The Ogren family has been coming up to Silver Beach Family Camp for the past few summers. A few months ago we asked them to write a little bit about what Silver Beach means to them. Sandra wrote back about her experience as a wife and mother:
I’ll never forget the first time we came to Silver Beach in 2014. We booked a week in one of the new Lakeside Cabins. We arrived to discover not only was the cabin new but we were one of the very first guests to stay in it! In fact, they were moving in furniture when we arrived. And then we met the Silver Beach director, Angie, and her family. We knew we had found not just a great vacation spot, but a very special place for families to know and grow in Christ.
“One of the greatest blessings to us as parents is the fact that the kids can run and play and have freedom to explore and test their limits and abilities and we can watch them grow in their abilities each year.”
Our week at Silver Beach has become the highlight of our family’s summer. It is the place of so many firsts for our kids. Henry caught his first Bass off the dock when he was 6. He also got up the nerve to go down the water slide for the first time overcoming a huge fear of his. Will climbed the tower or the first time last summer when he was 5 and did crate stacking like the “big kids” too. Each summer they look forward to another “first.” Maybe this will be the year they try the Big Swing or the Zipline or even the blob or black light dodgeball. There is always something new and exciting for them to try. One of the greatest blessings to us as parents is the fact that the kids can run and play and have freedom to explore and test their limits and abilities and we can watch them grow in their abilities each year.
When we leave camp each summer we take home more than just memories! Our breezeway is littered with brightly colored rocks that the boys have made in the craft hall each summer and they won’t let us get rid of a single one! We recently had an exchange student ask our family why our whole family had so many brightly colored T-shirts. We had a chance to tell her all about our vacation each summer to a special place called Silver Beach and the fun we have making tie dye shirts together as a family (although I do think I may have enough now!) I love having these reminders in our home, they make me smile as I remember being with the boys at camp.
“We have become friends with the family who rents the cabin next door to us each year and look forward to catching up with them each summer.”
Growing up as a camper at Covenant Pines I knew all about camp, however my husband didn’t have the same opportunity. Now, thanks to Silver Beach, Bill and the kids get the chance to experience what I did as a kid but we get to do it as a family! From the minute we start packing to go, the kids can’t stop talking about all the things they are going to do, how many survivor bracelets will they make or what will be the new craft this year? Who is going to get the highest in crate stacking and will mom PLEASE try it this year! 🙂 What snacks will there be in the Fun Shack and how many T-shirts will they get to make. Silver Beach offers not just a place to stay, but a rich Christ-centered experience for everyone.
Last summer we had the chance to spend some great time fellowship with the other families who were staying at Silver Beach. We have become friends with the family who rents the cabin next door to us each year and look forward to catching up with them each summer. The improvements that have been made to Silver Beach have been great, the fire pit outside the new cabins truly became a gathering place for families in the evening. It was so nice to meet around the campfire, sharing food and stories and laughter while the kids made a mess with s’mores! We made some new friends and renewed past acquaintances.
Families have lots of choices for a lake/resort vacation in Minnesota but Silver Beach offers a unique, affordable vacation experience for our family of 5. Nowhere else would we have such great access to an awesome beach with all the water toys and boats, a luxurious cabin with everything you need plus enough activities to keep the kids busy if you’d like or the freedom to do nothing at all! Plus, you get Angie and her staff who are always there to answer questions, chat about your day, offer prayer for your week, take you to chapel or drive the Hayride to Dairy Queen!
When we leave camp each summer, my son always cries. He has had so much fun that he doesn’t want to ever leave! I feel the same way, camp does that to you. Camp is a place where I went as a child and met lifelong friends, mentors and ultimately my savior Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that Silver Beach will be that for my children and for many years to come!
Sandra, Bill, Henry, Will and Liliana
We are so excited about who God has brought to AC this summer.
On the first day of training, the AC staff did something called an acclimatization hike. This hike brings them on the road less traveled. These pictures were taken right when they got back.
Get to know this staff a little bit! The first part of their description is what Northwoods animal they relate to most. The second part of the description is just a little bit of their background.
Max – Program Director. Moose – majestic from afar, clumsy & gangly up close. Max will be a senior at the University of MN Duluth in Organizational Management. Max is from Buffalo, MN and was a camper & returning staff from 2015.
Kirsty – Trail Guide. Honey Badger – care-free and often times messy and/or aggressive. Kirsty is graduating from Northwestern College in Mpls. in Kinesiology & Bible. Kirsty is from Hillsdale, MI and is a returning staff from 2016
Sara – Trail Guide. Flying Squirrel – energetic and not afraid to fall. Sara will be a Junior at the University of MN Duluth in Music & Chemistry. Sara is from Hudson, WI and was at AC as a camper.
Adam – Trail Guide. Pine Martin – witty, scrappy, stubborn, and occasionally mischievous. Adam will be a Junior at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN in Computer Science. Adam is from Mound, MN and visited AC last fall.
Joshua – Trail Guide. Bald Eagle – Loves the Unites States and is also bald. Josh will be a Junior at University of Central Arkansas in Environmental Science with Biology emphasis. Josh is from Pocahontas, AR and was at AC as a camper.
Rebecca – Rover. Beaver – was a Bemidji State Beaver. Becca will be a Sophomore at Bemidji State University in Nursing. She is from Cambridge, MN and was a part of Mink Lake down the Trail.
Kristin Theilen has been hired as the 2017 Day Camp Director. Kristin has been a familiar face at CPBC Summer Camps since 2014. She just finished up her Education degree at North Park University. We are incredibly excited for her to bring bother her camp experience and Education expertise to this job. She is also excited to lead the Day Camp team. Kristin wrote a quick note to introduce herself and express her excitement for the summer:
“Hello! My name is Kristin Theilen and I am the Day Camp Director this summer! In December I graduated from North Park University in Chicago with a degree in history and secondary education and a minor in math. A lover of England and baking, the quickest way to my heart is through tea and cupcakes. The past three summers I have had the privilege of counseling at Covenant Pines Bible Camp and now I am excited to transition into this new role! This summer I am eager for many more games of whip ‘n strip and perfecting the process of tie dye, but I am most looking forward to the opportunity to partner with churches each week and work with the rest of the day camp team.”
Every year we try to build upon the success of previous summers. One of the ways we are doing that this summer is by increasing our Day Camp staff from 2 to 4 people. We have tremendous faith that Kristin is the right person to lead this bigger team and give each camper a quality experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Day Camp program, 2017 Dates & Locations, please click here.
Covenant Pines Bible Camp, located in McGregor, MN, is looking to hire a full-time program director to help lead our program ministry. This person is primarily responsible for overseeing our summer Bible Camp program, Twin Cities Day Camp, as well as various retreats throughout the year. We are looking for a creative individual who has a passion for sharing God’s love in an outdoor setting. A more thorough job description can be found below. Please send resumes and cover letters to email@example.com.
We are very excited about our new website. The new site is mobile responsive, intuitive, attractive to new visitors, and full of information for returning visitors. But more than that, our new site reflects a significant change in what it means to be “Covenant Pines.”
Over the past few years, God has led us to ask some big questions. Who are we? What is Covenant Pines Bible Camp? What is Adventurous Christians? Silver Beach? Day Camp? What does it mean to be Covenant Pines Ministries? What is our purpose? What is our mission? Our new website is one way that we are communicating the answers to those questions.
Why we exist
Camp Changes Lives.
That’s what you see when you land on our homepage. Those three simple words. We believe it’s true and that’s what drives us. That’s why the McGregor property was purchased in 1954. That’s why Adventurous Christians was founded. That’s why we bring Day Camp to the Cities. We have seen God grab hold of people at camp countless times. At camp, God gets our attention. He tells us He loves us. He convicts us. He saves us. He gives us direction. He gives us strength for the next step in our journey with Him. Of course, God is doing this at all times and in all places, not just at camp. When your life is changed, it’s the Holy Spirit speaking and it’s you making the choice to listen and respond. Camp helps with this process by removing obstacles, creating a loving community, and pointing you toward Christ. All you have to do is take a step.
The staff and board, under the leadership of our Executive Director, Dave, spent some time reevaluating our mission statement last year. Through some prayer and discussion, the board decided on this:
The mission of CPM is to encourage campers to take a next step in Christian faith.
We have a shortened version of this: “Encouraging campers to take a next step in Christian Faith.” This is the mission of everything we do in all of our ministries. Anyone who participates in anything we do is considered a camper. Whether you’re 3 or 103, you’re a camper. Whether you’re at Women’s Retreat or on a Canoe Trip, you’re a camper. Every camper will be encouraged to take a next step while they are participating in our programs. We don’t know exactly what that step is for everyone. Only God knows that. But our loving staff, the beautiful environment, and our intentional programming will gently encourage you and help you discern what that next step is. Our goal is that this happens for all ages at all of our ministries.
covenant pines ministries
Covenant Pines Ministries (CPM) is 4 different camping experiences: CPBC, Adventurous Christians, Silver Beach, and Day Camp. However, we have noticed that many people aren’t aware of that. For the past few years, we have sought to unify these 4 Experiences.
You may have noticed that we have changed the way we present Covenant Pines in our communications. Our newsletters are no longer separated into one from CPBC and another from Adventurous Christians. The emails you get from us are now from Covenant Pines Ministries and contain news stories from all 4 ministry centers. You may have seen some of our banners, pamphlets, videos, and web graphics that include all 4 ministries.
If you’ve been paying really close attention, you may have noticed that we change the way we talk about Covenant Pines. We have been intentional to say “Covenant Pines Bible Camp” when referring to CPBC instead of just “Covenant Pines.” You may have heard our staff say that we are a “Family of Christian Camping Experiences.” Maybe you’ve heard Dave say that we are “1 Ministry, with 2 properties, and 4 ministry centers.”
The new website seeks to solidify this even further. The design, to the organization of pages, and even the web address all work to convey the fact that we are 1 ministry.
new site structure
One site for all 4 ministries
Previously we had 5 separate websites; one for each ministry and one for Covenant Pines Ministries. Now we’ve condensed it all into one website. We tried to design the site so that it is still very easy to navigate to a specific program or ministry.
condensing what we offer
Everything we offer has been condensed into 5 categories. Previously, you would have to first determine what ministry your desired event would fall under, navigate to that ministry site, and then find the program. Now it’s all accessible from our homepage. The 5 categories are below:
- You’ll find summer camps, day camps, and family camps information.
- Here you’ll see Adult Retreats, Youth Retreats, Family Retreats, and planning/hosting your own retreat with us.
- This is where you would go if you’re interested in renting a cabin for your family or friends. You’ll be directed to Silver Beach and Adventurous Christians
- Outdoor Adventures
- This category is for all of AC’s programming: Wilderness Retreats, Canoe Trips, and The Crossover.
- Any standalone event: Golf Tournament, Annual Meeting, AC Banquet, Parent Coffees, etc.
“For Parents” Page
Something else we’re excited about is our “For Parents” section. This falls under “Camps” and can also be found on the sidebar of all individual camps such as “Trailblazers.” This page functions as your one-stop shop for answers to your questions. If you’re looking for a packing list, bus departure information, scholarship information, etc. it’s on there.
for both new and returning visitors
We took a look at our website analytics and found that around 52% of the people who come to our website are new visitors; meaning they are visiting our website for the first time. We want these new visitors to feel welcomed into our unique community. We want them to know who we are and what we do almost instantly. We also want to guide them seamlessly toward whatever program they might be interested in.
However, we also know that many people who use our site are coming back because they want to quickly find some important information, read our latest news, or find a link to send to a friend. We believe that this website is helpful for both new visitors and returning users. If you have no idea what you’re looking for, the website will guide you. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, it should be very easy to find.
This new site was designed and developed by Malley Design. We enjoy working with this company immensely and not just because the owners used to work on summer staff at CPBC. They have been instrumental in helping us convey the message of who we are and what God is doing through Covenant Pines. We highly recommend them to anyone needing design work.