Our Vision

Camping and Retreat Ministries of the Desert Southwest Conference

Camping & Retreat Ministries:
creating space for grace

Immersive spiritual experiences for people of all ages.

About Us: 
Our Vision for Camping and Retreat Ministries 
in the Desert Southwest Conference

Camping and Retreat Ministries exist as an extension of, and resource to, the ministries of local United Methodist Churches of the Desert Southwest Conference. Our ultimate purpose is to nurture and equip people of all ages as disciples of Jesus Christ who work for positive transformation in our world. 

The Camping and Retreat Ministries of the Desert Southwest Conference will work both to (1) directly provide and (2) resource local churches to provide uniquely immersive experiences designed to nurture Christian faith. With this purpose in mind, the following have been identified as important emphases for both experiences and resources provided by Camping and Retreat Ministries:

  • Fun – camp and retreat opportunities should include games and activities that appeal to potential participants
  • Safe–the provision of a safe space for all such activities and ministries
  • Inclusive–opportunities designed and made accessible for all people, from children through seniors
  • Connected to God–the opportunity camps, retreats, and our campgrounds can provide for a feeling of connectedness to God and God’s Creation
  • Immersed—immersive experiences distinctive from our usual day-to-day schedules and settings, providing an opportunity to disconnect from day-to-day responsibilities 
  • Life in Christian Community—camping allows building and living in Christian community in such a distinctly different environment
  • Spiritual— spiritually formative experiences rooted in Christian faith and practice, and particularly our distinctive Wesleyan heritage
  • Christian service— inspiring participants toward positive transformation of the world
  • In-depth leadership development—providing unique opportunities within a camping framework of youth and adults, both in focused programming and through the use of trained volunteer staff
  • Culture of radical hospitality—welcoming all people
  • Expanded–broaden our base of operations, utilizing not just our conference campgrounds (Mingus, Potosi), but also local churches and other available “set-apart” locations in urban, suburban, and rural communities
  • Connectional—connecting local ministries, clergy, youth leaders, and laity from local churches
  • Dedicated–a willingness to “go the extra mile” in our connections and ministries with local ministries

Very often, camps and retreats are treasured experiences that inspire individuals in their Christian faith (and often inspire them to return!). As we work to provide and resource these ministries for our local United Methodist Churches, we will do our best to provide times of Christian discipleship and community that are fun and spiritually formative.  As we plan, discern, and lead camping and retreat ministries we will continually seek those that are going to serve and enhance our purpose as described above.