation at the Pre-District Conferences around the state. To help provide clarity on the current status, answers to the following Frequently Asked Questions are provided below. Q: What is the status of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp? A: The Board of Camps has voted to recommend a sale of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp to Camp Courageous. The Board of Camps cannot execute a sale as it is the property of the ...

Iowa UM Camps report—AC2018

Iowa UM Camps report—AC2018

6/10/2018
Bryan Johnson shared with Annual Conference Session attendees Saturday morning about what it means to have an "Adventure of a Lifetime" with the Iowa United Methodist Camp Program.  Drawing from this year's camping theme, Johnson illustrated the fruit born by United Methodist camps, also sharing potential significant changes in the camp program's future. Johnson began with a photo of him as an adolescent around the time he first attended an Iowa United Methodist Camp, saying God became real to...

Camp Hope 2018

Camp Hope 2018

4/10/2018
Camp Hope, a camp for children and youth with family members who are or have been incarcerated, is happening again this summer at Wesley Woods Camp and Pictured Rocks Camp. This three-day camp focuses on having fun in a safe space where campers can just be kids, and also learn about Christ's love for them. The Camp Hope team knows the difference that this program makes in the lives of its campers, so a Camp Hope experience is completely covered through scholarships. The Board of Church and ...

2018 Camp registration is now open

2018 Camp registration is now open

1/12/2018
Camp registration for the 2018 season is officially open! Come join us at Lake Okoboji, Pictured Rocks, or Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Centers for an Adventure of a Lifetime! Registration information can be found at www.iaumc.org/camps, or by calling the camp registrar at 1-800-765-1651.   Camp Ambassador Packets will be mailed to churches soon, so watch your mailboxes! These guides help you promote camps at your church with a start-to-finish program including recommended Bible verses and ...

New director shares God's love through camping

New director shares God's love through camping

11/2/2017
Chip Hutler is the new site director for Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center, located in Indianola, Iowa. He’s been in the ‘camp business’ for nearly 30 years, working at camps and YMCAs from Wisconsin to Arizona. Strangely enough, though, he didn’t grow up as a camper – in fact, he found himself rather unexpectedly falling into his career. Click to watch the interview with the new Wesley Woods site director, Chip Hutler. “I blame my wife,” Chip laughs. “My wife and I met in college in an ...

Changes at Wesley Woods

Changes at Wesley Woods

5/3/2017
The Iowa Annual Conference Camping and Retreat Ministry is seeking an experienced professional to lead and manage Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center in Indianola, IA. Former Site Director Deke Rider and Equestrian Coordinator Suzanne Rider have recently resigned to pursue other opportunities. “Deke and Su have impacted thousands of lives during their time at Wesley Woods and we are thankful for their ministry” says Bryan Johnson, LDM for Camping and Christian Formation. “We ...