Monday, April 13, 2009

The text of the Chronicle article

(this is what my previous post talks about - my article in our church newsletter)

As my favorite website (and slight obsession) told me recently, Americans are becoming increasingly less Christian. In addition, there are concerns about dwindling congregations in Episcopal churches around the nation. A while ago, a family friend and wise mother of two of our youth at Calvary asked me how my friends and I managed to stay so involved in the Episcopal Church. At a time when many young twenty somethings are either sleeping in on Sundays or exploring other religions, my three closest best friends and I are happily at home in the big house with red doors, our favorite book, the BCP (Book of Common Prayer), in hand.

While my faith formation at Calvary was integral to my belief in the teachings of the Episcopal church, I truly believe that I would not be as active in the church and as steadfast in my beliefs as I am today if it were not for my experiences in the camp community of Camp Gailor Maxon, and in later years, Winterfest. Growing up the daughter of two researchers, I always look for facts to back up a hypothesis. I felt validated then when the American Camp Association (ACA) released research findings stating that there was a statistically significant increase in spirituality of campers from pre-camp surveys to post-camp surveys given at church-related camps. In addition, the ACA cited church-related camps as integral in the growth of self-esteem, leadership, values, and social comfort.

During my days at camp, I did not realize the implications of being in such a nurturing community – I thought camp was a fun place where I could sing songs about God, eat smores, and make best friends. As I got older, our spiritual discussions grew deeper and eventually I started to realize that this group of people I had grown close to one week out of the year for many years had become my rock during times of change and confusion. At least six of us are youth directors, many are volunteers within their parish church, and even more are faithful congregants. We wear our Episcopal shield flip flops and “Top Ten Reasons to be an Episcopalian” t-shirts proudly.

I strongly encourage you and your child to explore the camp opportunities available this summer and to take part in this amazing experience.

Camp Gailor Maxon 2009

Monteagle, TN

Pre-Camp Friday, June 5th - Sunday, June 7th

Rising 1st, 2nd & 3rd graders with a parent

Camp I: Sunday, June 7th - Saturday, June 13th

Rising 10th, 11th, 12th & college freshmen

Camp II: Sunday, June 14th - Saturday, June 20th

Rising 7th, 8th & 9th graders

Camp III: Sunday, June 21st - Saturday, June 27th

Rising 4th, 5th & 6th graders


Contact Charles H. Beaumont with questions:

Find the research here:

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