Hello again! This is the third of four emails designed to share the key info needed to "Blaze the Trail" for a safe, smooth, and successful camp experience. Previous emails covered "Between Now & Camp" and "Check-In Day". This week's focus is on the time "During Camp".
To provide daily pictures from around camp and one-way emails to your camper, we use a service called Bunk1. This online tool offers a secure gateway for parents to view camp photos as well as an efficient way for us to process around 300 camper emails per day. You'll receive Bunk1 login info in the email we send on your camper's check-in day. Viewing photos is free. The fees for purchasing photos and/or sending emails are set by Bunk1. Please know we offer these services as a convenience to you and without any expectation that you'll make purchases. Every camper receives a photo of his or her living group as a keepsake at the end of each session; and we offer standard mail service or drop-off mail service if you'd rather not pay to send one-way emails (see "Check-In Day").

  • PHOTOS: Our staff's primary goal is to create safe and fun faith-forming experiences for your camper. Knowing the value of getting to see a glimpse of camp life each day (chapel, living group activities, etc) we have a system in place for sharing daily visuals of that faith-forming fun in action. We also understand that many parents regularly check Bunk1 hoping to see their child's smiling face and that it can be disappointing when that face is absent from the daily batch of photos. Though our photographer and videographer aim to photograph as many campers as possible each day, with 300+ campers per week in small groups spread across 367 acres (and offsite Outpost trips) we cannot guarantee pictures of your camper. Even providing 3-4 daily images of each camper would require taking, organizing, and uploading 1,000-plus photos per day. Besides the logistical challenge, that level of camera presence would be a distraction for campers and detract from the many important moments it takes to build and maintain Christian community within a small group environment. Thank you for your understanding and for helping us provide your child with an experience full of meaningful connection and minimal distraction. (Outpost Parents: Due to the nature of the program, Outpost uploads are less frequent than Village and Sparrowwood.)

  • EMAILS: Emails have a base price of $1 each. Borders, graphics, games, and other add-ons cost extra. Please note that we do not print emails in color - save your money! When you add up the cost of postage and trouble of finding time to write and mail a letter (along with the possibility that the mail service will deliver after camp) you may find the convenience of the email service to be well worth the cost. Write cheerfully to your camper affirming the great experiences he or she must be having and that you're looking forward to hearing all about his or her camp experience.
We put 90+ years of experience into creating an environment where every moment – whether in a worship service or out on the water, around the table or 30 feet off the ground – is about practicing faith in Christian community. The framework for this faith formation each year is our summer theme, which is based on professionally developed camp ministry curriculum that's age-appropriate, based on scripture, and respectful of God's creation. Counselors plan their living group's schedule with the theme of the day and week in mind. This summer's theme is "Creation", which will facilitate campers exploring God’s creation as a way of connecting with and better understanding our Creator, ourselves, and each other. Each day's theme and scripture guide our time in chapel and activities throughout the day:

  • MONDAY: “Invited By Light” | God created light; Jesus invites us to follow Him into the “light of life” and share our light with the world. | John 8:12, Genesis 1:1-5

  • TUESDAY: “Living Water” | Welcoming all people; living water reminds us that faith, love and our relationship with God are moving and active. | John 4:4–15, Gen. 1:6-8

  • WEDNESDAY: “Moving Through Seasons” | Creation reminds us that seasons do not last forever and the beauty of spring is just around the corner. | Ecc. 3:1–11, Gen. 1:14-19

  • THURSDAY: “Purpose For Humanity” | As image bearers of God, humanity’s responsibility is to reflect God’s image inside of us and share that with each other. | Gen. 2:4–7, Gen. 1:24-31

  • FRIDAY: “Inspired By Creation” | God rested on the 7th day, and we too can rest – taking time to admire and celebrate creation. | Psalm 104:1–13, 24, 31, Gen. 2:1-3
It's natural to wonder how your camper is doing at camp. Below is some helpful info in case you find yourself with a case of the mid-week worries:

  • HOMESICKNESS: Even at Glisson we have a few campers each summer who feel homesick. We're adept at helping them successfully deal with their homesickness to succeed at camp. Parents may worry about these campers however, especially if they receive a "Monday Letter" or see a "Sad Face" in the daily online photos (see below).

  • MONDAY LETTER: A "Monday Letter" is mail sent home (often written early in the camp week) when the camper has yet to fully adjust to being away from home. Sometimes the camper will pull out all the stops in writing these letters, leaving the parent receiving this letter on Wednesday frantic about their child's week at camp. Please know that it's just a "Monday Letter" and that we'll have already called you if your child is struggling with homesickness past Monday.  

  • SAD FACE: "Sad Face" is a photo of a camper on Bunk1 looking less than happy. While it's likely the camper was deep in thought or preoccupied at the exact moment the photo was snapped, parents sometimes interpret the lack of a smile as indication of their camper not having a good time. Know again that we want every single camper to enjoy Glisson and, if necessary, will call for parents' advice to create the best possible experience.

  • CHILD-SICKNESS: If you're a parent immobilized by the anxiety of being away from your camper for a week, please let us help. We're glad to check on your camper and give you a call with feedback from your camper's counselor and from our observations of your camper in his or her living group. We want you to have a great Glisson experience too!

  • HEALTHCARE TEAM: The health and well-being of our campers and staff is our top priority. We’re thrilled to share that Cassie Kubicek, RN, is back for another summer season as our Healthcare Manager. Beyond having previously served in this role at Glisson, Cassie brings a wealth of experience working with children and youth in her position as a school nurse during the school year. She has been and will continue to be an invaluable resource to our plans, practices, and protocols for hosting camp safely this summer. Joining Cassie this summer will be Rob Braddock, RN, as Assistant Healthcare Manager and Lara Kate Gregory, CNA, as Healthcare Assistant. In addition to coordinating routine medications for campers that registered and checked-in medications (see: “Check-In Day”), members of our Healthcare Team will be on-site 24/7 ready to address any healthcare needs that may arise throughout the camp week.
Thanks for reading! We hope it was helpful. In case you missed it, the previous two emails were "Between Now & Camp" and "Check-In Day". Our final email next week will cover "Checkout Day". If you have any questions, check our FAQs or contact our team by replying to this email or calling (706) 864-6181. Our 2021 Summer Support Team and Outpost counselors arrived for staff training last week; Village and Sparrowwood counselors arrived earlier this week; and in just 9 days, we'll kick off 9 weeks of faith-forming adventures in God's creation. We can't wait!

Grace and Peace,
The North Georgia Camp & Retreat Ministries Team

We know how to have fun – our passion is forming faith in the process.