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3300 River Road
Mount Bethel, PA 18343

(570) 897-6000

Christian retreat center for New Jersey and Pennsylvania marriage retreat, singles retreat, women's retreat and youth summer camp in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania.

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Tales of Tuscarora

Would you be interested in submitting a piece for Tales of Tuscarora? We are always looking for stories to tell! Email lindsay@tuscarora.org

A Life Changed

Tuscarora

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With summer approaching, it’s easy to think back on my own years as a camper at Tuscarora. It was in the Olav B. Olsen building in 1985 that I came to know Christ as my personal savior. It’s a blessing and privilege for me to be able to serve at a place where my life was changed for eternity.

I’m not the only one – God changes lives at Tuscarora. When kids step away from the distractions of everyday life they are in a unique position to experience true connection with God. We are always hearing new stories of campers who meet Jesus for the first time at Tuscarora – one of these is Kylee Will.

Kylee Will was born in a loving and caring home where her parents gave her the freedom to find her faith on her own. She was happy, but she knew there was a void in her heart. She came to Tuscarora for the first time after a friend invited her and says that accepting that invitation was the best decision she has ever made. She started understanding who Jesus is and how He loved her.

That one experience at Tuscarora brought Kylee into a youth group, Sunday School, Bible studies, and a supportive church family. Kylee has attended many Tuscarora events because of the help provided by the Per Rune Larsen Scholarship Fund and now Kylee is doing her part to spread the gospel. This past year she invited her friend Sarah to come to Tuscarora with her, and she came to know the Lord as well.

Not only was I able to be saved, but now I get to help others learn who Jesus is.
— Kylee Will

I’m telling you Kylee’s story to show you just how powerful a gift to the Per Rune Larsen Scholarship Fund can be. Experiences like Kylee’s are only possible because of people like you. Your gift provides a life-changing encounter with Jesus for many kids and teens, and each year the need for financial support seems to grow.  

Will you help send someone to camp by giving today? Someone will have a summer they’ll never forget thanks to a gift you’ll always remember. Please visit tuscarora.org to participate.

-Brian Abrahamsen, Executive Director

6 Reasons Your Child Needs Junior Week (even if they're young!)

Tuscarora

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Junior Week at Tuscarora is a week long program for 8-12 year old campers. With good reason, many parents worry about sending their young children to a sleep away camp. The world can be a scary place, and you will do anything to make sure they are safe.

For many people, camp is an easy decision. Maybe they went to camp as a child, or always dreamed of the opportunity. Maybe they live close enough that Tuscarora is like their backyard. Though it may seem like parents are more protective every year, the average age a child will go to sleep away camp for the first time is just 6 years old!

Here at Tuscarora, we do everything possible to make sure that your kids enjoy a safe, fun, and Christ centered experience.

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1. INDEPENDENCE (KIND OF)

It might be hard to imagine that your son or daughter will be totally independent one day - but they will! For many kids, camp can be a great first experiment in independence. They get to experience the excitement of being away from home (maybe for the first time) but you get to rest in the knowledge that someone else is still taking great care of them!

At Junior Week, an amazing team of adult volunteers oversees a highly trained counseling staff who stay overnight in close proximity to them. Your child's counselor is with them all day long making sure they're safe and healthy. They put them to bed at night, wake them up in the morning, make sure they eat all their meals, stay hydrated, and take showers. We even make sure you can check on them frequently throughout the week by uploading daily photos of all of our campers having fun!

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2. A PROGRAM FOR THEM

When you think of summer camp, you may think of activities like ziplines, canoeing, go karts, and late nights spent chatting in the darkness. We understand if you don't think that's appropriate for an 8 year old! Our Junior Week program is specially designed with activities they will enjoy! We even have the schedule laid out so each camper has the opportunity to get 9+ hours of sleep at night.

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3. LIFE-LONG FRIENDSHIPS

We know plenty of adults who look back on their years as a Junior Week camper and are amazed at how many friendships have survived the years in between. The experience of living, playing, and learning together for a week can create a bond that won't fade!  Many of our campers will room with the same friends year after year, and then return to serve as counselors when they're old enough.

Gregg Hunter, from the Christian Camp and Conference Association says, "Away from the labels that have been handed to them back at school, campers are free to be themselves and to experience new adventures with a new group of peers. In this setting, young people have the freedom to ask important questions about issues such as faith and their future, and to get honest answers from caring adults."

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4. WEEK AT CAMP = MONTH AT HOME

Our Junior Week camp director is fond of saying that you do the same amount of activity during Junior Week that you would during a month at home. In just one week your son or daughter will spend time at the pool, make crafts, play outdoor games, have a barbecue, roast marshmallows, enjoy a pajama party, and even go to a carnival!

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5. SPEND TIME OUTDOORS

As life gets busier and busier, as school gets more and more challenging, and as responsibilities become more intense, it seems children spend less time outdoors than ever. At Junior Week, each day comes with the opportunity to spend as much time outdoors as they can. The long-term benefits of playing outside are both physical and spiritual.

The best part is this time outdoors is spent completely unplugged! In an increasingly digital world, Junior Week may be the only time all year your child spends an entire week without a phone, computer, tablet, or television screen. This will allow them to live in the moment, develop deep bonds with their peers and counselors, and refresh their spirit and mind.

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6. HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD

In Mark 10:14 Jesus says, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God."

At Junior Week, everything is about Jesus. We believe that a week away from home, in a new environment, surrounded by friends is the perfect place for your child to begin learning about the deep love the Lord has for them. It is our prayer that during their week at camp they will discover this love for the first time, or take ownership of a faith they have accepted from an even younger age.

Junior Week is a safe space for kids to ask questions of their counselors, see Christ's love reflected in the hearts of their friends, sing Christian songs with excitement, and have fun without ever feeling like an outsider. This is a powerful experience that changes lives - and we believe every child no matter how young can benefit from it!

20 Questions with Tuscarora Staff - Lindsay Rosado

Tuscarora

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1.       What is your name and position at Tuscarora?

Lindsay Rosado, Manager of Ministry Advancement!

2.       How many roles and jobs have you had here?

This is my first "real job." But I've been a camper, a counselor, and a guest many times over! I also spent five years as an RA for Junior Week.

3.       When did you first visit Tuscarora?

In July of 2002, I came to my very first Teen Week.

4.       When did you come to know the Lord?

I would say the seed was planted at Teen Week in 2002. That next winter, after I had joined the Bethany Youth Group in Staten Island, I came to Winter Weekend. That's when I really decided to dedicate my life to Him.

5.       What is your favorite place on the grounds?

At Junior Week, we would always have counselor meetings early in the morning inside the Snack Shop. Some of my fondest memories are sitting beside my friends, getting to start a new day of ministry, and enjoying my first cup of coffee for the day.

6.       If you could eat three Tuscarora meals forever – what would they be?

Chicken Nuggets and smiley face fries; eggs, bacon and potatoes; and roast beef!

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7.       What is your favorite event that takes place at Tuscarora?

Junior Week! The amazing work that happens that week humbles me every single year. I love that we provide a safe, fun, and exciting environment for kids to discover what they believe about Jesus.

8.       Three favorite Christian songs?

My favorite songs are all hymns! And Can It Be, Have Thine Own Way, and Abide With Me.

9.       What made you decide to work at Tuscarora?

When I left College, I found myself working in marketing and fundraising.  While I loved my work, I wished I would be able to do it for a place I loved. There is nowhere I love more than Tuscarora! This job has been a dream come true.

10.   Best lesson you’ve learned during your time here?

The things we see as impossible, God always conquers. No matter the problem, big or small, it never stops His message from reaching the ears of those who need to hear it.

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11.   What is your most treasured Tuscarora memory?

 In February of 2012, I came to Tuscarora as a youth leader for Winter Weekend alongside my future husband Luis. We were both youth leaders at the Staten Island youth group. Serving alongside him created an amazing foundation for our future relationship and marriage.

12.   What is the best part of your job?

Hearing stories everyday of how God is changing lives at Tuscarora. Simply by providing a place where people can come together for retreat, He moves mountains.

13.   What is your favorite Bible verse?

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is my stronghold, of whom shall I be afraid?"

14.   What is something guests don’t know about you?

I'm gluten free, but I love to bake! Whenever I make something I can't eat, I just give it away.

15.   How would you describe the mission of Tuscarora to someone who had never been here before?

Jesus made it a priority to retreat with his friends, and spend time with His father. Come to Tuscarora and do the same. Quiet your life a little bit, and hear what the Lord needs to say to you.

16.   What is your favorite movie?

Right now? Jurassic Park.

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17.   What’s your most common snack shop order?

Moose Tracks milk shake.

18.   If you could stay anywhere on the grounds where would it be and why?

The Hillside Manor. It's probably the place I've stayed the most, and I really love the smell.

19.   What is your favorite thing to see guests doing?

Taking pictures! Memories made at Tuscarora should always be treasured.

20.   What is your biggest hope for the future of this ministry?

That we will prayerfully follow God's call for us with wisdom, and continue to create a space where the Lord's voice can be heard.

Servants of the Lord

Tuscarora

"Freely you have received. Freely give. "

Matthew 10: 8

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Each spring and fall, a dedicated group of volunteers spends a week at Tuscarora for Work Week. With the summer season on the horizon, it always seems the tasks that need to be done far outnumber the amount of hands on the staff. But faithfully each year, God calls people to serve him during this busy time.

Through a partnership with Thrivent, Tuscarora is able to make an even bigger impact by using Action Teams. Thrivent members are able to apply for seed money in order to supply an unmet need for a cause they love. We are so blessed that these volunteers love Tuscarora!

So much happens at Work Week thanks to these generous hearts, here's an update on what you can expect to see this summer!

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One team was able to mulch and plant in the Riverside Gardens. There were teams working on the main campus, as well as up at The Pines!

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These ladies worked hard giving our rooms a deep cleaning all across camp. They took care of any cobwebs and dust bunnies they could find in the Cottages, Hillside, and the Overlook.

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One of the many updates coming to the Mountainview Dorms are new windows! New light fixtures were also put into the lounges, bathroom updates were finished, and painting was touched up in the main hallways.

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We are hoping to have some new rooms available in the Brick House by this summer season. One team was able to put in new walls and a new bathroom this week!

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Our dining room is always in need of special attention, and a whole team works hard throughout the week to make sure every nook and cranny is scrubbed.

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Parts of the dining room were also brightened up with a new coat of paint. It's going to look great with the sun shining in!

Thank you to all of the volunteers we got this week, as well as our volunteers throughout the year. As a ministry and a non-profit organization, Tuscarora wouldn't be able to do it without you. You are a huge part of our mission! God Bless!

Save the Date
Fall Work Week
October 22-26, 2018

Five Facts about Tuscarora's Summer Solstice Celebration

Tuscarora

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This summer, Tuscarora is excited to have a BRAND NEW event to add to our calendar. On June 23rd, we are holding a Summer Solstice Celebration! With any new program addition, you might wonder what to expect. We decided to help explain with 5 things we are planning for this great kick-off to summer!

1. SANKHANSAFTEN

As we were brainstorming a new way to kick off the summer season, we once again decided to lean on our Scandinavian heritage for inspiration. Norwegians celebrate "Sankhansaften" every year on June 23rd. This translates to "Saint John's Eve" and is meant to commemorate the birth of John the Baptist. This of course happens six month's before the birth of Christ, celebrated on December 25th.

This celebration can go by a few different names. "St. Hans," "Sank Hans Aften," "Jonsok," or "Midsummer's Eve." The activities of our Summer Solstice Celebration all pull from this cultural event.

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2. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

The "official" start of our event is in the evening, but all of our Summer Solstice Celebration guests are invited to enjoy the summer weather on our grounds. Come swim in the pool, canoe down the Delaware River, or take your chances tubing behind the boat.

If you've never been to Tuscarora, this is a great chance to see all the enjoyment our campus allows!

3. FOOD

One common thread for all the areas of Norway that celebrate the Summer Solstice is FOOD. And we love to fellowship around food at Tuscarora! Traditionally food served for the Summer Solstice would be simple and uncomplicated that can be prepared and enjoyed outside.

At Tuscarora, we are planning a pig roast dinner, accompanied by other barbecue favorites and open faced sandwiches!

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4. BONFIRE

When any Norwegian thinks about the Summer Solstice, they think about bonfires. Because the Summer Solstice is celebrating the longest day of the year, these bonfire will be lit in the evening and enjoyed well into the night.

In 2016, Norwegians even broke the record for the world's largest bonfire in the town of Alesund. Ours won't be that big, but we will be lighting a bonfire for our pig roast dinner, and will run various games and tournaments as we enjoy it.

5. MUSIC

As Christians, we often worship together in music. But there is something extra special about worshiping together, outside, around a fire. We will close our event with a special acoustic worship experience to help remind us that through each season, our God reigns, and the blessings of summer weather come from Him.