The Daily Item
MIFFLINBURG — Camp Mount Luther recently ended its summer camping season, which celebrated its 50th birthday year. Around 711 participants took part in programs during the eight-week session. Before any campers arrived this summer, 20 members of the summer ministry staff gathered at the camp for two weeks of training. They were installed by Upper Susquehanna Synod Bishop Robert L. Driesen during the Upper Susquehanna Synod Assembly in mid-June. The assembly was held at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove.
This summer, 296 campers enjoyed on-site programs including traditional, specialty, trip, and day camps. Campers got to do crafts, go swimming, play games, camp out, hike, and sing during their time at Mount Luther. This year’s theme at Mount Luther was “Faith Alive,” exploring the five faith practices of Bible study, worship, prayer, hospitality, and service. A new method of studying the Bible, called “GROW Time” was used, helping campers Gather and Reflect On the Word throughout their day, culminating in an evening worship service.
The camp, the Upper Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania continued joint programming of elementary, middle, and high school camps. The senior high program, X-Teen, was themed around “The Hunger Games” book and movie and campers spent a weekend doing service work in New Jersey, cleaning up from Hurricane Sandy. During the other joint program, BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), campers explored their faith through five faith practices.
Theme weeks this summer at Mount Luther included Super Night Owl, Scooby Doo, and Christmas in July. A new camp was also offered called High Adventure Quest, when campers lived on an island in the Susquehanna River, learned about kayaking, and did the high ropes course at Bloomsburg University. Other returning programs included SURE (Surviving Using the Resources of the Environment); Building Youth Groups; Pedal, Pack, and Paddle; and Interns. A Family Camp was held for participants of all ages. The adult Bible studies were led by Rev. B.J. Collins, of Selinsgrove.
One of the highlights of the summer was a celebration on June 30, to commemorate the camp’s 50th anniversary. An open house, meal, and worship service marked that milestone, with nearly 400 people attending. During the worship service, the camp’s first director, Rev. Theodore Schneider, preached and recalled the early days of the camp.
As always, there were several Day Camps at local churches, led by Mount Luther staff. This year, 332 campers were able to experience camp through these off-site opportunities. Off-site day camps were held at Trinity Lutheran, Milton; St. Paul (Erdley’s) Lutheran, Middleburg; St. Paul’s (Leininger’s) Lutheran, Mount Pleasant Mills; Centre Lutheran, Mifflintown; St. Peter Lutheran, Kreamer; Emmanuel Lutheran, Middleburg; Christ’s Lutheran, Lewisburg; St. John’s Lutheran, Bloomsburg; First Lutheran, Watsontown; St. John’s Lutheran, Richfield; Zion Lutheran, Turbotville; and Christ United Lutheran, Millmont.
Camp Mount Luther, located five miles west of Mifflinburg, just off Route 45, runs year-round outdoor ministry programming, including an eight-week summer camp. The camp is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has a partnership relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. The camp facilities are available for retreats and other meetings for church and civic groups during the non-summer months. The site is used as the Outdoor Education Center for the Shikellamy, South Williamsport, and Midd-West School Districts as well as the Peer Leadership site for the Selinsgrove School District. The camp serves people in Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Tioga and Union counties. For more information on any of Camp Mount Luther’s programs call the camp at (570) 922-1587 or visit the website at www.campmountluther.org.