December Camp and Retreat news

December 05, 2018

December 2018

Camp and Retreat news

In the first newsletter of each month, the UMCatalyst puts the spotlight on news and information about our Camp and Retreat Centers. See what’s happening at our sites:


News from Wanakee:

  • Anyone currently in high school is invited to Wanakee's annual Winter Senior High Retreat, running Feb. 15-17, 2019 at the Homestead Retreat! Come see our beautiful, snowy site and spend time with amazing camp friends. We might sled down the hill or snowshoe out to Monkey Island before we spend time by the fire, play games, share stories, explore our faith, eat s'mores, and more. $95 covers two nights lodging, snacks, and four meals. More details on Facebook or at
  • Wanakee is hiring for all summer positions. Will you encourage the amazing young adults in your life to consider applying for a life-changing summer? Staff join an amazing Christian team, serve campers and families, develop new skills, and create incredible memories and friendships. Details and job descriptions are available at, or head right to the application at  
  • Only 5 spots remain in Wild Wanakee Women, our annual women's retreat. Join longtime volunteers Carrie Way and Jane Sample in a weekend of fellowship. Take a break, knit, snowshoe, read, and connect. Sign-up or find more details on Facebook or at


Mechuwana Christmas Rally

Mechuwana held its annual Christmas Rally Dec. 1-2. This is a very special tradition at Mechuwana: High school youth gather to take time out of their crazy schedules to reflect and relax as we prepare for Christmas. The weekend’s events include a trip to the Winthrop Christmas parade and youth-led worship services. Another highlight is the presentation of toys collected for the Cottrell/Taylor Christmas baskets. This local program adopts needy families during Christmas (This year 83 families were identified.), and the Mechuwana Youth Program is responsible for supplying toys for the children. Many thanks to the adult chaperones and the Youth Council for all the work they do.

Be part of the Youth Rallies at Camp Mechuwana

Camp Mechuwana’s youth program consists of a series of rallies throughout the school year where youth in middle school and high school (grades 6-12) can get together and participate in theme discussions, games, fellowship, a dance, and a worship service led by the Mechuwana band!

Upcoming events 
Dec. 31, 2018-Jan. 1, 2019:
New Year's Eve Semi-formal for Middle and High School Youth
Feb. 8-10, 2019
April 26-28, 2019
Visit to learn more

Gateways to God: a time of spiritual preparation

Advent is a season of preparation and waiting, a time to be still amid the hustle and bustle, to be spiritually ready to welcome Christ into our hearts and homes this Christmas. In these chaotic times, we also need opportunities to spiritually prepare so that we can be more effective in our call. Gateways to God is a two-year spiritual formation program at Rolling Ridge that trains you to walk alongside and listen to the hidden nudges of God within the heart and soul journey of another. 

Traditionally this is called "spiritual direction;" Whether you are laity or clergy, we all need to learn to be still, to listen to God, and to be spiritually present to another. Dr. Heidi Miller, Director of Neighborhood Seminary at Duke Divinity School, along with a team of spiritual directors/supervisors, will provide the instruction, training, and support to equip you to listen deeply for God and to become a spiritually transforming presence Wherever you are called to serve: in the church, in the home, or the community. Our next session begins in February 2019. The application deadline for Gateways to God 2019-20 has been extended to Jan. 15, 2019. 
Learn more and apply
Here’s what one recent participant had to say:
 “I have grown in my own faith recently and wanted to share that with someone. I realized as I looked into spiritual direction and spiritual congregation formation it’s a way that I could work with people to help them grow and deepen their relationship with God.” – Bonnie-jean Rowe, Framingham, MA