God is Good – All the Time: Reflection of Summer Camp 2022

God is Good – All the Time: Reflection of Summer Camp 2022

“God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!” This was a gathering call at Camp Claggett’s Youth Camp July 17-22, 2022. Camp Claggett is the summer camp sponsored by the Episcopal Dioceses of Washington and Maryland and run by the Claggett Center in Buckeystown, Maryland. As a chaplain at Youth Camp, I witnessed over fifty 7-10 year-olds make friends, try new things, and explore their faith in fun ways. “God is good!” a counselor would call. “All the time,” the campers would respond. “All the time,” the counselor would echo. “God is good,” came the campers’ answer. While a statement of fact at all times, this sentiment felt especially true at camp where God’s goodness was frequently felt in palpable ways.

Each morning began with breakfast, followed by chapel and small group. Then campers engaged in a variety of activities including a ropes course, canoeing the Monocacy River, hiking Sugarloaf Mountain, swimming, and games. After a lunch break, more of the same occurred, followed by downtime, dinner, evening fun and chapel.

This year’s camp theme was Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Campers were encouraged to live out and to look for acts of justice, kindness, and humbleness. I witnessed several myself. Campers cared for one another. On our walk back from canoeing, one camper noticed that one of their peers was lagging behind, weighed down by their backpack, the uphill walk, and the heat. The first camper offered to carry the other camper’s backpack. The invitation was accepted with gratitude and relief. This example of kindness moved me and filled me with an almost overpowering feeling of hope.

God is good all the time! God’s goodness is evidenced in the kindness, justice, and humbleness of God’s people, especially the youngest, God’s children. Our young people have been through a lot these last two years. Life has been altered. But goodness is still present. Kindness abounds. My experience at camp reminded me of this essential truth. As I accompanied campers on their trips, watched them braid friendship bracelets, build relationships and extended kindness to one another, I was reminded of God’s goodness.

Camp Claggett offered me a snapshot of God’s goodness and a reminder that that goodness is embedded in each of us, especially in our rising generations.

This experience is available to you and your families, too. Camp Claggett offers a variety of summer options including camps for elementary, middle and high schoolers; as well as camp for the entire family and other special interest camps. If you are a community leader, share this information with your folks. If your families haven’t experienced the type of community that camp can create, encourage them to learn more about Camp Claggett. I am happy to speak with your parish about Camp Claggett and share more information about the uplifting experiences camp provides. It’s never too early to begin planning for summer 2023. Why not schedule a glimpse of God’s goodness into your calendar?

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell
Missioner for Faith Formation and Development

Join EDOW in Celebrating Pride!

Join EDOW in Celebrating Pride!

Capital Pride events return to Washington, DC this June and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington will be there to celebrate! This year, for the first time, an official diocesan contingent will march together in the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11 and host a booth at the Pride Festival on Sunday, June 12.

Saturday’s Pride Parade is an opportunity to get outside, have fun, represent the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement in Washington, and show solidarity with and love for our LGBTQIA+ siblings. We invite all interested congregations and Episcopal communities to unite under the diocesan banner.

The Pride Festival on June 12 is a day of entertainment and advocacy. Located along Pennsylvania Avenue, the festival features over 300 exhibitors, from faith-based groups (like us!) to service organizations, artists, educational institutions and more (did we mention there’d be food?!?). Members of the bishop’s staff will partner with volunteers from around the diocese to host a booth so we can share information about our wonderfully welcoming communities.

Information about specific times and meet-up locations can be in these Pride Parade Instructions.

If you and/or your community are interested in joining the diocesan contingent for the Parade or stopping by the diocesan booth during the Festival, complete this form.

If you and/or your community are interested in helping to crew the diocesan booth at the Festival, complete this form.

Contact the Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell with questions or for more information.

#HavePride365

Summer Camp is Awesome!

Summer Camp is Awesome!

There’s nothing like the opportunity to spend time in nature, hang out with your peers, play games, and learn about Jesus. And I say this as an introvert, someone who gets their energy from being alone. As a child I was shy. Leaving home was difficult for me. To be honest, at first, the thought of spending a week away from my family was kind of scary. But with a little encouragement, I braved the unknown. And once I did, I found so much meaning in my camp experiences.

As a child, I learned lots of exciting new things like games, crafts, songs, and stories. As a teenager, I formed lasting friendships with folks I would have never known otherwise. At camp, I was able to ask questions about my faith and about Jesus. And with my new peers and our camp leaders, I got to explore my own answers to those questions and to learn from other people. I also learned that I was part of a large community of Christians, beyond my congregation, who faithfully loved Christ and showed me that loving Jesus could be fun.

The Episcopal Dioceses of Washington and Maryland partner together to offer stunning camp experiences over the summer at the Claggett Center. I look forward to serving as a camp chaplain one week in July at Claggett. I hope you will encourage your children to participate in camp, too. Outdoor fun, community, fellowship, and connection are all the more important after the two years we’ve been through. Consider having your children–or the children you pastor–experience the blessings of camp this summer.

The Claggett Center will host an Open House about all things summer camp on Sunday, April 3 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Come check it out!

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell
Missioner for Faith Formation and Development