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Generosity, Happiness, Thankfulness… Which comes first?

Posted by on November 20, 2018


Ann Higgins,  Director of Development

It’s the season of Thanksgiving, complete with feasting and family gatherings and football. It’s also a time when many of us give of our time and resources to help those less fortunate in our communities. All of these things are good. And all of them make us feel good too (unless your sports team loses!). Being happy and content is a good thing, but it’s also something that is elusive for many of us, evidenced by the plethora of books and articles that have been published recently on the subject.  Just google “how to be happy” and you’ll see what I mean!

There have even been scientific studies on the subject and many of them have shown a link between generosity and happiness, specifically, that generous people are happier people. One study, conducted at the University of Zurich and quoted in Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meditation-modern-life/201712/study-shows-generous-behavior-leads-increased-happiness, even makes a biological connection between being kind or generous and feeling better about yourself:

“The study shows that generosity truly is enough to boost personal happiness, and that generosity doesn’t need to border on martyrdom to be effective. Helping others, in any way that we can, is enough to lead us toward a brighter tomorrow.” 

This should be no surprise to believers in Jesus. We know the one who made us, and we are intimately joined to him. We also know that we are made in his image. This creator God of ours is a generous God, giving us all we need for light and life. He provides for our physical needs and also surrounds us with His beautiful creation for us to enjoy. In addition to that, he gives us himself in the person and work of Jesus. Jesus reveals to us the true nature of our generous God when he heals the sick, gives sight to the blind, welcomes the little children, and feeds the five thousand. And then ultimately, he gives of himself on the cross to redeem a people for himself. Of course, our only response is to give thanks and rejoice in this wonderful reality. And then, to go on to model God’s generosity to others!

At Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost, we are certainly thankful for these things and for many other blessings we have witnessed at camp this year. More campers than ever came through our gates in 2018, and we are especially grateful for the 215 campers who made the trek up to Moose River Outpost, our beautiful property in Jackman, ME. We are also giving thanks for the generosity of everyone who boosted the Scholarship Fund by $59,000 during our Weekend of Giving. We were (and still are!) amazed and humbled at this outpouring of love and support. We know that nothing happens at camp without the prayers and support of the camp family.  It is only with this ongoing support that we can fulfill our mission of seeing lives transformed for Christ.

When I think about how many campers and families have come through our gates over the past 75 years, I am amazed at how often we have had the privilege of sharing the good news of the gospel and inviting campers to commune with God amidst his magnificent creation. It’s mind boggling! My only response is thankfulness to our generous Father in heaven. That kind of thankfulness results in something even better than happiness, it results in a deep sense of joy and awe at this wonderful God whom we serve.

At this time of year, let’s remember to not just be thankful in general, but to be thankful to, and for, our generous God! As believers, let’s remember that our responses of happiness, joy, and generosity reflect the nature of our loving heavenly Father, the one who made us to be like him.

References

Soyoung Q. Park, Thorsten Kahnt, Azade Dogan, Sabrina Strang, Ernst Fehr, Philippe N. Tobler. A neural link between generosity and happiness. Nature Communications, 2017; 8: 15964 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15964

Ann Higgins is the Director of Development for Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost where the best part of her job is interacting with the thankful and generous camp family that supports our mission. You can reach her at ann@christiancamps.net

Weekend of Giving: July 20-22, 2018

Posted by on July 12, 2018

Every summer, over 20% of our campers require financial assistance to attend Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost. The need for scholarships is on-going and it’s our heartfelt desire to make our summer camps available to a wider population. Last summer, we gifted over $225,000 to bring more kids to camp.

Be a Changemaker!Commit to helping transform lives by donating to our Scholarship Fund during our Weekend of Giving, July 20th – 22nd. We need your help to reach our goal of raising $25,000 in three days!

Give online at www.christiancamps.net/weekend-of-giving.  You can also help by downloading the graphic above and sharing it on your social media to encourage others to give.  Thank you!

Questions? Please email Ann Higgins, Director of Development: ann@christiancamps.net.

#JointheJourney

Alumni Camp 2018

Posted by on April 17, 2018

Labor Day Weekend – August 31st thru September 3rd

 If you have ever dropped your son or daughter off at MRO and found yourself thinking, “I wish I could come to camp,” then this is your moment! Bring your family and do all the things you hear your kids talking about. Or, come reunite with other staff members, Windfall guides, and WILD friends. Maybe your wife or kids have never seen this place that is so close to all our hearts. Alumni Camp is your chance to Seek Christ, Build Community, and Embrace Adventure! Text your camp buddies, beg your parents, bribe your spouse…whatever it takes, come back to camp!

Download the MRO alumni camp brochure to read more and register!

Friday, August 31st 

2:30 pm Registration

2:30-5:00 pm Waterfront, Tubing & Lawn Games

5:30 pm Dinner & Activity Sign-ups

6:30 pm Evening Game

8:00 pm Bonfire with S’mores

Saturday, September 1st

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am Worship & Bible Study

10:00 am 1st Period

11:15 am 2nd Period

12:45 pm Lunch

1:30 pm Rest Hour

2:30 pm 3rd Period

4:00 pm Free Time: Coffee Shop & Family Ball Game

5:45 pm Dinner – Guys Night/Girls Night

8:00 pm Ice Cream Cake

Sunday, September 2nd

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am Worship

10:00 am Chapel

12:45 pm Lunch

1:30 pm Rest Hour

1:30 pm Optional Hike to Burnt Jacket

2:30 pm Slip’n’Slide or Triathlon

4:00 pm Free Time: Coffee Shop & Waterfront

5:45 pm Dinner

6:30 pm Polish Tournament

8:30 pm Outdoor Movie Night

Monday, September 3rd

8:00 am Breakfast

8:30 am Optional Raft Trip

9:00 am Worship & Bible Study

10:00 am 1st Period

11:15 am 2nd Period

12:45 pm Lunch

1:30 pm Clean-Up and Goodbyes… cry & pry!

The 2018 Work Weekend

Posted by on March 8, 2018

Summer is Coming!

Camp enrollment is coming in faster than ever this year. Lord willing we will have a third summer of growth at MRO! Even now we are getting as much ready as possible.

The re-opening of camp is always a daunting task. Each spring a group of men from Maine churches and a small group of MRO alumni get together in early June to give us a huge shot in the arm by getting the place ready for campers. Join us June 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to eat tons of great food, to be encouraged spiritually, and work hard. This event is a great opportunity for parents to bring your 12 years old or older son or daughter for an opportunity to serve camp. It’s also a great excuse for former staff to catch up with other staff you haven’t seen in a long time. What better way to reunite than by working together and getting a little dirt under your fingernails?

Sleeping arrangements will be in bunk-style cabins. Please bring your own bedding and toiletries. This event is for youth and adults that are eager to work hard. There is no cost for the event.

Projects this year will be boat prep, small engine repair, landscaping, setting up the flower pots/gardens, mowing, firewood, Sebas facelift, finishing the new crafts cabin remodel, smoke detector batteries, lightbulbs, and many much much more.

Click HERE to register for the Work Weekend.

Schedule:

Friday

5:30pm          Dinner

6:15pm          Introductions and projects overview

7:30pm         Campfire/S’mores/Coffee Shop

Saturday  

8:00am           Breakfast

8:30am           Devos/project assignment

12:30pm        Lunch/project updates

5:30 pm         Dinner

8:15pm          Campfire/S’mores/Coffee Shop

Sunday

8:00am           Breakfast

8:30am           Devos/project assignment

10:00am        Coffee Break

12:30pm        Lunch/project updates

1:00pm          Head for home or head back to work!

If you can’t make it and would like to donate to the projects we are doing that can be done HERE. Be sure to click the ‘other” option and tell us you would like to participate in our work weekend by making a donation.