See how UMC camps change lives

April 09, 2014





By Rev. David Hobbs, LDM, Camping and Christian Formation 

Wow, can you believe it, we are starting to get wonderful warmth out there now, and it’s starting to feel more like summer, and that gets me to thinking about camps. 

In the last month I have shared some wonderful testimonies throughout the Conference about folks who have been involved with Iowa UMC Camps over the years, and this week I’m going to do the same. In the last few articles have been some really neat stories from Wesley Woods and Okoboji, and this week I will share some stories from our beautiful Pictured Rock’s Camp and Retreat Center. 

For over 50 years Pictured Rocks Camp and Retreat Center has served the Iowa Annual Conference as a mainstay for camping and retreats in Northeast Iowa.

Below are two testimonies from people who have experienced camp at Pictured Rocks. The first is Jordan Sprunger, a student at UNI who has been a Camp Counselor with us for the last several years and who has had a huge impact on our young campers. The second is a short testimony from Debra Lockhart who is from Dubuque and who has sent her children to camp the last few years.  

Thank you Jordan and Debra for your amazing stories about Iowa UMC Camps! As you can see, Camp indeed changes lives.  



"I’m always blown away by what God is doing in the lives of everyone around me. Whether it is the campers or the staff it seems that there is always something amazing being done in the lives of everyone at camp. One of our readings this past summer was on how God is making all things new and that truly is what is happening at the camps we have each week. Something new happens to everyone that sets foot in the camps and I’m excited to return this summer to see what God is continuing to do through Pictured Rocks.

After two summers at Pictured Rocks Camp I still feel God every time I am there. I see how God has worked in my life since I first applied back in February of 2012 and I’m amazed by the role camp has played in it. Working there has helped me better understand what God’s role in my life is and has helped me discern what his plans are for me. I have been truly blessed to be a part of the Pictured Rocks family these past few years and I will always be thankful for that."

- Jordan Sprunger                                                                                                                                                   

"Sending our children to camp isn't something we take lightly as parents.  There are a lot of camps available for children, but so many don't offer a Christian setting with Christian counselors who truly care about the children that attend.  Our children have been attending camp at Camp Pictured Rocks for the past two years and we love it, and the kids LOVE it too.  They will be attending again this summer.

This is an opportunity for our kids to connect, through fun Christian activities, with other young people.  The camp staff are amazing in their love and caring for the kids.  We truly leave our children in their hands knowing that they're going to be safe and well-cared for during the entire time they're at camp.  The kids come home happy, tired and with a better understanding of Christ's love and fellowship.  It's a win-win situation for children and their parents.

Our church also uses Camp Pictured Rocks for its annual church camping retreat.  This has been such an amazing activity for our church members as they spend quality time together.  Camp staff provides activities during this retreat which is very much appreciated.  Dave and Patric asked that I write two to three paragraphs and it’s very difficult to get all of the great things about Camp Pictured Rocks in just two to three paragraphs.  Bottom line is we love it!"

- Debra Lockhart 


IOWA UMC Camp and Retreats On-line Catalog and Registration                                                                                                               

IOWA UMC Camp and Retreat Contact information:

Lake Okoboji Camp and Retreat Center near Spirit Lake

Bryan Johnson—1-866-856-9862

Pictured Rocks Camp and Retreat Center near Monticello

Patric Newton—1-866-651-1223

Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center near Indianola

Deke Rider—1-866-684-7753                                                                                                                   

Iowa UMC Conference Office

Kathy Potter—1-800-765-1651

David Hobbs—515-974-8913