We would like to welcome Brethren Volunteer Service worker, Amanda Orndorff, to camp! She will be coming to Inspiration Hills Camp in January of 2021 to complete a 1 year volunteer term.  Amanda is a 23 year old from Woodstock, Virginia who worked as summer staff for three summers at Camp Brethren Woods in Keezeltown, VA.  She graduated from college with a BA in English from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA.

Amanda’s original BVS placement was at Quaker Cottage, a cross-community family center in Northern Ireland. Due to COVID-19, her term lasted only a few months before she had to return home. Amanda is passionate about art of all kinds, nature, and Jesus, and she’s excited to serve at Inspiration Hills in the coming year.

WE REMEMBER…

The last rose of summer was a great reminder of those who have contributed so much to the camp over the years. Our rose garden, planted by Alma Long, is one of those visual reminders of the incredible people who have lovingly help build the ministry over the years. This fall we said goodbye to two more of those incredible people, Bob Patalano and Jean Nesbitt.

Bob (Bobaloo) began his camping career after retiring and served Inspiration Hills as Executive Director from 1999-2009. He was deeply loved by the campers and staff at Inspiration Hills and everyone throughout the Northern Ohio District. After leaving camp in 2009, Bob went on the serve on the district Disaster Ministries Team and spent some much deserved time with his children and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by all.

Jean Nesbitt was a long term camp supporter, camp administration member, and volunteer at Inspiration Hills Camp. Jean was very active in the Northern Ohio District serving in Disaster Ministries, BVS, district youth, and Habitat for Humanity. Jean was best known for her smile and her enthusiasm for volunteering for whatever needed to be done. Her love of biking lead her and her husband Theron to help organize several Bike Camps for Inspiration Hills. We will miss her constant enthusiasm and genuine love for the camp ministry.

 

REOPENING

All camp sponsored events and previously scheduled retreats through March of 2021 have been cancelled. We are still operating at severely reduced capacities and continue to take reservations for small groups of families and individuals that feel safe operating as a “pod” with masks and social distancing in public areas outside of reserved lodges and meeting spaces. The camp has implemented the new guidelines provided by the county Health Department, State of Ohio, and the CDC so that we can safely operate at reduced capacities until the COVID-19 outbreak is under control.

We have many openings and offering reduced rates to compensate for the extra space needed to keep everyone safe. Please feel free to call the camp office at 419 846-3010 if you would like us to host your small group gathering and we will work with you to find the right accommodations for your event.

 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Volunteers are vital to our ministry. They fill many essential roles and complete a large volume of tasks that keep the ministry alive and thriving, while keeping our overall costs to a minimum. This is especially important right now as we face another 6 months with little rental revenue. We are in the process of completing a very lengthy “to do” list that will allow us to reopen with a clean slate. Please let us know if you, your family, your congregation, Sunday School Class, or Youth Group would like to volunteer. We have many projects for all skill levels and time frames. Every hour donated makes a difference!

 

WOOD SPLITTING/FREE FIREWOOD

We have free firewood for the taking, it just needs to be cut and split. Take as much as you want, we only ask that you fill some of our empty wood bins too. Call Dale Allen at 330 621-4574 to schedule a time for this activity, Monday-Saturday only!

 

The Giving Tree Project

2020 has certainly not been what we expected at Inspiration Hills Camp. The normal 24/7 echoes of campers and guests throughout the camp were replaced in mid March with an eerie, overwhelming, silence. The dining hall and kitchen sit empty, the lodges and cabins remain locked, and the lake is peacefully still. We, along with many of you, are experiencing a period of unexpected Sabbath.

These past months have been extremely challenging and refreshing all at the same time. As the weeks of stillness turned into months, we fervently prayed for direction, reflected on our overall ministry, implemented a virtual summer camp program, upgraded facilities to meet new health department guidelines, and began tackling the very lengthy “to do” lists that we normally have no time to deal with.

The camp received several grants and the Federal PPP Loan that allowed us to keep the staff employed through the first wave of the pandemic. Last month, the Northern Ohio District Board graciously provided a grant to fund payroll for an additional 6 months. It is our prayer that there is an end to this pandemic soon so that we can return to somewhat normal and welcome all of you back; in the meantime we need your help.

Several years ago we asked the people of the district to commit to a 5 year giving plan that would allow us to hire the staff and make the improvements needed to become more self-sufficient. We were greatly blessed to have many faithful partners who saw us through some very difficult years of growth. Those years were the beginning of something new and helped to bring us to the place we are today and none of that would have been possible without all of you. Now we need your help again.

Employing staff is only one of the many expenses of operating a ministry. The camp has many fixed expenses that include heat, electricity, phones, operation of our water systems, and the many unexpected repairs. With that in mind, we would like you to prayerfully consider being a part of our new 2020 fund raising initiative, The Giving Tree.

Because it is important to mark significant times of struggle, change and growth with a visual reminder of God’s unending faithfulness, the camp will commemorate this year of unexpected Sabbath with “The Giving Tree” added to a wall in the dining room. We plan to celebrate our congregations, donors, volunteers and prayer partners with the name of each etched into a wooden leaf that will be permanently placed on the tree. I invite each of you to commit to dedicating your time, treasures and prayer to support the camp over the next few years as we build for the future.

We have already received many donations from individuals and congregations and we want to include you as well. We are looking for people to commit to becoming prayer partners, volunteers, and financial donors. Please pray about how you can contribute to the ministry of Inspiration Hills and let us know how you can help by contacting the camp office at 419 846-3010 or email us at info@inspirationhillscamp.org.

We will not soon forget the year 2020. Let’s work together to ensure that we leave an incredible legacy of faith for the generations to come as we mark this moment in history.

The annual Fall Festival and Chicken BBQ are some of the long standing traditions of Inspiration Hills Camp and our biggest fund raiser each year. It is with great sadness we announce that due to restrictions surrounding Covid-19 we are unable to safely hold this event this fall. We do anticipate having a large celebration in the spring when it is safe to do so.

Please consider donating the funds (large or small) that would you normally bring to the festival to help sustain the camp operations over the next several months. All of the extra events including the SYD reunion planned for the 2020 festival will be moved to 2021. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

Creation Speaks! Are We Listening?

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” Psalm 19:1-2 

In the beginning, God created. Today, the wonder of creation is still speaking and teaching us about our creator. The tireless work of an ant, the changing of the seasons, the beauty of the ocean, and the magnificence of a mountain range all speak of the greatness our God and help us to experience Him in new and profound ways. Join us at camp this summer as we get into creation and learn about the incredible wonders of God!