$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.
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!
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!!!
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.
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.
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!
Once upon a time in the heart of the Flint Hills, surrounded by a glorious lake, was a fantastic place where everyone was welcome and anything could happen! Take part in the epic tale.
Registration is now OPEN! Sign up to receive the EXTRA early discount, free camp t-shirt, and be entered to win prizes such as; limited edition t-shirts, sleeping bags, s’mores kits, camping gear, camp discounts and more!
Join us for fellowship, meditation and renewal while viewing the Center for Action and Contemplation “Conspire 2018” webcast. It will be a weekend of contemplative teachings, practices, reflection, and conversation with Richard Rohr, Barbara Holmes, Brian McLaren, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Mirabai Starr. Let’s breathe together. Inhale and exhale, listen and share, let go and receive while in the beautiful surroundings of WMC at the Council Grove Reservoir. Proceeds from the weekend retreat will benefit Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice (MAPJ) and Ecumenical Campus Ministry (ECM) at K-State.
A very special thank you to everyone who arrived full of energy, ideas, and passion. The hard work truly paid off and we got camp closer to being ready for the fast approaching summer season. We simply could not do this without the continued support from our volunteers and camp family. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Plus, we had a great time!
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS! Your support helped to make Work Hard, Play Hard 2018 a huge success. Thank you Ray’s Apple Market, The Tire Shop,Bachura Family Automotive, TCT, Pizza Hut, Saddle Rock Café, and Dairy Queen for your contributions.
Saturday’s work crew included Ron Graham, Susan Graham, Bill Pooler, Ruth Pooler, Hannah Pooler, Katelyn Pooler, Paul Beck, Penny Selbee, Don Peterson, Dan Force, Jeremy Force, Ray Whittaker, Dovian Whittaker, Josh Whittaker, Justin Whittaker, Marguerite Fredericksen, Abby Philips, Morgan Scott, Vonda Shayne, Rocky Spittles, Frances Alexander, Jeff Keller, Shirley Spittles. Pam Lansing, Gary Rowley, Nancy Rowley, Praesha Emmert, Cecilia Emmert, Emma Fraye, Sarah Steele, Maddie Steele, John Lansing, and Jamie Bratu.
WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED
· Flagpole was set up.
· Tetherball base was set in new location.
· Basketball goal was reset and rim repaired.
· Volleyball net was hung.
· Playground and volleyball pit were weeded.
· Volleyball pit edging was installed.
· Picnic tables were scraped, sanded, and painted.
· Fourteen chairs were reupholstered.
· Disc golf basket were moved to their new location.
· Flowerbeds were weeded and cleaned.
· New cross was raised and installed at Vespers.
· Boat dock was taken apart and pulled onto shore for repair and relocation.
· Pool bathrooms were scraped, power washed, acid washed, and are ready to be painted.
· Swimming pool was power washed, inspected and prepped to be filled for the summer.
· Volunteers cooked a delicious dinner of pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, and veggie pasta.
This year, we highlighted just a few of the many that have contributed to White Memorial Camp’s mission over the years. We know there are many more out there. We honor everyone who volunteered Saturday, as well as all of the unseen and unsung heroes that help support, donate, pray for, and promote the WMC Experience.
Harry Kazits: WMC’s first director. Harry raised his family here at camp. His incredible efforts left a lasting positive camp experience.
Byer Family: Burk was integral to the construction and development of the camp grounds and facilities as we know them today. We hope he and his family know how grateful we are.
Debby Schwarz, Kathy Seibert, Glenda Bauer, Amy Redmon: These four women have spent years leading our retreats for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Debby, Kathy, and Glenda spent countless hours planning activities, crafts, snacks, themes and even more hours supervising, dancing with and mentoring our guests and our volunteer counselors. We could not have had so many successful years without their support. Amy does the same. She still leads Cottonwood camp and is looking for volunteer counselors this summer. It’s incredibly fun and rewarding!
Thanks to our on site staff. They’re constantly working behind the scenes to provide all of our guests with quality care.
Pam Lansing’s continued efforts, ideas, and creativity around the camp don’t go unnoticed. She takes each guest’s needs to heart and ensures that camp provides them. Plus she knows where everything is!
Shirley Spittles’ compassion, community awareness, and observation skills make her a great consultant when planning events, working with clients, and reaching out to make connections. She is adaptable and looks out for her fellow staff.
Eddie Vineyard is our very own maintenance MacGyver of WMC. He keeps the place afloat and does so with ingenuity and with the future in mind.
Gary and Nancy Rowley are new to the staff, but already their enthusiasm and hard working attitudes have impacted the grounds and facilities.
Jamie Bratu is our new marketing lead, responsible for community outreach. She comes with a creative and positive perspective! She’s been connecting with Council Grove and the surrounding community to help spread the word about the WMC Experience.
Tricia Austin is our volunteer accounts manager. She goes above and beyond in her efforts to monitor camp’s financial future. Bargain hunter, registrar, delivery service, and beyond. Her attention to detail is a super power.
Programming Staff: Sean Gorman, Abby Philips, Morgan Scott, Matt Goeckel, and Elizabeth Baldwin are our most recent summer counselors out of countless counselors WMC has encountered. Thank you all for your time, sweat, tears and your amazing over-sized hearts. You are at the front lines of what we do. Thank you for taking it seriously and keeping it fun!
Volunteer Counselors: Continually fortunate to have an incredible force of folks who come to support our adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Truly a wonderful group of hard working, caring, counselors. The best way to support these counselors who support us and our campers, is to come join them.
White Memorial Camp Management Group, Inc. Board Members: Thank you for your passion, drive, and willingness to support faith-based camping.