Friday of Week 10

For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” - Ecclesiastes 3:1;4

Every year the Friday of Week 10 is one of those milestone days for us. It marks the end of a summer camp season which leaves us feeling a lot of different emotions. For some, it’s a breath of fresh air as they get to enter into the next season of their life (usually for our summer camp staff it is the chance to pack up and go back off to college). For others, they will mourn the fact that they will not interact with campers (and staff) like this for another year or may never serve here on summer staff again. 

August 14, 2020 is Friday of Week 10. While we still technically still have one week of day camp left - a vast majority of our day camp staff will be leaving today. These college students have given Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center potentially one of the most difficult summers of their lives. They have been through numerous hours of online orientation, a full weeks’ worth of in-person orientation, as well as a summer filled with constant change and rapid adjustment. On top of all of that, they have tried to build as many deep & lasting relationships as possible while ministering to campers behind a mask, applying hand sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing to the best of their abilities. 

Camp staff of 2020...thank you. 

But today is a bit harder than just saying goodbye to the 38 college-age camp staff. In light of the impacts of COVID-19, we have to say goodbye to another 14 employees (we call them family members). These people have given many years of their life to serve alongside a ministry that has a desire to see God’s Spirit Change Lives. From cleaning toilets, mowing grass, to facilitating outdoor education classes and answering phones, this list of people is integral to helping us fulfill our mission and vision. 

While we will miss the roles they had while they worked here we will miss their hearts for people as a whole. The way they cared for one another as co-workers/family members is the way they cared for guests. We laughed hard together. We cried hard together. We celebrated graduations, marriages, and the birth of children together. We prayed and worshiped together. 

We didn’t want to see it end this way and there are a lot of different emotions around today. However, we pray for God’s blessings over their next season of life. We also pray that this home that you have been apart of will continue to be your home. It’s difficult to put into words to convey the thanks and gratitude we have for you and your ministry here over the years. 

 Image from iOS (16)


 Start Date       


Aaron Carlson

 September '15          

Day Camp Staff, Intern, Program Assistant

Mary DeHur

 September '98


Don DeRuiter

 April '07

Facilities Director

Michelle Grifford

 January '20

Office Assistant

Colleen McGillivray

 September '18


Jake Pehlke

 August '11


Nancy Pehlke

 October '10

Housekeeping Coordinator

Nick Pehlke

 October '11


Matt Priebe

 August '10

Intern, Program Assistant, Outdoor Education Coordinator

Kayelyn Slager

 July '14


Kira Slager

 April '19


Tracy Stallworth

 September '18

Food Services Coordinator

Jake Vander Velde

 August '16

Day Camp staff, Maintenance, Intern, Program Assistant

With that being said,

May the Lord bless you and keep you; 

The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.