This week Sarah and I spent our time at Camp Ewalu, in Northeast Iowa near the town of Strawberry Point. This was our first time at Ewalu, but we found ourselves able to plug into their program fairly easily. Ewalu is set up differently than any camp Sarah and I had worked at during our years on summer camp staffs. Firstly, Ewalu is situated on a 550 acre site, which means it spreads out – a lot. This space allows for the camp to have a very decentralized set-up. Different groups on camp can go much of the day without really seeing each other because worship, meals, and activities are done amongst the different programs rather than all together in a central location.
I spent much of my week bouncing around between two different groups, the Pioneers (going into 7th grade) and the Native Americans (6th grade). Sarah spent most of her time with the Trailblazers (5th grade) and Explorers (4th grade). We were able to worship, sit in on Bible Studies, play games, do chores on the farm, and do much hiking with these groups. We also got to go on a couple of fieldtrips, Sarah to an animal rescue and me to a state park on the Mississippi River.
These age groups can keep the staff busy and tired, but they did an excellent job with their energy this week in playing and worshiping God. While Ewalu may have had the most anxiety for us being that we knew nothing about it, we left feeling welcome and inspired by a staff committed to the mission of outdoor ministry and sharing God’s love with the children who came to camp this summer.