FRUITLAND PARK – Confirmation is a big step for young United Methodists, and Warren Willis Camp is ready to help. Registration is open for the first confirmation weekend of the season in October, and three more confirmation retreats are planned for early 2015.
Since the camp began offering confirmation retreats in 2007, the number of churches bringing youths to the program has swelled to about 40, representing 750 to 850 participants per year, said Joel Pancoast, the camp’s program manager.
|A recent confirmation class enjoys a retreat at Warren Willis United Methodist Camp. Photo from Tanner Smith.|
Nestled on the shores of Lake Griffin in Central Florida, the camp offers a natural setting for reflection that is enhanced by a worship leader and praise band, as well as an opportunity for students to stand shoulder to shoulder with others from across Florida taking the same step.
“Especially for small churches … it allows them to see they’re not the only ones going through the process,” Pancoast said. “They’re joining a bigger church.”
The retreat worship program offers a general message appropriate for anyone preparing to take the confirmation vows but leaves plenty of time and space for individual church leaders to tailor the experience for their group of confirmands, he said.
Young people also get to spend time in fun and fellowship with others in the faith from across the state, Pancoast said.
“It’s summer camp in a weekend.”
Retreats typically start on a Friday evening and end after morning worship on Sunday, though two-day packages are available.
The fall confirmation retreat is scheduled for Oct. 3-5. Click here for registration, fees and other information or call (352) 787-4345.
Registration will open the first week of December for next year’s confirmation retreats. Those are scheduled for Feb. 20-22, March 6-8 and March 13-15.
-- Susan Green is the managing editor of Florida Conference Connection.