Some have asked about the pennant on the wall of the Micah Room in the Conference Center -- Lake Chargoggagog - manchauggagogchaubunagungamaugg. "What's that about?"
Many who have been around here for a long time will know that in the years prior to Calumet becoming the camp for the Lutheran Church in New England, Lutherans would travel to Webster, MA to Camp Lutherwood which sat on the shores of Lake Chargoggagogmanchauggagogchaubunagungamaugg. There came a point when several Lutheran Church bodies merged to become the Lutheran Church in America. At that point, Lutherwood was sold along with a couple of other land assets so that we could purchase Calumet on the shores of Lake Ossipee. We have that pennant on the wall so that we can remember the hard work and dedication so many people put into the very early days of camping ministry here in New England.
It's a mouthful, Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagogchaubunagungamaugg, for sure. As one resonsible for sharing all the good news going on here at Calumet, I'm really glad we're on the shores of O-S-S-I-P-E-E. To help you with the pronunciation, check out this clip.
On Thursday of last week, Pr. Dave Dalzell approached me and asked, "Any chance you know of anyone who might be able to take some of us family campers on a sunrise pontoon boat cruise? We want to try and find a moose!" There's a little joke in this, of course. Dave's wife, Sarah, who has been coming to NH for her whole life -- and now lives here in Laconia -- has NEVER seen a moose. Now it's the mission of her friends (and husband) to find a moose for Sarah.
Calumet Program Director, Matt Lewis, woke up early Friday morning, grabbed the pontoon boat key, and met a spirited group of alums who were camping in the campground. Pr. Dave and Sarah Dalzell, Pr. Steph Smith of Our Savior in South Hadley, Sue Smith, and Mindy Olson set sail for a one hour sunrise cruise. Check out the clip and see what we saw!
Jerry Pesch, family camper from Rhode Island, said to me this morning, "The sermon today was excellent!" Last Sunday, from Staff Alum Hannah Henry, "Pastor Niketh's sermon was so good." And the week before that, Dave Carlson of Freedom said, "Pastor Rinas' sermon was excellent." It's great to hear comments like this because Calumet aims to be a place where guests, campers, and staff members can hear top notch preaching. Coupled with uplifting hymns and anthems, the Sunday morning worship at Calumet is just great.
The Outdoor Chapel was packed this morning with nearly 600 people from all over New England! What a morning!! Pr. Scott Cady from Emanuel, Manchester in CT helped the gathered group think about the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. 2nd Chance, the praise band from Faith Lutheran in Andover, MA provided musical leadership. Awesome!
It's always great at the Family Campground. We have 65 sites for RV and tent camping, and we have such a blast!! Yesterday, I snagged some footage of typical things taking place in our Conference Center. The goings on in the office, the food being prepared for supper, and the Bible Study that is available to guests. Bible Study leader is Pr. Jon Niketh of First Lutheran Church in Lynn, MA. "The term Bible Study isn't exactly accurate," Pr. Jon says. "There should be a different word." Faith exploration time? Word and Life? I don't know what the term should be either. I do know that this group just loves being together, reading the Word, and talking about how it fits into life ... or maybe how our lives fit into it? Hmm ...
Calumet is one of those places where that little kid from Boys Cabin 4 can just be himself and that girl from Girls Cabin 7 can just be silly. It's really the way it should be! That sense of safety to be oneself is not an accident. Calumet staff members, particular the awesome counselors, go through a whole process making sure they have what it takes to lead a group of campers. It's starts with the interview way back in the fall. Does the candidate possess the desire to have fun and keep kids safe? Does the candidate live a life that is in line with the ideals set forth by the awesome camp? Volunteer? Put the other first? Understand the sense of team? Care about sharing faith stories and enjoy being in community? Want to help young people grow in faith and in confidence? Calumet campers can be silly, have fun, try new things, and explore issues of faith because our staff ensures that they'll be safe, that they'll be supported when things don't work out, and that this community is about building one another up! Campers love Calumet! Thanks to the entire staff for making it all possible!!