Solitude and Community Form Leaders at Wallowa Lake Camp

July 27, 2018

Reflections on the Seven Foundations for Camp & Retreat Ministries

Foundation 4: "Develop Principled Spiritual Leaders"

by Peggy Lovegren, director of Wallowa Lake Camp


To grow spiritually and become a spiritual leader, one needs the space to listen to be able to hear the call of God. So, camp is a perfect place for these ways of being to be cultivated!

Being in nature is one of those “spaces”.  Camp is the place where many people have heard their calling to a life of ministry, whether that means becoming a pastor or ministering to the world in some other way.

Because of the opportunity for both solitude and authentic community in Creation, camps provide a place for people to hear the voice of God through nature.

Sitting along the Wallowa River, watching all of the wildlife move at their own pace and listening to the cacophony of nature sounds, feeling the refreshing wind, smelling mock orange flowers, splashing in the lake. The list goes on and on... When we are immersed in Creation, we realize how much God loves us, crafting and sharing this magnificent grandeur with us.

Camps provide a place for people to hear the voice of God through people.  Having time to visit over a meal, staff who care deeply about each guest, listening to soulful music, hearing the Word of God during morning devotional time, special services at the site, prayers before dinner, in our programming, “thoughts for the day” and Bible Studies.

At Wallowa Lake Camp, I have had the blessing of inviting people to “listen” for God’s call to spiritual leadership. the most amazing one being a guest of a “non-religious” group) and who now is an amazing leader at a United Methodist Church!

Camps also provide a place and the time for people to hear the story of the ancient people of God through the Bible, provided freely to all, in each cabin.

Camps provide a place for people to hear the voice of God in the peace and quiet, under the star filled skies, through the laughter of playing, through being taken care of …so we can let go of the constant chatter in our heads and allow God time to talk to us….allow God time to call spiritual leaders.

Developing Christian Spiritual Leaders is the reason many of us choose to spend our lives as camp directors and camp staff….we know that camps are a special place to hear the call of God and we want to make sure they hear!



© 2014 Camp and Retreat Ministries:

A partnership between The Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church
and The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon