With a tremendous summer ministry program lined up, Iowa United Methodist Camps (iaumc.org/camps) is entering into the final week of their Annual Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and support for the ministry of Okoboji and Wesley Woods UM Camps.
“We anticipate sharing Christ with at least 1,500 youth this upcoming summer,” said Bryan Johnson, Director of Camps and Retreats. “The support of individuals and churches across the state enables us to provide timely and relevant programs for youth and adults.”
Iowa United Methodist Camps have been primarily subsidized through the IAUMC apportionment system. However, as apportionments continue to change and decrease at the local church level, Iowa Camps have taken a different approach.
“The best part about moving away from apportionments is how connected we now are to our supporters and alumni,” said Johnson.
Iowa Camps still receives apportionment funds, although they have decreased dramatically with an overall goal of no longer being subsidized by the Iowa Annual Conference.
Johnson said that in addition to individuals, churches themselves are also contributing to the mission of camp.
“We hope that churches in Iowa see our camping network as a mission that’s worth supporting. We’ve been asking Missions or Endowment Committees to consider a gift to help support kids, and many of them have. We would to invite any church that hasn’t, to consider a pledge. That way we can bring Christ into the world through our young people,” said Johnson.
Contact the camps office ([email protected]) for information on how your church can make a pledge and make youth camping a reality for young people.
The impact of the Annual Campaign is already paying dividends in the number of youth registering for camp. In fact, Johnson said that registrations are currently 40% higher than they were at this same time last year.
“When people feel a connection to something, they want to see it succeed. Camps in Iowa have helped people connect with Christ and one another for generations, and we aim to make sure this ministry continues in the same ways,” said Johnson.
The Annual Campaign will end on the last day of the month, although donations will still be accepted at any time. All gifts go towards helping kids either attend or have an impactful faith experience at Okoboji or Wesley Woods. The Board of Camps will announce a final total in early March.