Dear Church Leaders
After months of prayer, study, and discussion, the PHCA board has concluded that there is no realistic way to provide a physical camping experience that is in keeping with our highly relational camp culture without putting the safety of our campers, faculty, staff, and our witness at risk. Therefore, with heavy hearts, we have made the decision to close the campgrounds for the 2020 camping season.
We know that in a year where our young people have endured cancellation after cancellation this is understandably disappointing. With the guidelines and restrictions required for camps, our capacity to provide a camping experience worthy of Pine Haven is simply not possible. That said, we believe that God is still working, and will work through us this summer. As special as our campgrounds are, this is the time for us to recognize that the greatness of Pine Haven isn’t the land but the Spirit. Pine Haven is special because of the Church, because of God working through His people. Pine Haven is us. WE are the camp. Our committees and deans are already at work looking for ways to go around the obstacle of a closed campground so that, by God’s grace, WE are able to turn a trial into a triumph. The experience will not be the same and the sadness of loss is real, but – like no summer in our lives – in Christ, we have an opportunity to rediscover the WE that makes Pine Haven so very special.
Though the campgrounds are closed, camp will go on! We are re-tooling to offer Pine Haven Christian “Online” Assembly as a virtual camp experience for our campers. Online camp will be different, but still offer the best part of camp – growing in God and connecting with camp friends. All online camp activities will be free for all who register. If you are in an age group with 2 camp sessions, you can participate freely in both sessions. If you have friends half-way around the world, this year, you can ask them to join you at camp. Your Deans and Faculty will be there. The staff will be there. Your camp friends will be there.
It is the next best thing to being there.
While we re-tool we will temporarily close our registration. If there are any changes to the camp schedule they will be posted by May 31. For those who have already registered you will receive an email with information and directions regarding your current registration and payments.
When registration reopens you will discover that there is no required fee. You will be able to purchase ‘Camp in a Box’ supplies, complete with materials and camp goodies, but all online camp activities will be free for all who register. In addition, our Canteen will be going on-line so you will still be able to get your camp gear. You will even be able to purchase a PHCA Care Package to be sent to your camper at home during their week of camp!
We ask that you join us in praising God in this trial, as trials reveal, teach, and refine in powerful ways. Our prayer is that through this difficult summer, God works through us in powerful ways to revive us – again, for WE are HIS camp.
PHCA Board Chair