VISION OF CAMP AMNICON
Camp Amnicon is an outdoor outreach ministry that strives to connect the mission of the church and the care of God’s creation through high adventure outdoor program experiences and retreats.
BRIEF HISTORY OF CAMP AMNICON AND WHY IT EXISTS
Camp Amnicon was founded in 1966 by Central Lutheran Church in Downtown Minneapolis, with the mission of bringing disadvantaged youth from the urban wilderness to the green wilderness. Amnicon particularly seeks to serve those young people who have been faced with a deficit of resources of love in their lives; our donors make it possible to offer ‘campership’ funds to groups in need. We find that these campers are especially effected by the love of Christ shown to them by our staff and the assertion that they, too, are “capable, lovable children of God.”
Amnicon was originally conceived of as a ‘laboratory for Christian community,’ and this identity continues today. At Amnicon we regularly see the powerful change that comes over a community when they have the opportunity to encounter God in the wilderness together. We see wilderness trips as an opportunity to practice the special kind of community we are called to as Christians–we see a summer on staff in the same light. Ultimately, we see our ministry as ‘Body of Christ’ work–we strengthen the bonds of small groups of youth and families, who go home to strengthen their churches, their neighborhoods, and their world in the work of Christ.
WHAT IS A SUCCESSFUL TRIP FOR CAMP AMNICON?
Their most basic goal and marker of success (beyond basics of safety, obviously!) is that every camper knows and believes our mantra–that they are “a capable and lovable child of God.” We see this come true in the ecstatic grin of accomplishment upon finishing a set of rapids (if I can do that, what else can I do?) the coming together of groups despite differences (if you can love me, then maybe God can…)and through the tirelessly loving work of our guides, who live in every moment the truth that each camper, no matter how difficult, is worth their time, their muscle, their patience, and their love.
DURATION OF TRIPS
Trips are usually 4-5 day expeditions.
HOW THEY TRAIN THEIR GUIDES
Staff training is 17 days long, and includes Wilderness First Aid certification through the Emergency Care and Safety Institution, two trips, and many hours of hands-on behavioral leadership experiences, from wet-wood fires to behavioral scenarios to devotional leadership. Their staff manual has been compiled over 21 years of leadership by executive director Alana Butler and includes sections on Leadership, Trip Prep, Trail Standards, First Aid and Safety, and Theme and Resources.