Spring Man Camp

Written by Brent Lane


Tools not required – but at the same time welcome!

If you haven’t yet participated in a Man Camp weekend, you really should give it a try! When I lived on the West Coast or in Florida, I would hear that my brother John had been to Man Camp with his boys to help get camp ready for campers in the summer. It always sounded like it was a very fun, fulfilling weekend for them. Not just helping, but doing stuff that helped them bond.

Once I moved back to Maine and got settled, I started thinking about Man Camp. It took me a bit to finally make the decision to attend and register. Of course, with one Man Camp under my belt, I wished that I hadn’t taken so long to go!

The first time I came to Man Camp I wasn’t sure what to expect, but at least I knew my way around! Man Camp starts just like camp – cabin assignments! Once you get settled, you head up for dinner, guys trickle in throughout the evening with some folks arriving on Saturday morning. We go over the list of jobs on Friday night and again on Saturday morning, so you can think about where you think you’d be most helpful. Pro tip: if you want your pick of jobs, arrive early 🙂

Each day starts with breakfast followed by Bible study and fellowship before we head out to our assignments. Usually, we share camp with a separate conference group or two and we do our best to work around them. It is really neat to see all the different groups that call camp ‘home’ for their retreats.

Whether you are part of a crew cutting and splitting wood, mulching, cutting down trees, chipping brush, leaf blowing tennis courts, or re-wiring lights in the Dining Hall, you get to know the guys you are working with. There is a lot of laughing and joking, but also deeper conversations about life circumstances and faith.

Over the course of the weekend, you may think, am I REALLY helping that much? Bob Rathbun, Facilities Director, cleared that up quickly, ‘You may not think you’re doing much, but the work you guys are doing this weekend would take the regular camp staff a month or more to do.” Many hands make light work! Almost all the firewood you see around camp was bucked (cut to size), split, and stacked during Man Camp. It’s always a good visual to remind me how Man Camp makes an impact.

One of the things that amazes me is that there are Man Camp regulars who never actually went to camp themselves. They believe in Camp’s mission and enjoy the weekend of helping out. There are campers at camp because their family learned about camp when someone invited their dad to Man Camp! Don’t think that Man Camp can’t change lives!

So, if you believe in the work that camp does, want to get your hands dirty, spend time with your son or nephew, have good fellowship, eat good camp food and have s’mores by a campfire, come on up to Man Camp May 3-5! Our efforts are definitely appreciated, and more importantly, needed!

 And hey, what could be better than a weekend at camp?


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