Experience White Memorial Camp!

Cancellations and Continuations 2020

2020 Vision: Camp’s Plan for This Season

2020 Camp Cancellation Letter

Greetings White Memorial Camp Family,

After much soul-searching, debate, research, prayer, and communication with health and safety
organizations, WMC has concluded that we are unable to operate our 2020 Camp Season with a
quality camp experience our campers have come to know and love, while still keeping everyone safe
during the current COVID-19 Pandemic. We have made the decision that most White Memorial Camp
sessions and partner camps will be cancelled for the 2020 season. Currently, we plan to operate Local
Kids to Camp, because it is limited to our local population. WMC will be contacting campers over the
next two weeks to discuss the options available regarding registration fees and deposits.

White Memorial Camp Cancellations Include:

  • Arrowhead
  • Cottonwood
  • Last Blast
  • Cornerstone Camps
  • Young Adventurers
  • Prairie Run Cross Country
  • Camp Celebrate
  • Family Camp
  • Ag Camp

WMC serves youth of all ages, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and individuals
with a wide array of health needs. Camper safety has always come first at WMC and now is no
exception. The safety guidelines and recommendations set forth for Resident Camps are well thought
out. When considering the logistics of adapting our camp to this structure, it did not add up to an
enjoyable WMC experience. If we could have figured out a way to run our traditional camps, we
would have. Instead, we have set our sights on the future and developing an incredibly awesome
2021 camp season!

COVID-19 has proven to cause difficult and disheartening times for many. Please know that you are
not alone— we are all in this together. Camp is not just a place. Camp is the people. Camp is the
experience. You can still capture the camp magic this summer. Try reaching out to your WMC
friends, sing some camp tunes, play camp games with your friends or family, and show us your best
s’mores recipe from home!

WMC wants to bring as much connection into your lives as we can. Checkout our social media, call or
email us, and stay connected. We will offer videos, pictures of camp, staff, virtual hang-out sessions,
family staycation packages, camp kits, discounts on 2021 registration, contests, and more.
We thank you for your continued support— for your phone calls, emails, answering our surveys, and
sharing & liking our social media content. We miss you. We are wishing you all the best. As soon as
we can be together again safely, we will. And it will be so much fun!

Justin Whittaker, Director
[email protected]

Camp Goes On- Safely. Slowly. Someday. Soon?

As discussion is growing about COVID-19 and the upcoming summer, we thought it was time we reached out to you, because no matter what information we are hearing and observing, it is YOUR opinions and preferences we NEED to best serve our unique community.

PLEASE take a few minutes to give us some feedback. Here is a link to the WMC Summer Survey:
https://forms.gle/6ncjE4yCJJPZa1pD6.

We want to know how our WMC Family is feeling about this upcoming 2020 season.

WMC is continuing to work with our partners and the Morris County Health Department to plan and understand our road ahead. We want to ensure that when the time comes, and we re-open camp to the public again, that we are ready and can ensure the safety of our campers.

Thank you for your continued support, patience, and input as we do our best to make decisions about our 2020 season!

P.S.- Amongst all of this grim news, and the seriousness of this outbreak – our hearts and prayers go out to anyone aaffected by the illness, social or econimic struggles, and of course the heroes caring for our sick and keeping up with our basic needs.  

Our current contribution is simply to try and spread laughter and joy. So we hope you enjoy this silly video.

#ExperienceWMC 30 Days of Giving Fundraiser

logo 30 days of giving campaign.

The WMC 30 Days of giving fundraiser was extended into 45 days. We are so thankful, grateful, and blessed by EVERYONE that helped to BUILD up Camp! Your support helps us to GROW the WMC scholarship fund and provide quality outdoor adventures for youth, families, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

We drew five raffle winners— Victoria, Anne, Sarah, Andrew, and Luca. THANK YOU to all of our SPECTACULAR supporters of Camp Life!! #ExperienceWMC #ThankfulGratefulBlessed

$20 Entry Fee. Players receive a WMC themed Dynamic Disc included with registration. A representative from Dynamic Discs will be on site for live disc golf tutorials. 

To honor our newly redesigned 9-Hole Disc Golf Course and to raise funds for our White Memorial Camp scholarship fund, WMC is hosting an Open Tournament and welcomes folks to join in the fun of the 2019 Inaugural Harvest Festival- complete with food, beer, music, and yeah, some adventure. Come join us!

Disc Golf Course Description: 9 Holes, Par 27, 2,435 ft

WMC course site includes water stations, restrooms, and on site activities such as: Axe throwing, Gaga Ball, Zip-Line, Rock Wall Climbing, and much more!!! Stick around after the tournament and join in the fun of the Harvest Festival. Disc golf competitors receive a discount on festival tickets.

Register here for the Disc Golf Tournament

 

Saturday, September 21 Harvest Festival

Mark your calendar for the WMC Harvest Festival. Fun for the whole family! Follow the WMC Harvest Festival Event on Facebook for updates!

 

SCHEDULE

12:45 PM – 1:00 PM Disc Golf  Registration

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM Disc Golf Tournament with Dynamic Discs

2:00 PM General Admission Opens!

2:00 PM – 8:30 PM Beer Garden, Cornhole, Ladder Golf, Yard Jenga, & MORE!

2:30 PM – 8:00 PM Hay Maze, Camp Grounds, Sports, & Games

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Ag Olympics with FFA

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Prairie Surfing

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM Disc Golf Workshop with Dynamic Discs

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM Zip line, Rock Wall, & Cargo Climb

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM Game of Throws: Axes, Archery, & Slingshot

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Hayrack Rides

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Gaga Tournament

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Old Fashioned German Dinner

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Laser Tag, Free-for-all Gaga Ball, & Outdoor Sports

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM Polka Cats!

7:30 PM Announce Raffle & Tournament Winners

8:30 PM Closing 

 

GUEST FEES

FREE General Admission: includes Ag Olympics, Axe Throwing, GaGa Ball, Prairie Surfing, Hay Maze, and WMC Outdoor Sports and Amenities.

Disc Golf Tournament: $20 (includes tournament entry and collectable disc.) Get registered for the Disc Golf Tournament HERE!

CLIMB-ON! Activities: Zip-Line: $5 each and Rock, Cargo, Milk Crate Climb: $5 each

Dinner and Music: $10 Old Fashioned German Meal and Live Band 

Beer Garden: $4 per drink

Harvest Festival Flyer (PDF)

Hi, everyone –

Here is a review for the festivities and fun!

Folks are invited to come anytime, even the night before. However, there are no plans for breakfast or any formal activities prior to the worship time. The restrooms in the dining hall will be available. No charge for campers, tents, RVs, etc. Cabins or an apartment may be reserved, space available, for which there will be a charge. Either way, arrangements to stay overnight must be made through the WMC office.

Worship will be held at 10:30am. We’ll be at Vesper Point, unless there is rain or threat or excessive wind or some other nasty thing. If that happens, we’ll meet in the dining hall. There is a fairly good amount of seating, but it might alleviate overcrowding if a few folks were to bring lawn chairs.

The potluck will begin about noon. We want to keep labor requirements as simple as possible, since at times our hardest workers have missed out on some of the fun. So . . . 

We hope some folk from each congregation will bring a dish or some sort – salad, dessert, side dish, main dish or whatever. I’m sure there will be plenty of food, so please do what you can to see that no one stays home because of the hassle of preparing a dish! There will be ovens, refrigerators and freezers available. The camp will provide trays, flatware, napkins and drinks. Peace Alma will provide meats: grilled burgers, hot dogs, and maybe some smoked meat that can be prepared ahead of time. A few of you have said you would bring a grill. Again, wanting to keep things simple, we’ll not make a big deal about this. Hopefully several volunteers can work together to make short work of the cleanup.

Activities the rest of the day: There will be plenty of camp fun! Swimming in the pool, kayaking or paddle boating in the lake (or try out our giant splash mat!), archery, axe throwing, zip-lining, rock-wall climbing, the infamous Gaga Ball, 9-hole disc golf, pickleball, volleyball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, ladder golf, cornhole, a playground – still not satisfied? How about Prairie surfing?!  Maybe someone wants to bring a kite?! Besides kite flying and the hayrack ride, there will other more “relaxed” activities. There are a variety of board games and card games in the dining hall, there are trails to walk and discover. There’s shuffleboard and a few hammocks. It’s definitely “pick and choose,” but I don’t think anyone will be bored. I know – a lot of this is “weather permitting.” Pray for a good day! Yet even if we’re inside there are plenty of team games the staff can lead, board games, trivia competitions, or maybe we can create a miniature golf course like a youth camp did a couple years ago! Either way, it’ll be an authentic camp experience!

Folks can stay as little or as long as they like. Activities requiring camp staff will wind up by 4:00pm. Hope to see you soon!

2019 Third Quarter Newsletter

A Great American Tradition: Community Service at its Finest

Thanks to a partnership with Symphony in the Flint Hills, Rock Springs Camp, Camp Wood, Emporia Main Street, and others, we were able to host a team of ten Americorps members at WMC for two weeks. What a wonderful bunch of individuals from across the United States (California, Ohio and several from the Northeast.) We are one of their final stops of a ten month long tour.  They leave July 5th – and we have been busy! They’ve cleaned up our shorelines and stacked an abundance of firewood, painted lines for a pickle ball and tennis court, repaired all of our picnic tables, put benches at Cedar Point, built a firepit at Inspiration point, tilled our vegetable garden, weeded existing flower beds, painted and repaired steps to the waterslides and added depth markers at the pool, rebuilt our new ropes course element “spider’s web” making it more accessible, and relocated another low ropes course obstacle to safer ground due to erosion. Flooding prevented us from renovating our labyrinth and installing our temporary dock, but we’ll keep them on our ongoing improvements list. THANK YOU AMERICORPS!!!

Read the entire 2019 WMC QTR3 Newsletter (PDF)

2019 Second Quarter Newsletter

What’s been going on at WMC?

Everything is GREEN! Camp came to life overnight. Since then, we’ve hosted Envirothon again, Wisdom Keepers, Council Grove Conference and in May we’ll have a church retreat and BraveVoice.

Tour De Camp: WMC has been promoting camp and job opportunities at Baker University and the Salina Farm Show. Also, look for our display in the Council Grove Chamber of Commerce window this May!

High & Low Ropes Challenge Course had its annual inspection complete with a few upgrades! Come see what we’ve changed on our course and experience the Giant Swing, Leap of Faith, and Spider’s Web! We also held ropes course training for our camp and others on-site at WMC this year thanks to Challenge Quest, LLC! We hope to invite more organizations to take advantage of this local training in the near future.

Read the entire 2019 WMC QTR2 Newsletter (PDF)

The date is February 15, 1965. Two years prior, a large piece of prairie land was donated to the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ by a local family of which our organization is named- White Memorial Camp. Council Grove Lake had just become operational for flood control in 1964. The rocks from the new reservoir were to be used to build the structures of WMC. Before the camp infrastructure was built and water levels would fill the lake, WMC began hosting the very first work summer camps dedicated to developing the site.

Thanks to a group of passionate people with a vision to use outdoor education as a means of expanding the church, camp still stands strong on that solid foundation. Camp was quite literally grown from the native, local stone into a unique and spiritual place.

One man and his family would begin shaping the WMC legacy. Enter, Harry Kasitz, WMC’s first Camp Host.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Harry. I arrived, with recently retired Pastor John Austin and WMC Accounts Manager Tricia Austin, at his home in Newton, Kansas. Harry is 93 years old.

He arranged his kitchen table with photos, news articles, budget reports, and letters. While we sifted through 17 years worth of camp history, Harry and Rhonda, Harry’s caretaker, entertained us with quirky anecdotes about camp. Some stories were comical. Others were quite meaningful and delved into the true spirit of camp and how a summer experience with the right mentors, just might save a life.

My favorite stories were about overcoming the perils of the prairie. In one such story, snakes infested the rocks people were trying to relocate. Harry arranged for a flock of 2,000 sheep to be brought to camp to stomp on the snakes as they grazed the hard to reach places. I didn’t ask him what he had to bring in to get rid of the sheep! And then there was the weather. It turns out tornados do not wait around for cabins to be built.

The first year, there was no running water and nearly 500 campers stayed in tents on platforms. Harry spent much of his early days hauling water to and from the kitchen. To feed campers, chickens and cows were purchased from local farmers. I was glad to hear that camp has always had delicious food! To attend camp in 1967 it cost $27.50. Although times have changed, the experiences remain priceless.

Other traditions that remain strong, other than a constant need for tire repair, are the emotional farewell Friday mornings experienced by our campers with ID/DD who spend the last hours of camp missing everyone and planning for what they will sing at Vespers the next year. As for the youth camps, we still gather around the dinner bell donated by the Santa Fe Railroad. We still build faith, community and friendships. We still make lasting memories and have unique experiences that only a summer camp can provide. We still act goofy, get messy, and sleep outside (albeit this time, by choice.)

I think of the myriad of projects we currently have going on and I sometimes feel overwhelmed. Then, I think back to Harry’s great leadership and the early days- the uncertainty of a new camp, the intense manual labor, the know-how of the workers, the dedicated volunteers, the community contributions, and the vision it took to bring WMC to life. That gives me something to aspire to. I am grateful for our safe place and cherished amenities. Join us this summer and let’s make our own memories!

Thank you Harry, and to everyone who was there in the beginning.

And thank you to the snake-squashing sheep,there are too many of you to name.

Hope to see you soon! Justin Whittaker

Read the entire 2019 WMC QTR1 Newsletter (PDF)

Experience WMC Coloring Page

Make your world more colorful with our Experience WMC printable coloring page! This is the perfect activity to keep your camper happy and active during these cold winter snow days we keep having. Plus, we would love to have you share your completed coloring page with us on Facebook and Twitter. Get to coloring and ENJOY!

Click HERE to print your EXPERIENCE WMC coloring page…