The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

July 6, 2013

Summer campers will explore faith

JOHNSTOWN — Summer camps often provide an outlet for youth to get out and explore the outdoors. However, Bethel Park Holiness Camp isn’t just for youth, and attendees may explore more than just the outdoors – they’ll be exploring their faith.

The camp outing is set to take place Wednesday through July 21 along Reynoldsdale Road in New Paris and is to provide a religious outlet for all age groups, camp registrar Leroy Grine said.

“This is a camp for adults and youth,” he said. “It’s pretty good. We have really good speakers and a real good youth camp.”

Grine said he has personally benefited from the camp’s programs.

“I’ve participated for about 50 years,” he said. “Maybe before that.”

The junior youth group, comprised of children who finished kindergarten through fifth grade, is to begin Wednesday and end July 14, Grine said.

In addition to the junior group, Grine said the camp also hosts a senior group, comprised of sixth- through 12th-graders, and adult groups. These groups are encouraged to participate all 11 days.

Though all age groups will simultaneously participate in daily prayer services, lodging for all age groups is to remain separate, Grine said.

“They have their own facilities and counselors. We have 11 privately owned cottages, and we have 20 rooms up above the dining hall,” Grine said, adding that adult participants are encouraged to bring campers and tents.

Separate showers and bunks for boys and girls are provided, he said.

“It’s well supervised,” he said, explaining that this is the 108th year that the camp has been in existence.

Room and board for all 11 days costs $155, Grine said.

“That’s three meals a day.”

The Rev. C. Leroy Doverspike said he has attended the camp since he was 2 years old, and, as an adult, he has served on the Bethel Park Camp Meeting Association board since 1973.

“I have been involved more than 70 years,” Doverspike said, explaining that he currently serves as the association’s correspondence secretary.

A religious service is to begin this year’s outing Wednesday, Doverspike said, and additional services and activities have been planned for the remaining days.

“There is a Bible study every morning at 9:15,” he said. “Then we have like a revival service at 10:30 a.m.”

Also, Grine said there is to be a rest period in the afternoon followed by a religious fellowship meeting and additional services.

“We just talk back and forth or whatever we want.”

The services are to be headed by evangelical speakers from around the United States, Grine said.

“We always have good speakers – good evangelists,” he said. “This year, we have some singers from Kentucky coming in, and we have good music and good organists.”

A primary service is to be held everyday at 7 p.m., Grine said.

While evangelical speakers are to be present everyday, Doverspike said song evangelists and missionaries also are to be present and are to help instruct the youth groups.

“The last week, the senior youth group will make up a choir for the service,” he said, adding that they are to be instructed by song evangelists.

“And, on mission day, the youth do what is called a mission marathon, and they contact adults who come at night to sponsor them. They raise hundreds of dollars for the missionaries.”

The mission marathon is centered around sporting competitions, Doverspike said.

Doverspike said worshippers of all ages are welcome to attend, and Grine added that religious preference is not an issue.

“It’s very religious, but it’s nondenominational,” he said. “Everybody is welcome and invited to attend.”

Those who do not wish to spend the night can drive in for daily services, he said.

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