Whether we are parents with school-age kids, singles, empty nesters, or retirees, we tend to think about summer as a time for VACATION! It must be our traditional academic calendar imprinting which creates this idea that June, July and August are the right time to take a break, get away, and change things up.
As you explore your options, I would encourage you to check out Unitatarian Universalist camps. Attending a week-long Summer Institute or Summer Assembly has become a ritual for many UUs. In fact, attending a UU camp each summer is one of the most common ways UUs participate in their faith. Some people who rarely show up on Sunday morning would never miss their week at camp!
So what are UU camps like? At MUUSA where I have gone for several years, we start the day with Worship led by the week’s minister. Then the children and youth go off to their programs, and adults attend workshops ranging from choir, hiking, folk dance, the Bible, financial literacy, to yoga, and flower arranging. The location is the YMCA’s Trout Lodge in Potosi, Missouri. Meals are cafeteria style. Accommodations range from cabins, motel-type rooms, to tent camping. The camp has a lake, boats, ropes course, horseback riding, and putt-putt. Evenings are full of more worship, dancing, coffee house, and fireworks for July 4 th . There are UU camps on islands off the NH coast, in northern Minnesota accessible only by boat, at Oberlin College, and many others all over the US and Canada. They range in size from 1200 attendees to 40.
So why go?? These camps are a great way to meet other UUs, grow and expand one’s faith, and relax. You can go with your family or you can go alone. Most attendees are in the reach out and expand mode, so you are truly welcomed and included. Camp is a wonderful combination of time alone and time with the ones you came with—your kids, spouse, hometown friends. For a pre-packaged type vacation, the costs are very manageable and there are scholarships available. Ask Julia and Greg Whiteker about OMD SI. Ask me or Susan Porter about MUUSA. Take a look at the website www.cu2c2.org for a long list of camps.
So, time to plan those summer adventures! I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!