Thursday, August 20, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015


As I sit composing this blog message, I hear the all the campers doing their rehearsal in the cafe.  They sound great!

The performance starts at 1:00 but please do not arrive before noon as we will still be getting ready and would like to avoid any distractions.

Also, keep an eye on road construction and closures.  There are a few notable ones around the Twin Cities.  Full details can be found here:

A pause between songs for instruction

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pictures continue...

Pictures continue to be processed and uploaded as time and the Internet connection allow.  Keep checking back; pictures are added to the galleries as they come in so the existing galleries will change over time as well as new ones being created.

If you are using a mobile device (like an iPhone, tablet, android, etc)  You may not see the Photo Album link.  Tap the "View web version" at the bottom of the page.  The photo album link is on the right side.  Or, you can go to directly.

Rain? No problems!

We had a little rain this afternoon into the evening.  When it rains, we improvise!  Indoor campfire with wood and Christmas lights!

Hippy night

A group made a peace banner and led an impromptu parade for hippy night

BOOF 2015

Last night was an AMAZING experience for me!  My first time attending a Boof tournament.  Not only was I in attendance, I was a co-commentator with Kate Kidwell.

Well folks, I'm a baseball fan; I'm a football fan; I'm a basketball fan; but Boof takes the cake.  I can see why some of the campers want to take it professional.  We could replace Molitor Field with The Paul Molitor Boof Stadium!

The game started fast.  Camper strategies were abundant.  There were the peripheral runners-- although they were sometimes tag-teamed by Boofers.  Campers enclosed themselves in clumps of other running campers.  This method had its downside, as the circle of campers diminished, those in the middle lost their advantage and soon the Boofing began.

As round two began, it appeared that many of our Boofers were losing steam.  While they continued to double-team it and fake left-turn right, there were a lot more misses than hits.  As the game came to a close, faces were smudged with flour, arms marked with Xes, and black socks misaimed and on the ground.  It was a good game with a solid effort on both sides.

One exciting addition to this year's game included a drone recording the the field of play.  Boof officials are discussing the possibility of introducing instant replay on close Boof calls.  But we'll have to wait till next year when the final word comes from the Boof Commisioner's Office.

Until then, signing off.  It was a great 2015 season.  See you next year!

You've goat to be kidding me!

Helping with the goats has been a highlight of my week.  We go to the pens and spend time with the 4 goats: Emma, Eva, Selena, and Georgie.  Selena is a spunky little goat who always challenges one of the leaders, Emma.  She'll charge and give a playful head-butt, all while sticking her tongue out.  Emma retaliates by rearing back on her hind legs and landing with another head-butt.  Meanwhile, Eva is climbing all over me to get to the bucket of treats.  Literally climbing into my lap!  This whole time Georgie is usually watching everything, but steering clear of the conflict.  The campers love feeding and playing with the goats, and some even got to walk them on leashes!  The goats definitely have interesting personalities which makes for an enjoyable activity time.

Katy S.

An invitation from a camper

Visit EYMC music camp for one week.  Your child will have fun and a good time at this overnight camp.  You will get to go swimming, pet goats, sit around a camp fire and if it is your birthday, they will bake you a cake!  And who knows your child may want to come back next year!  by Helen

New this year!

This year we offered two new acting classes into the daily schedule. 
EYMC campers love to be dramatic!


We are so blessed to have four wonderful clergy involved as servants at EYMC.

A camp perspective from Bill Van Oss

I enjoy serving and helping at EYMC because this camp is an experience of the kingdom of God.  Camp is a beautiful, safe place where everyone is accepted for who they are.  We laugh and sing and make beautiful music.  If someone has a problem or is feeling sad, there are people to talk to.  There is worship and prayer, and most of all there is LOVE.  Unconditional love.
For a week we hear, taste, and feel the kingdom of God so that it will take root and grow within us.  Once it's inside us, we bring it to everyone we meet.

Bill - staffing the drink station during Canteen

Sunrise Post

How many times do we say, "forgive those who trespass against us" in church?  Are we really thinking about those we need to forgive?  Or do those words become another thing we merely recite as part of our church ritual?

We woke to another sunny day today.  Gathered in a circle, linked hand in hand, we forgave those who have sinned against us.  What a lovely way to begin the day... anger, resentment, sadness falling off our backs replaced by the warm rays of the sun.  Let a new day begin.

Morning worship before breakfast

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Skit Night

Tuesday night was skit night.  This is my favorite night here at EYMC and this was by far the best skit night ever!!!  It was a wonderful combination of comedy (we had two funny emcees), music (a lip sync battle), many jokes and awesome creativity.  It was a blast and I cannot wait for next year! :)  Every single camper had a part and they each made it a fun night.

Kate Kidwell
Greetings from Cabin 1!

We have a question for you: "How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?"

We had a woodchuck on our porch yesterday!

Exploring Instruments with cabin 4

One of our afternoon rotations includes Exploring Instruments.  Included in this time is discussion of all types of things.  Below is a sample:

Question: "Who would we want to work at camp?"

Ernie: Cyborg or Garfield
Keelan: All the Presidents (We hope Obama can make room in his schedule)
Kellen: Meteorologist
Kusi: Michael Jackson
Lance: Elvis Presley

Question:"If we had a billion dollars we would?"

Ernie: Fix anything broken and make a second gaga* pit
Keelan: 2 professional gaga pits
Kellen: More cabins and professional Boof **Stadium
Kusi: Kusi is still considering the options, but leading towards some gaga additions
Lance: Buy waterskis for all of camp (let's hope that includes insurance to use the lake)

*Gaga is a game much like dodgeball, but played in a fenced in court

**Boof is a tag-like game, but people are tagged with socks full of flour.  To get un-frozen after being tagged, a medic will come and ask you questions (often faith-based). Once answered correctly a person is unfrozen and can continue playing.  You get three frozen tries until you are out.

Yup, We Over-Packed

My two daughters and I have been headed north to EYMC for six years now.  My husband is the lucky one who has car loading and unloading duty every year.  There is never a year that goes by without a fair amount of dad griping about the over-packing and the ridiculous amounts of "stuff" requires by his three lovely ladies roughing it at EYMC.  When he picks us up though, he is always so excited to see us, he doesn't complain.  That's a good thing because we all come back with a LOT more that we packed.

What we bring home each year is a well-spring of faith and love we rely on all year.  We dip into that well often.  I, as mom, find myself saying things like, "remember what we learned at camp..." or "I'm sorry that happened, close your eyes. Take a deep breath, and think of camp. Remember, you are loved."

I am overwhelmingly grateful for this little campfire village all these children find themselves gathering in once a year. As a parent, I know that this village is helping me raise my daughters knowing that they are setting foot in the big scary world, with not only arms of 12 campers and staff surrounding them, but, of course, God himself.

-Annie Schilling, Counselor for Cabin 6

Sunrise Post

It is so wonderful to wake up after a good sleep up North.  The night air is cool and sleeping is comfortable and quiet.  At dawn. the song of the loons wafts up from the lake, a long lazy call to wake.  As we walked out of our cabins, the sun warmed our backs.  The moon, now white, stuck out like a pillow in the blue sky.  Good Morning, EYMC. - Sarah

Monday, August 3, 2015

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing Activity also focused on what they were blessed with.  They read a poem called “little tree” by e.e. cummings.  The speaker writes about his beautiful Christmas tree that he is so thankful for.  He can decorate it, put in the window and share it with everyone who passes by.  The creative writers were asked to think of something that they were thankful for.    A talent.  A person.  An Object.  Anna Duong-Topp is blessed with her cat Lacey.  She was generous enough to share her ode to Lacey with the EYMC blog:


You always amaze me
Black cat with green eyes.
With your crazy, annoying,
Relentless nine lives.
How do you scream at me,
All morning long?
For food, water, love,
Or nothing at all?
You’ve surely got talents,
There’s no question there.
The way that you stretch
To lick all of your hair.
But you make me happy,
Sweet kitten, you do.
When you purr and you cuddle
And sit in my shoes.
I’m so thankful you’re here
With all your weird quirks.
And I love that you are just
So strange that it works!
Thanks for everything cat,
For all that you bring.
Because, after all,
We both know you’re a king.


Today we talked about jealousy.  What makes us jealous?  Who are we jealous of?  Why?  Cabin 6 asked, are there benefits to jealousy?  They wondered if it could possibly make us strive to be better.  Our jealousy could help us reach and surpass those we are jealous of.  They considered it and decided, maybe not.  Maybe instead, it is best to focus on what we are blessed with  the health of a parent, a best friend, a happy family.

- Sarah

Tails from Cabin 4

Today was awesome!  We won the white sock award.  And it was so exciting getting mail at dinner.  We also got to be superheroes: Yoda, Nacho Cheese Man (who can turn anything into cheese), Bandanna Man, Iron Man,  War Machine.  We even can keep our costumes on for the LT hunt.   [Notes from an interview conducted by roving reporter Sarah]


“Mistakes are what make us who we are.”  Those lessons shape us.  They make us different.  They make us remarkable.  Like Joseph, our differences make up our very own technicolor dream coat.  - Sarah

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Keelan and Kellin, campers in cabin 4, made welcome notes for their cabin mates and put them on the bunks.

Sunday update and notes from cabin 4

Hello from camp Heartland.  What a beautiful day it was.  The staff that came up early to set up were able to sleep in a bit before continuing the work.  All of the areas have been set up.  Some areas are a lot more work than others.  Bells for example; tables, pads, tablecloths, bells in the right order and location for the music, mallets, music stands, music, gloves etc (I know I probably forgot something)  Band had chairs, music stands, and music.   The choir room had to move the heavy furnature out to make room for all the chairs and keyboard.   A complete store was set up for canteen.  And there were many other areas to be set up and things to be done.  

Only a few little problems, but most not without a solution.  We were not able to get the badges ready in time, lanyards and all but clever thinking found a temperary solution until the badges were finished and distributed.... We are still having Internet connectivity issues.  Moving to plan C tomorrow.  There are a few more options to explore.  When things are working well more stories and pictures will be posted here and in the photo gallery.  Gallery link should be at the top of the link list to the right.

The campers arrived, unpacked, and met their other cabin-mates.  Introductions and some 'points of information' followed by a special message of welcome from Bishop Brian in person!  Tours by cabin group, some cabin bonding time, campfire, and finally bed.  Members of the leadership team read the first chapter of Joseph campers as they were falling to sleep.  good night and sleep well as we have a fun week ahead.

(this message typed on my little phone)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saturday update

Hello from Camp Heartland. Staff and the Leadership Team are here.  After we unpacked, we had the traditional color war consisting of trivia and other challenges as a part of team building and getting to know everyone, and the first set of briefings.  Pictures will be put on the gallery. 

Tomorrow brings a busy morning getting things in order for the arrival of the campers. 

[I am typing this on my phone as we don't have the internet connection going ]

Friday, July 31, 2015

Campers love to messages during the week.

E-mail is printed and delivered with the letters and packages during dinner.

Letters and packages can be sent to:
c/o Camp Heartland (Camper's Name)
26001 Heinz Road
Willow River, MN 55795

Send e-mail to:
put the camper's name in the subject

  • Camp is a peanut and nut free space, 
  • Food is not allowed in the cabins
(staff likes to receive mail too)

Thursday, July 30, 2015


The excitement is building.  Camp is close!  Are you ready?  I am still working on it; doing a little bit at a time.  The staff will be heading up on Saturday to get everything ready.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Traffic and Road Construction

You may want to check the traffic and road conditions before heading to camp.  A good source of information is  If you choose the full featured map, you can enter your starting location and Willow River, MN to get a summary of possible travel 'complications'.  They even have mobile apps for Apple and Android.

For example:

Eden Prairie to Willow River
US 212 eastbound: Entrance ramp closed.
near Edina
US 212 in both directions: Roadway reduced to one lane.
near Edina
I-35W northbound: Roadway reduced to one lane.
between New Brighton and Arden Hills
I-35W: Bridge construction.
in Arden Hills
--- Starts Tomorrow at 10:30 AM ---
I-35W northbound: Right lane closed.
near Lino Lakes
I-35: Roadway reduced to one lane.
between 1 mile north of the Pine City area and Hinkley

Monday, June 8, 2015

Episcopal Youth Music Camp

August 2-8, 2015

Located at One Heartland Camp & Retreat Center, Willow River, MN

(Fall grades) 3rd-12th (Leadership Development – must apply) post HS ages 18-22

EYMC is an intergenerational weeklong overnight camping experience for Children and Youth entering 3rd-12th grade in the fall of 2015. EYMC also has a Leadership Development Program for Young Adults post high school ages 18-22. The camp is staffed by volunteers which include professional musicians and music ministers, clergy, youth ministers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and the list goes on.

With a campership of 90+ campers we have 10-12 young adults in the leadership program and 30+ experienced adult volunteers as counselors and staffing. EYMC is a safe place for all to experience the amazing love of God through Jesus Christ and we use music, drama, band, orchestra, hand bells, guitars & drumming, (and much, much more) as a vehicle to build bridges between each other and God.

This years selection for our mini-musical will be “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.

Contact: with questions and for more information.