The mission of Northern Michigan Christian Camps is to provide a fun, loving environment for youth to grow in Christian spirituality through educational, recreational, and worship programs that allow youth to live out their faith in the world.
The core philosophy of NMCC is the idea that a Christian summer camp experience can positively shape the spiritual, educational, social, and physical development of youth. The name “Northern Michigan Christian Camps” reflects our core Christian values and Upper Peninsula heritage. Christian education at camp starts with the understanding that all are loved by God. Accordingly, campers are encouraged to be themselves, try new things without fear of failure, and support each other at camp. Christian education at NMCC summer camp is also centered on a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Considerable time is devoted to worship and songs of praise reflecting this belief. Christian education is extended to the camp setting by connecting Christian teachings to the outdoors. Time spent in natural settings is considered a vital means by which campers learn about nature, as well as stewardship and conservation of natural resources. All of these things are seen as central to the responsible use and enjoyment of God’s creation.
NMCC’s educational philosophy starts with the idea that learning is most effective when it is an active process. Accordingly, campers participate in active learning sessions that encourage group discussion, questions, and deep comprehension. Activities are designed to include cognitive and physical experiences that reinforce each session’s material. Much of the curriculum of NMCC uses project-based learning approaches to thoughtfully examine focused topics related to Christianity and the Christian Church in Northern Michigan. NMCC staff also use camp as a setting to educate campers about responsibility. To this end, campers have daily cleaning tasks and are at all times tasked with stewardship of the camp site. NMCC’s social philosophy is based on the idea that all are welcome at summer camp. To this end, campers and staff receive social support throughout the week, encouragement when needed, and praise for completing camp activities. Camp is also used as a setting to introduce campers and staff to individuals from diverse backgrounds. Campers and staff are separated into activity groups that are intentionally composed of individuals of varying genders, ages, and backgrounds.
NMCC’s mission is principally accomplished through its one week summer camp session. Each session has a theme that directs the content of activities, as well as educational, recreational, social, and spiritual objectives. The educational goals of camp are accomplished through twice-daily learning sessions, which cover Biblical history and context and apply the lessons of the Bible to present day events and the lives of campers. Learning sessions are supplemented with activities, such as crafts, group discussions, games, etc…. to reinforce each lesson. Recreation at camp takes place during twice-daily field and aquatics time, which are used to promote the enjoyment of outdoor physical activity. Field time includes a variety of popular games such as Capture the Flag, Barbarians, and Gold Rush, among others, and aquatics time includes swimming, canoeing, and other water activities, such as wading.
The social objectives of camp are to provide a safe, supportive environment for social and emotional development. At camp, care is taken to ensure that each camper and staff member feels welcomed and valued. This environment is created using mutual support during activities, team-building exercises, shared storytelling, and group discussion. The main spiritual goal of camp is to positively contribute to the Christian formation of campers and staff. This is accomplished through worship, music, and discussion. A worship service is held each night at camp, which often includes Christian music and singing. Group discussions are used to discuss the role of faith in each person’s life and to answer questions campers and staff may have about Christianity. In addition to the activities above, many other summer camp activities, such as campfires, sing-a-longs, a talent show, skits, and orienteering are a part of each camp session. Camp is open to youth having completed grades 5-12 and campers are separated into cabins and some activities based first on gender and then age.