Camp Christian Update

Christian Church In Ohio

By The Christian Church in Ohio & Camp Christian Committee – Wednesday April 29, 2020

Dear Ohio Region,

     For 70 years the summers at Camp Christian have been the highlight of the year for so many people.  It’s abundantly clear from all of the messages of prayers and support we received over the last few weeks, as well as the number of RSVPs for our modified summer programming that Camp still holds an important place in the hearts and minds of the people of Ohio.  The love and passion that so many show for Camp Christian is a great blessing. This has been, and continues to be an amazing and beloved community.

     This is an update that we had hoped to never have to write.  It is with broken hearts that we share with you the decision to not open Camp Christian for the 2020 summer season.

     For the past month, the Regional Staff, Camp Christian Committee, Regional Treasurer and Regional Moderator have been in prayer and discernment.  We have all been meeting regularly to discuss and plan for the possibilities of camp this summer.  In monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic and following the latest health and safety information from the Governor’s recommendations, we have determined that it simply will not be possible for us to safely or effectively open Camp Christian this summer.

     A number of factors went into this decision, including the logistics of being able to purchase enough food, keeping camp clean, being able to have access to cleaning, safety, and medical supplies (so many of which are now being rightly prioritized by hospitals and medical centers), and enforcing safe social distancing practices for the youth and young people who would attend our summer programs.  Above all, the health and safety of our campers has been our focus and our mission and with that in mind, we have decided to close Camp Christian for summer 2020.

     To be clear, it is still the intention of the Ohio Region to have Camp next summer.  This is not a permanent closure of Camp Christian.  Although we will still need to do some fundraising and we may still need to adjust some of our logistics and health protocols between now and then, we will be working diligently this entire year to provide the safest and best camp season in 2021.

     We are deeply saddened and grieving this loss.  We know that many of us have been praying for a different outcome.  We know that many of us have already suffered so many losses in the past couple of months, and to lose time at Camp too can feel unbearable to some.  Please know that although we feel this is the right and responsible path forward, that does not mean that it is not a difficult and disheartening path forward as well.

     In the coming weeks, the Directors and Officers of our various camps and conferences will meet virtually to begin discussions on alternative programming options we will be able to offer in the coming months.  By the end of May, we will share with the Region what programming will be provided so that we may still find ways to fellowship together this summer.  We cannot replace the green chair circles, the warm glow of the torch, or the ringing of the bell, but the Holy Spirit is still moving in Ohio and the billions of stars that we see in the night sky at Camp Christian are still shining.

     We know that it has been difficult for many of us to hold on to hope in this strange season of our lives.  Many of us are mourning now, and that is okay.  Our God is with us in our grief.  And when we are ready, God will move with us in hope and new possibility, finding ways forward through this camping season and the next.  Ultimately, our God is a God of hope.

     Our God of hope helped us receive over 450 RSVPs for our modified camp program when we set a goal of 400.  Our God of hope helps us to imagine alternative programming opportunities that would have been impossible even 10 years ago.  Our God of hope helps us to work together with Directors, Officers, Faculty, ADs, Counselors, and Staff to be able to connect with young people in contemporary and creative ways.  Our God of hope helps us to know in our hearts that the mission of Building Beloved Community can never be cancelled or delayed, but springs forth like water from a rock in what feels like a desert season in our lives.

     We are eternally grateful for your prayers and your passion for Camp Christian.  Together we will move forward in healthy and faithful ways so that generations of people will continue to come to know the love of God through Christ at Camp.

     If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to Regional Program Director Rev. Alan Dicken at

Love and Blessings,

Regional Staff

Regional Moderator

Camp Christian Committee

Regional Update

Dear Ohio Region,

Happy Eastertide!  We have continued to be in prayer with and for each and every one of you especially over the past couple of weeks of celebrating Holy Week and Easter in new and different ways this year.  We hope you are staying healthy and safe and will continue to pray for healing and hope for us all as we move forward together in our faith and in our congregations.

We know that a lot of people are concerned about plans for camp this summer.  We have been receiving messages from concerned parents and pastors who don’t believe it will be safe to open camp this summer.  We have also been receiving messages from concerned parents and pastors who want to make sure that we are able to offer camp to youth and young adults now more than ever.

We wanted to take a minute to share with you that we appreciate all of the contact that we have had in the past couple of weeks.  We know that everyone is coming from a place of wanting to do what is best for our youth around Ohio.  It is so moving to see the deep care and compassion that so many people have for the young people in our churches.

This letter is just to keep everyone updated with the process of how and when we will be making our decision about camp this summer.  A few weeks ago, after meeting with the Finance Committee and the Camp Christian Committee subcommittee on Covid-19 response, we proposed an alternative condensed camp program for this summer. 

Based on the information that we had at the time, we believed that postponing camp until July, but still offering one week for each age group at camp offered an opportunity for us to be safe and faithful to our campers.  This contingency plan is based first and foremost on health and safety recommendations of Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton and secondarily on gauging whether or not there was enough interest in this alternative camp program, by setting a goal of 400 RSVPs by April 26th.

We plan to have a virtual meeting between the Regional Staff, Regional Moderator, Regional Treasurer, and the Camp Christian Committee subcommittee on Covid-19 on the evening of Tuesday, April 28th.  In that meeting, we will discuss the possibility of camp this summer.  We will be taking into account the most up to date information available from Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, as well as the reality of the health and safety procedures that would need to be implemented at Camp Christian.

We will reach a definitive answer to the question of our summer camp programs in that meeting, and will share that decision and any related plans publicly from the Region by Thursday, April 30th.

Again, we appreciate all of the questions, concerns, hopes, and prayers that we have been receiving.  Together we will make the decision that we believe is most faithful for Ohio, Camp Christian, and most importantly for our youth and young people.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Ohio Regional Program Director, Rev. Alan Dicken at

Peace and Blessings,
Regional Staff
10335 Maple Dell Rd
Marysville, OH  43040
Phone: 614-433-0343
FAX: 614-433-7285

Things to Celebrate!

Greetings Ohio!

The Camp Christian Committee has a few things that we want to celebrate and share with all of you.

SUMMER CAMP: The number of campers who have already sent in their RSVP for our altered camp schedule this summer has been wonderful. As we ask and encourage you to continue to send in your RSVP’s for camp, we want to reassure everyone that the safety of our campers, counselors, visitors and staff is our number one priority. Even though we are moving forward with an alternative schedule for this summer, we are constantly monitoring the ever-changing information sent out by our state leaders and keeping that at the forefront of our conversations. Should anyone’s safety appear to be compromised by the Covid-19 situation, we will alter our plans however necessary so that we are doing our part to keep everyone safe. Until that happens, let’s keep those RSVP’s coming!

The last day to RSVP is April 26th!

GREEN CHAIRS: Our Green Chair Fundraiser has been a huge success! Over 30 chairs have been purchased and will be given a home at Camp Christian. We still have a few more chairs available so go to the regional website for more information and to purchase a chair.

Thanks to the “Green Chair Crew,” that has been working on these chairs the past several months. No matter what happens this summer, the green chairs will be a great addition to Camp Christian for many years to come.

A THANK YOU TO TED: April 15th marked the one-year anniversary of Ted Nelson joining our regional staff as our Campsite Manager. The year has gone by quickly but all of Ted’s hard work and dedication to helping make Camp Christian the best camp it can be has not gone unnoticed. We are grateful for all he has done throughout this past year as well as his continued use of his talents and gifts to help fix, build, clean, and care for these sacred grounds which we call Camp Christian. THANK YOU, TED!  

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes. 5:16-18

Summer Program Update

Greetings Region of Ohio,
     Every day we are in prayer for our region.  We are in prayer for all those who are church leaders, both clergy and lay.  We pray for those who belong to our congregations. We pray for healing and hope for us all.  We also pray for our leadership, that we may be guided by the Holy Spirit to do what is safe and faithful.

 Every day we also take in new information about this Covid-19 situation, and we make adjustments to our daily lives in many ways. These recent updates and projections have now shifted from looking at our response to the virus in terms of days and weeks, to looking ahead in terms of months. That shift has caused us to look at how we will need to approach our camping program at Camp Christian.

embers of the Regional Staff, the Regional Church Council, and the Camp Christian Committee (CCC) have been staying up to date with all of the mandatory changes laid out by Governor DeWine. We know that we must comply with the best practices for the safety and health of those who come to Camp Christian.  We also know that opening Camp at all is still at the mercy of this health crisis. But we know too that some people need Camp now more than ever.

As a result, we have come up with a creative contingency plan for this summer that allows us to still be able to offer summer programs for the youth and young people of Ohio.  To offer a safe and faithful camping experience this summer, we have laid out the following: 

  • Our programming will have to be postponed and we will begin the Summer Camp season in July.
  • Our summer programming will have to be condensed and we will offer one week for each of the age groups:
    • CYF Conference will be July 5-11, for youth in grades 9-12
    • Chi Rho Camp will be July 12-18, for youth in grades 6-8
    • Otter/Ribbit Camp will be July 19-25, for children in grades 2-5
    • Advance Conference will remain July 26 – August 2, for young adults ages 19-29
    • (Grandparents Camp is looking to reschedule sometime in the Fall)
  • The schedule and programming for each week will be slightly different than in past summers, and the details of those programs will be made public once the directors and leaders of the various weeks have a chance to organize and plan.

     In addition to safety and health concerns, we are doing our best to be fiscally responsible with our regional resources.  In order for us to be able to afford to open Camp, even in this postponed and condensed format this year, WE NEED to total 405 attendees throughout the month of July, an average of a little over 100 people per week.  In the coming weeks we will need attendees to RSVP (payment to be made at a future date) here so that we can have a good idea of how many campers we will be serving this summer.  

It is essential that everyone who is planning to come RSVP’s by April 26th.  If we do not have enough RSVPs, we will not be able to open Camp at all this summer.

    We want dearly to believe in faith over fear and to operate out of a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity, which is why we have put this contingency summer camp plan in place.  However, we know that things are changing rapidly in this climate, and we want you to know that we will also take steps to ensure everyone’s safety first and foremost. The Regional Staff and CCC will continue to meet in the coming weeks and months to continue to discuss our shared passion for camp ministry while putting health and safety at the forefront of all of our decision making.

    Please continue to pray for one another and to pray for this region that we may be guided by God’s wisdom and discernment in this process.  Thank you for your support, patience, generosity, and most importantly, thank you for your love of Camp Christian and every young person who has ever found a home here.

    Peace and Blessings,

    Camp Christian Committee & Regional Staff

Please direct all questions to Rev. Alan Dicken, our Regional Program Director, at