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.
During January and February, I had the chance to attend 3 Recharge Conferences throughout the midwest. I talked with a lot of Youth Pastors and shared about what AC has to offer.
Recharge is a one-day conference for youth pastors and youth volunteers. They hold these winter events all over the Midwest. I had the privilege to be an Exhibitor for Adventurous Christians at 3 of these locations: The Twin Cities, Cedar Rapids, and Duluth.
I had the chance to speak to over 100 youth pastors and leaders about AC. One of the things I like to emphasize is how AC takes care of all the details of planning a camping trip. I always say something like this:
“Youth Pastors spend countless hours planning the details of every Wed night, every Sun morning, every program. Many youth leaders might want to do a camping trip with their youth group, but the task of planning such a trip is too daunting. That’s where AC comes in. Let us worry about the camping. You just have to get them up there. Once you’re there, just focus on developing relationships with your students.”
I was very encouraged by the conversations that I had. This was our second year attending these Recharge conferences. One thing that stood out to me this year, was that people knew who we were. Many of those in attendance remembered us from last year. On more than a few occasions, someone would say something like “oh yes I was hoping you’d be here because I want to talk to you about a trip!” This was very encouraging.
God is doing great things at Adventurous Christians. They had an amazing winter season. Continue to pray for the staff and pray that God would bring new groups up this summer.
I recently asked a few people a simple question: “Why do you give monthly to Covenant Pines Ministries?” Their answers were succinct, meaningful and personal.
“Why do we give monthly to CPM? We give monthly because we believe in the power of camping ministry and in Covenant Pines. By giving each month – it is a discipline for us that helps us keep Covenant Pines in our thoughts and prayers on a regular basis. Covenant Pines was instrumental in our own faith journeys as kids and as staff members. Now it is an important part of our own children’s faith foundation. By giving each month we feel like we stay connected to this important place.”
“As a young boy I attend a camp that was affiliated with the Lutheran church I grew up in. The foundation for my decision to become a Christ follower was largely formed from those early experiences. As a parent and now a grandparent, about the best we can do for our kids and grandkids is to model Christ-like behavior. CPM knows how to reach kids in a way that family and even church does not.”
“We give to Covenant Pines because we love the ministry it provides along with all the fun. We grew up going to Covenant Pines in the 60’s, our boys went there, worked summers there and married girls that worked there. Covenant Pines has changed so many lives and we love giving so it can continue to be a place our grandkids and others can learn about the love of Jesus.”
“We give monthly to CPM to show our commitment to the year round ministries offered. The hope is that our giving, along with others who give monthly, allows CPM to operate knowing there is a level of consistent and dependable monthly financial support. In our personal lives, it is beneficial to know what income we will have on a monthly basis so that we can best plan for the future, it’s reasonable to believe that an CPM would benefit from knowing the same.”
Becky and I are monthly donors and if asked why, I would respond because I want to help CPM achieve its vision to “Change A Life.” My life was changed by God through Covenant Pines Ministries. I want that to be true for others.
In addition to receiving individual financial, product and equipment donations, CPM has two monthly giving groups that each serve a different purpose:
Friends of Covenant Pines Ministries
This giving group was established with the purpose of providing financial resources to support capital improvement needs. Donors give on a monthly basis to ensure our facilities and equipment are maintained and updated.
New in 2017, this giving group was established with the purpose of providing financial support for CPM’s operational needs. Donors give monthly to provide a healthy financial foundation for ministry to be built on.
I encourage you to consider participating in one of these two giving groups. Your donations provide resources that enable our ministry to thrive. It is a 2017 goal of mine to strengthen Covenant Pines Ministries by increasing the number of donors who give monthly to CPM. You are able to give on-line or through the mail. Please indicate if you gift is part of a giving group.
I look forward to having you partner with us.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms.” John 14:1-2
Everyone is welcome in God’s Kingdom. As Jesus says in the passage above, God’s house has many rooms. The way you might hear us say it this summer is “Our King has a giant castle!” We like to connect the summer theme of CPBC to the theme of Day Camp in a visual way. So we’ll be emphasizing royalty, castles, Kings, Kingdoms, etc. at our Day Camps.
Our King desires for all of his children to find their way to Him. He has prepared a room for every single person on this planet, no matter who you are and what you’ve done. No one is beyond grace and redemption. All you need to do is believe in Him and His Prince, Jesus.
More than that, we are excited to talk about being welcoming and hospitable. These are concepts that are all over the Bible. In Scripture we see Jesus spending time with outcasts, traitors, and enemies of his people. We want students to know how to live out that hospitality in this world. One of the ways we do this is by sharing the amazing gifts God has given us.
searching for a day camp staff
We are in the process of hiring for this upcoming summer. We are looking for 4 exceptional individuals to run our Day Camp Program. The positions available are:
- Day Camp Director
- Day Camp Assistant
- Worship Director
- Activities Director
A description of these jobs can be found here.
Each year we hold an Annual Meeting for Covenant Pines Ministries. It’s a time for friends and participants of all 4 Ministries to share a meal together and hear stories. Every Annual Meeting has a different ministry focus. Last year we focused on Adventurous Christians. This year we are very excited to emphasize Silver Beach Family Area.
Silver Beach became part of this family of Ministries in 1992. For years, Silver Beach was a family resort that resided next to our McGregor property. Over the years, the staff at CPBC developed a relationship with the family who owned the resort next door. In ’92 they felt that it was time to move on and offered to sell the property to CPBC. The Board of Directors discussed and prayed. They felt God’s call to purchase the site. Since then, God has used that space to bless families and bring them closer to one another.
We are very excited to reflect on God’s work in this ministry and look ahead at what’s in store for it’s future. Please join us at the Annual Meeting!
Where: Salem Covenant Church, New Brighton, MN
When: Thursday, April 20th at 6PM
RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
be a delegate for your church
There is some formal business that takes place at this meeting. Each owner church may send 2 delegates who are able to vote on official matters. More than 2 people from each church are welcome, but only 2 may vote.