Regarding Camp Mitchell’s Pause in Operations

An Update from Bishop Benfield

Many of you may have watched the video I released last week, announcing that operations at Camp Mitchell will be temporarily paused beginning July 5.

At Diocesan Convention in February, I reported on the increasingly large operating losses of the camp and appointed a task force to see what the next steps should be. As the task force interviewed people, the virus struck, and the immediate impact was that we had to cancel summer camp and other activities due to the governor’s directives on camping and large group gatherings.

Given that the camp cannot be open this summer and possibly in the fall, and given the task force’s identification of a number of long-standing issues that need to be addressed (such as out-of-date facilities and programming that do not mirror the needs of potential users), the task force report recommended to the camp’s Board of Trustees and Executive Council that we pause activities at the camp. Executive Council agreed to this recommendation at its May 26 meeting. This action will give us time to focus on improving Camp Mitchell for its future mission rather than focusing on the short-run anxiety of “what do we do next month or in the fall or winter” if there is little or no business. 

It is indeed hard to realize that for a while the camp will not be available for use for our church gatherings and for summer camp. We will do our best, though, in the meantime to continue to find ways for our young people and other church groups to gather. 

A working group will focus on how we can clarify Camp Mitchell’s mission, how to make it work financially, and how to attract new users. I personally look forward to the day when we can welcome everyone to a revitalized Camp Mitchell.

Larry Benfield