Following a nearly yearlong process to learn from stakeholders including parents, donors, staff, and retreat organizers, Camp Hanover’s board of directors affirmed the foundational pillars of the Camp’s ministry and defined three core beliefs in creating a strategic plan to guide Camp Hanover’s work into the future.
“As we developed our strategic plan, it was important that we honor the 65 years of ministry at Camp Hanover, while defining what makes Camp Hanover unique and how our ministry impacts the people we serve and the world we live in,” said Jennifer Gwyn, president of the Board.
A Solid Foundation Built on Love, Relationships, and the Sacred Space of God’s Creation
Camp Hanover’s ministry is rooted in the love of Jesus Christ and the call to love one another. The time-tested, small-group model driving Camp Hanover experiences allows every child of God to answer this call and form deep relationships. The natural beauty of Camp Hanover is sacred space, an outdoor sanctuary which invites and inspires people to grow in relationship with God and each other.
Digging into this foundation–one built on love, relationships, and the sacred space of God’s creation–helped the board articulate and illuminate three core beliefs.
The first belief focuses on welcome and inclusion. Since its beginning in 1957 as a racially integrated camp, welcoming and valuing all people has been key to Camp Hanover’s ministry. Just as Christ tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, Camp Hanover strives to be inclusive of everyone, with no exceptions.
Formation by shared transformational experiences is the core of the second belief. Wherever they are, people are shaped by the experience they share with one another. The community-building and leadership skills practiced in Camp Hanover’s small groups are experiences like no other, molding each child of God and equipping them for the world beyond camp.
The third belief is about our connection to creation. As we grow in our relationships with God and others, this connection is revealed. We awake to opportunities to respond to God’s call to be stewards of the earth. In turn, nature’s power and beauty inspire people to grow deeper in their relationship with God and one another.
Campers enjoy quiet time together in their longhouse during a recent week of summer camp.
Welcome and inclusion
Formation by experience
Connection to creation
Beliefs Inspire New Mission and Goals
These beliefs inspired the new mission for the camp: to create inclusive community, inspire each other to live in God’s love, and equip all people to live out God’s call.
In pursuit of this mission, Camp Hanover has established four goals for the near future:
- Creating a year-round invitation to camp by expanding faith-based programming
- Developing a deeper engagement with the secular community through robust educational opportunities
- Offering transformational experiences to more people
- Investing in stewardship of our physical and human resources
If successful in this mission, the Board’s vision is a world where all people know God’s love and embrace Beloved community: a community in which everyone is valued and cared for, free from poverty, hunger, and hate.
“This next chapter of the Camp Hanover story is an exciting one. Embarking on this mission and achieving these goals means more people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds will have the opportunity to experience the power of camp,” said Doug Walters, executive director. “And transformed by God through their experience, they’ll go out and change the world.”