The Metropolis of Boston Camp is home to over 700 campers and families each summer. Our program is built on the foundation of six pillars - honesty, respect, openness, trust, love and forgiveness, - and centered on engaging each other through fun, faith and fellowship. We offer six different unique camping experiences each summer and through the efforts of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios we are pleased to offer three different types of ministry through our camp; one is to youth (ages 8 - 18), the second is to families (all ages), and the third is to campers with special needs through our embracing children program.
MBC Youth Sessions
Over twenty years ago, His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios had the vision of building a camp where Orthodox Youth from across the New England Metropolis could gather, share their faith, enhance their relationship with God and connect with each other. Here we are twenty years later and the lives of thousands of campers have been impacted, forever left with the imprint of their six days spent in the peace and serenity of the foothills of the White Mountains. Without cell phones, iPods, TV, or Internet, the only thing to connect to is Christ shining through your fellow cabin mates and the talented staff who give of their time, talents and treasures to offer this unique camping experience.
A Typical Camp Day
Starting each and every day at MBC is the 20 minute Orthros service and a few minutes of private reflection spent ‘Alone with God.’. We begin this way to remind ourselves of our purpose and central focus in coming to camp. However, after these few beautiful minutes in the morning it’s off to the races, with a JAM PACKED day. The day in total is spent in a balanced mix of Discussions, activities, worship, prayer and of course FUN. Each and every day brings the opportunity for campers to spend time together, connecting with each other and our staff, in a slew of activities that range from; Basketball, Volleyball, Orthodox Life, Swimming, Canoeing, Sounding Board, Capture the Flag, Soccer, Baseball, Baking, Greek Dancing, Chanting, and much more! We start each evening by gathering again as one community for a Vespers service then end each night with a camp wide activity such as the Bean Carnival, Loud and Quiet Campfires, Scavenger Hunts, Dances, and the ever popular MBC Talent Show. Our weeklong session culminates in the celebration of Divine Liturgy together on Sunday morning, an event that we invite our whole camp community by encouraging parents to join. You can visit the camp for more detailed information about our daily activities. http://boston.goarch.org/ministries/mbc/
All our campers and staff stay in our cabins which offer communal living accommodations. Each cabin is built from beautifully finished knotty pine wood and offers a twin size bed, complete with newly purchased mattresses, for each camper, as well as under the bed drawers for storage. We currently have 13 cabins on our camp ground, all of which have been built in the last 10 years and have indoor plumbing, including hot water, and a fully equipped bathroom which features 4 toilets, 4 sinks, and 4 shower stalls. Each of the campers participating in our camp program will need to bring sleeping materials for their stay; a pillow, sleeping bag and sheets are suggested.
M.B.C. Family Summer Camp
After having run a successful youth camp, with both winter and summer programs, for over twenty years His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios set his ever expanding goal and vision of offering family ministry with the same unique Camping Experience. With the completion of the Retreat House in the fall of 2009 work began on the first ever Family Camping Program at MBC. In the winter of 2010 this new ministry exploded onto the camping scene with our first, and soon to become annual, Family Winter Camp. This wildly successful program was followed up by its sister program Family Summer Camp, which resounded with just as much success. Since these first two programs in 2010, each time we gather together for this unique camp we have a full house!
What Do We Do?
Family Summer camp is the opportunity for families to step away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives and connect with each other as well as other families and friends from across our New England Metropolis. Our week together will be a combination of family, adult and youth camper activities, with a variety of options so that everybody can find something they want to do. We bring a speaker in to hold a discussion with the adults ranging on a variety of topics from individual spirituality, to parenting and relationships. Our incredibly dedicated and talented camp staff take our younger campers and run our best camp activities with them such as Sounding Board, Arts & Crafts, Fun & Games and Orthodox Life. After having some free time in the afternoon, we kick our night off by gathering for vespers and participating in a family evening activity together such as campfires, glendi, and talent show. Our week culminates in the celebration of Divine Liturgy together on Sunday morning as one community.
Where Do We Stay?
Camp is no longer a rustic cabin in the woods with roll out camping mattresses. Our program participants stay in the Retreat House which features 35 individual guest rooms that are complete with two double beds and a private bath. Additionally, the Retreat House is home to the magnificent Great Room with its Cathedral style ceilings which make it a wonderfully cozy and beautiful place for families to hang out with each other and get to know other families as well. For those more active campers the Retreat House also has a game room and play room to help provide entertainment!
MBC Embracing Children Camp
In 2004 a group of professionals teamed up with the Metropolis of Boston Camp to offer our first ever embracing children’s program. This ministry was geared towards giving campers with various types of learning and developmental disabilities the opportunity to share in MBC's unique camping experience. Since that time almost 10 years ago this beautiful ministry has grown to encompass all weeks of our summer sessions.
How Does it Work?
The success of this unique ministry in the Orthodox Camping world is due in large part to the individual attention and relationship that each camper receives when spending a week with us. Each camper is paired up with two staff members who have received training over the course of a calendar year from various professionals on how to work with campers and their individualized needs. Through work done prior to the camper’s arrival an individualized program, catered to making the week smooth and successful, is prepared for each camper.
Campers who join us step into an experience that highlights their strengths in order to help them have a successful week, all the while being guided by their two staff aides. Campers participate in the camp programs as much as their abilities allow them to; the staff is always ready to provide alternate programs when necessary. Depending on each camper and their ability to adapt to a new routine and program, the camp may suggest that they join us for half a week, or a weekend. The goal behind an individual program such as this is to ensure that each camper who comes has the best possible time and not have to leave early. This is important so that campers will want to come back, leaving on a positive note rather than a negative one.
What is the Embracing Children Week
Originally, Embracing Children was designed as a one week program however the program is now open to campers during all six weeks of MBC, with one week dedicated to campers with a higher level of special needs. The reason being that in addition to our staff, during this particular week of camp our team is supported by professionals who work in the field of special education in order to help aid the camping experience of our campers who may need more individualized and special attention. These professionals work with our staff teams and serve as a support employing the skills and talents they have learned through their field. We have found great success in the experience of our campers through the pairing of the staff and our dedicated professionals, the dynamic of the two creates the perfect mix of fun but also support and recognition for their individual needs.
Where do the Campers Stay?
The program is aimed at full and complete integration into cabin life as much as possible. Thus the staff and campers, who are bathroom independent, stay in a cabin with other campers. They participate in regular cabin life living, sleeping, and engaging with their fellow cabin mates. The other campers tend to look out for and take these campers under their wing, reaching out to ensure that they have the best experience possible during their week at camp.
The Cabins that the campers stay in are built from Knotty Pine wood and there is a twin size bed and mattress provided for each camper. The bathrooms, with indoor plumbing and hot water, are located at the back of each cabin building. In 2008 our “special needs” cabin was completed and is completely handicap accessible, making it possible for any camper to come and share in this unique camping experience.
What Kind of Needs Can My Camper Have?
Our program is all-inclusive, we invite anyone and everyone to share in this camping experience. However, due to safety laws, the Youth Protection Manual and particular guidelines of the American Camping Association, through which we are accredited, we are limited in providing bathroom services. Campers participating in this program must be fully bathroom independent. However, we invite families to provide an aid to come with the camper who can provide these services and work with our staff in order to give the camper a camping experience at MBC.
Who Works with My Camper?
Mainly, our incredible talented and dedicated staff, who give of their time, talents and treasures, work with each and every camper. Our staff participates in a yearlong training program in order to prepare them for their incredibly important responsibilities as leaders of our camp program. A team of professionals who work in the school systems during the year supports the staff. Additionally, one of the Assistant Directors of the MBC Program, Ms. Thea Athanas, has her Masters in Special Education and is currently a teacher in the Chelmsford Public Schools. Thea has been a member of the camp leadership team for over 10 years, and since its inception she has been guiding the Embracing Children’s program.
Elaine Otto serves as the Embracing Children’s Director for the Metropolis of Boston Camp program. She works closely with each one of our families and campers in the program to develop individualized camping programs that cater to the needs of each camper. Additionally, she organizes and oversees all the training of our staff throughout the year in preparation for working in the Embracing Children's program.
What Do They Do?
As mentioned above, full integration into the life of the cabin and camp is the goal. Thus Campers travel with their staff to all the activities and participate in discussions and worship to the extent their abilities will allow. There is also ample time to share in the other camp experiences and activities such as Arts & Crafts, Fun & Games, Baking, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Swimming, Canoeing and etc. However, sometimes the camp schedule and all the stimulation can just be overload. Thus, there is always a space available for campers and staff to go to just relax and decompress. This room is complete with a TV and DVD player as well snacks, drinks, toys and books. After taking a step back, campers are usually ready to jump back into an activity with the rest of the camp or head to their cabin to see their cabin mates.
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