Does our denomination have church camps?

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A new family joined our church and they asked if we had a church camp in Montana. The father of the family ran a church camp in N.Y state. When my daughter was a child she would go to church camps. We do not have a building YET! But we are going to have family camp. We will rent the presbyterian or Methodist camp facility. I would love to have a church camp in Montana. Let me know if our denomination has camps.

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2002

Answers

Our official AME Connectional Camp site is Camp Baber in Cassopolis, Michigan. It was named in honor of the late Bishop and Mrs. George Baber. This is a lovely 54-acre lakefront property which was established under the administration of Bishop and Mrs. Joseph Gomez and is located on property once owned and donated by the parents of Bishop Robert Thomas, Jr.

Its first Executive Director was the Reverend Eleanor Woodcock who died this past January. She was the first of two women ordained Itinerant Elderin the AME Church (1960). Reverend Woodcock gave more than 30 years service to this endeavor and her work made it one, which is second to none, and one, which is fully licensed and accredited by both the State of Michigan and the American Camping Association. I am proud to say that I also served on the staff of this camp during my entire college career in the 1960s.

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2002


Robert thanks for the info. That is indeed exciting. Camping is a way of life in Montana. I do hope some you will visit Yellow Stone National Park, they have inexpensive cabins that can be rented.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2002

Robert:

This is indeed great information about AME camp sites. Do you know approximately how far the Connectional camp is from Detroit, MI? I am now interested in planning a future retreat meeting at this location. It's really amazing the information you can receive by only asking the right question. Thanks Denise for the question and thanks to Robert for the response. QED

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2002


Camp Baber is situated in Southwest Michigan (Cass County) about 20 miles from South Bend, Indiana. This makes it actually closer to Chicago (approximately 90 miles) than to Detroit.

Since it was began and supported for many years totally by the Fourth Episcopal District, I would suggest that anyone planning a major event or retreat using this facility should first contact them for prior scheduling. During the time I was on the staff, there was hardly a week in which some organization from the Fourth District had not booked it to its full capacity.

Since the camp has both temporary and permanent housing facilities. It may be possible that it can accommodate more than one group at the same time. However, this is something you will need to ask the persons who schedule the events.

Here is the Address and phone number listed on the Internet Camp Baber, (616) 445-2630, 23515 Pokagon Hwy, Cassopolis, MI 49031, Camp Baber Ame, (616) 445-9976, Rr 2, Cassopolis, MI 49031 Since, it is basically a summer camp, if no one answers your call, you may need to contact the Fourth Episcopal District Office for more specific details.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2002


I believe the 13th District also has Camp Primm in development. I dont' know its current status, but it was reported on int he Christian Recorder "recently".

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2002


Under the pastorate of then Reverend now Bishop A. J. Richardson, Bethel AME Church, Tallahassee had/has a "camp" named Bethel on the Lake. I'm not sure if it's still operational or not. Brother Dickens what's the latest on Bethel on the Lake?

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Joyce:

You are correct. My church does have a recreational site. Bethel by the Lake unfortunately is not in proper condition to be considered for real camping activities. Major renovations/upgrades are needed to make it safe and attractive for overnight stay. Funny you should ask about Bethel's campsite because I raised this point just last night at our church conference. The campsite has great potential but potential doesn't attract and retain patrons. QED

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002


I pray that the congregation, district/conference will come to the rescue of this beautiful site. With all of the retreats planned for our episcopal district, I see no reason why we have to go to camp yale, or the camp here in Tampa, both run by other denominations, or continue to make hotels our destination, when we have Bethel on the Lake.

I hope that the consensus of the congregation is to restore/repair this beautiful site.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002


Hi, my girlfriend told me about this discussion. I am currently the Executive Director at Camp Baber. I can be contacted at 313/895-4800 x23 for information about the Camp and Scheduling. As stated, Camp Baber is located in Southwest Michigan in the Village of Cassopolis. We have 57 acres and is fully operational year round. We are supported by the Connectional and Fourth Episcopal Districts, however, we will accept groups from other denominations. We are fully licensed by the State of Michigan, but currently is not accreditated. We are in the process of being accreditated by Summer, 2004.

Camp Baber was founded in 1949. If there are any other AME camps please contact me. We are a member of Christian Camping International and we can receive a denominational status if there is more than one camp in the AME Church.

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002


Yes "Dr.QED Dickens", Camp Baber is a wonderful site for a retreat. The Bishop holds ministerial retreats there. The District Lay,WMS and YPD hold retreats and meetings there as well. Many churches travel to Baber for their annual picnics. The children's camp is in full force during the summer. We consider it a blessing to have this "treasure" in our midst and Ms. Caldwell seems to be doing a fine job as Executive Director. Perhaps we should we should have our BB Reunion there. (Smiles)

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002


Welcome to the board Mrs. Caldwell. I live in Bozeman, Montana. We have 3 A.M.E churches in our state and my daughter and I are planting a fourth church in another city in Montana next month. One of my dreams is to have a church camp in Montana for our churches and the connection. I live one hour from yellowstone national park and one of the things that saddens me in the summer, is that there are not alot of african americans visiting Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is the first national park in America. If we had a church camp that might also help other A.M.E churches visit our state. All the major denominations in Montana have a camp. Please share with us what facilities that you have and some camp experiences. And to my biological sister I love you. And since the Michigan conference lay organization officially made me an honorary member (Thank you for the certificate) I now feel like camp baber is mine also.

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002

Oops I forgot to mention which of my biological sisters I was referring and I was talking about Barbara Robinson! By the way Carmen, Brenda and Rev. Higgins, Rev. Wiggs are also my biological sisters and of course Barbara Ransom. God has to spread us out to do his work;-)

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002

Ms. Caldwell,

Welcome to the A.M.E. Today Discussion Board. It is my hope that I shall soon meet you and Barbara Robinson, whom I have also met on this board.

One of the most memorable times of my life and one of the most blessed and joyful experiences I have ever had was the time I served on the staff of Camp Baber in the mid Nineteen Sixties. This was also during the time of the late Reverend Eleanor Woodcock, the mother of Bishop Robert Thomas, Jr., and Bishop and Mrs. Joseph Gomez. Perhaps you were there at that time also and I just donít recall your name. Since that time I have not been able to return. However, I look forward to coming once again to lovely Camp Baber for rest, relaxation and retreat.

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002


Robert:

I recently read where Bishop Gomez's daughter has written a book about his life. Do you happen to know the title? QED

-- Anonymous, December 30, 2002


The title is, "In Darkness With God..." The Life of Joseph Gomez, a Bishop in the African Methodist Church, by Annetta Louise Gomez- Jefferson, Kent State Univ. Press, Kent, OH 1998. It is very good reading.

-- Anonymous, December 30, 2002


Thanks Barbara. Isn't Gomez's daughter a faculty member at a prominent university in the midwest? QED

-- Anonymous, December 30, 2002

Bishop Gomez' daughter is professor emeritus of theatre at the College of Wooster in Ohio. She was at the 2000 General Conference with copies of her book. It was a pleasure to see and speak to her. I would refer to her as a genuine "diva."

-- Anonymous, December 30, 2002

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