Guide Us Waking, O Lord…

Because ministry is never 9-5

Thank you for a great year! & Shrine Mont Camps 2017 May 25, 2017

Filed under: Forms,fun stuff!,PYM,Shrine Mont Camps,Support,upcoming opportunities — mwade91383 @ 9:55 am
Greetings Youth Leaders!

I hope this message finds you well and you’re looking forward to the long weekend, hopefully we can all get to the pool! Thank you again to everyone who came out for PYM 8th Grade Weekend at Shrine Mont this past weekend. We had a fantastic turnout for such a small age group (over 100!) and our weekend chaplain, Matt Rawls, did a fantastic job. It was an outstanding finish to what was another banner year for PYM and we could not do it without your support.

On behalf of the Diocese of Virginia, thank you so much for spending your weekends with us this year and helping us create the opportunities for youth to grow. We cannot do the work we do without your support and it means the world to us. We’ve learned a great deal this year and look forward to doing it even bigger and better in 2018. The dates and all the forms are listed at the bottom of this message, let me know if you have any questions.

Also, just because it’s summer and PYM is on hiatus, it doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! The following is a message from Maggie Kennedy who works with Paris and I in the Christian Formation office about Senior High Youth Conference at Shrine Mont this summer, check it out………


“Hello Sr. High & 8th grade weekend-ers!

 Many of you have told us that you would love a week long version of a PYM weekend… and I’m happy to tell you that THAT EXISTS!

 We have a camp at Shrine Mont called Senior High Youth Conference. You need to be a rising 9th – rising 12th grader to attend and it is July 16-23rd. If you come to SHYC you can expect to be challenged, and to stretch yourself physically and spiritually while having a ton of fun and hanging out with awesome people! This is a great camp for you who wish to grow as leaders. Formation and small group time, helping others, dance parties and much more will happen at your week-long SHYC experience. This year in addition to a focus on service, we will be doing work on “storytelling” and have an expert storyteller who will be joining us for the week to assist. We do still have several spots available, but please act fast! Scholarships are available so if cost is a concern, please fill out the attached scholarship form.

 And, you can register here: If you have any questions, please reach out to Maggie Kennedy at and she will help!”


That’s all for now. Thanks again for everything and if I don’t hear from you, have a fantastic summer!


Mike Wade

(804) 622 – 3190



PYM Future Dates

  • October 14th, 2017, 10AM – 2PM: Fall Youth Day of Service in Aldie, VA (
  • November 3-5, 2017: Sr. High Weekend @ Shrine Mont
  • March 24, 2018, 10AM – 1PM: Spring Youth Day of Service in Midlothian, VA (
  • April 20-22, 2018: PYM 67 Grade Weekend @ Shrine Mont
  • May 18-20, 2018: PYM 8 Grade Weekend @ Shrine Mont

Click here for additional flyers/forms and information.


Camp Nurses Needed! & The New Youth Leader Facebook Group May 11, 2016

Filed under: fun stuff!,General,PYM,Resources,Shrine Mont Camps,Support,Tips and Tools — mwade91383 @ 9:05 am

Greetings Youth Leaders!


I hope this message finds you well and you’re as excited as I am about PYM 8th Grade Weekend on Friday! I hope many of you are there for our grand finale of the school year. But that’s not what today is about, I have two other brief announcements to share:


#1 – Shrine Mont Camps need nurses this summer! We are having a little trouble filling our last few spots. Here is a blurb and a flyer from Paris Ball, Director of Shrine Mont Camps, Paris Ball:


Shrine Mont Camps is a residential summer camp program in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Located 45 minutes outside of Harrisonburg, the camp program consists of 8 different camps for children aged 8-18 and one camp for families to attend together. We are seeking dedicated, loving and responsible people to work 1-2 week sessions at our overnight camping program as camp nurses. Camp nurses live in the Health Center and attend to sick or injured campers, distribute medications, provide basic first aid, maintain appropriate reporting and logs, and are an essential part of the decision-making team when responding to emergencies.


The work is alternatively peaceful and fast-paced depending on the day so flexibility and the ability to be both calm under pressure and comfortable with “downtime” is required. Pay is $100/day plus room and board for you and a spouse/partner (when applicable). We are looking for RN or LPN with a Virginia State License (or compact license) in good standing. The right candidate loves and has experience working with children and youth and is excited to join a team of zany and caring counselors and staff. Hiring is dependent on passing State and Federal Background checks. For more information or to apply, check out the camps’ website or contact Paris Ball.


#2 – I have started a new Facebook group called ‘Diocese of Virginia Youth Leaders’ and I’d like to invite anyone reading this to join. This is a Facebook group dedicated to both clergy and lay people who work full time, part time, or volunteer with 6-12 grade youth here in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Our hope is that this can be a forum exclusively for adults (no youth) to share resources, ideas, seek out advice, and collaborate on all things youth leadership. Once you’ve been added (one of the admins will approve you) please feel free to add other youth people from here in VA. You can find it here.


That’s all for now everyone. Thanks for your continual support and if there’s anything I can do to be supportive let me know. See you all Friday!


Upcoming Summer Opportunities March 27, 2015

Filed under: fun stuff!,Mission,Shrine Mont Camps,upcoming opportunities — mwade91383 @ 10:54 am

Greetings Youth Leaders!


I hope this message finds you well and that this Lenten season has been a good one.  As more and more warm weather approaches its time to start making summer plans, if you haven’t already. Here at the Diocese we are well underway with two major programs that I want to be sure everyone knows about:


-The first is our first annual mission trip for high school youth. I’ve already talked about this before, so I’ll be brief. This summer we’ll be traveling to inner city Philadelphia for a week to work on a variety of mission projects. The trip is going to be the first of its kind for our office but already has a ton of promise and a bunch of kids signed up. That said, we do have space but it’s going fast. Click here for more information and to sign up.


-The other big opportunity is Shrine Mont Camps. As many of you know, Shrine Mont Camps is a massive undertaking and we need great people to be camp counselors at our camps. Being a camp counselor is one of the most fulfilling jobs for young people and is rewarding in a way that’s unique and unlike any other kind of employment. The skills you learn are skills that you will use often and will last a lifetime. Second to asking my wife to marry me, it is easily the best decision I ever made when I started working at camp in 2003. Heck, I’m still here!


If you, or if you know someone going to (seniors in high school), currently attending, or just out of college looking for work and a chance to spend quality time at Shrine Mont this summer, send them our way. We are in need of a few more quality applicants but spots are filling fast, like in the next few weeks fast. Click here for more information and to get the application.


That’s all for now, have a great weekend everyone!


Shrine Mont Camps Reunion (December 20th, 1-4:30PM @ ICOH, Alexandria) & Director Search December 15, 2014

Filed under: fun stuff!,Job Opening,Shrine Mont Camps,upcoming opportunities — mwade91383 @ 4:43 pm


Greetings Youth Leaders! Happy Advent! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season thus far and that the next two weeks are full of joy as we await the coming of Christ. This is a last minute reminder about the Shrine Mont Camps Reunion this coming  Saturday. I know many of you already have this on your radar, but I wanted to send out the details one more time just in case.


What: Shrine Mont Camps Reunion

When: Saturday, December 20th, 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Where: Immanuel Church on the Hill, Alexandria

Who: Anybody who came to camp this summer as a camper or staff


The event is always a huge hit for our camp community and I know many of you have lots of campers in your congregations. Feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might have missed it. Click here for a link to the flyer as well:


Speaking of camps, believe it or not the Christian Formation office is already actively thinking about and planning for 2015 and that means hiring new Directors! FOUR of our wonderful camps are in need of new leadership this coming summer and we’re actively searching for potential candidates now. If you or somebody you know might be interested in applying, click here: Speaking from experience, there’s no better place to spend the endless days of summer than at Shrine Mont Camps doing such important and fulfilling work.


That’s all for now. Thanks again everyone and see you all Saturday!


Shrine Mont Camps: The Mountain Experience January 24, 2011

Annual Council went very well, and we may post some reflections – but today’s post is a reminder about our Shrine Mont Camps program.  This video is an informational “movie” about our summer camp program, and it debuted at Council over the weekend.  I hope you will check it out, and consider showing it at your church sometime in the coming weeks.  Maybe it could open or close a Sunday Adult Forum – or be shown to your Sunday School teachers and youth volunteers/workers for them to share with their groups.  We made this video to hopefully inspire more of the parents to send their child to a Shrine Mont camp this summer.   Please help us show people how transformational even a week at Shrine Mont can be for young people!


Thoughts on Summer Camp July 30, 2010

Filed under: fun stuff!,Shrine Mont Camps — Paris @ 7:28 pm

It’s hard to believe, but summer is about to wind down.  It’s almost the first of August – many young people are beginning sports practices, families are rushing to squeeze in “just one more” vacation before school begins, and people are beginning to plan for fall and the upcoming year.  I’m sitting here at my desk, enjoying a quiet evening (which doesn’t happen very often at Shrine Mont in the summer), and I stumbled across a random blog entry all about (you guessed it) summer camp! It started me thinking about all the ways that the “summer camp experience” is universal : no matter where you go, just the simple act of going to summer camp (or sending your child to summer camp) adds your name to an ever-growing list of folks who have “found themselves” while at camp.

So, this post goes out to all of the people – or families of people – who have found themselves at a Shrine Mont camp.  As we begin to close down the summer, I offer a list of “summer camp” related resources and websites.  Some are silly, others are meaningful – and one is just plain “out there:” but I hope you enjoy!


Thoughts on Camp:

Camp is Important: I could go on (and on, and on) about this, but I believe this parent lists several of the strongest arguments to send children to camp.  (This is also the blog that I stumbled across that inspired this post.) It can be a scary thing to do for the first time – both for parent as well as for child, but an experience at summer camp can create connections with other people, with the natural world, and gives young people a chance to get away from our technology-obsessed culture – even if only for a few days.  Click here to read why one parent chose to send her children to camp.

Camp is about Writing Letters: A big part of the camp experience, for better or worse.  Many camps, like Shrine Mont, do not allow campers to call home or use the internet while they are at camp, which means people have to return to the ancient art of letter writing to keep in touch with their loved ones back home.

    • Click here to check out a blog that’s devoted to posting children’s (and some parent’s) letters from camp.
    • Or, maybe you’re more interested in the letters that get sent TO camp.  If so, check out this link to find hints and tips for parents who get writer’s block when it comes time to write to their children while they are at camp.
    • And if you REALLY love to read other people’s letters, you can buy a book that is FILLED with letters that kids wrote to their parents from summer camp.

Camp is an Industry: In case you don’t believe me, check out this website where you can pay money to let someone else put together a special care package for your child while s/he’s at camp.  I had no idea stuff like this existed.

Camp is Universal: It’s hard to explain what “camp” is all about to someone who has never been.  In 1998, the Public Radio show “This American Life” tried to do just that –  and the result is a hilarious, poignant, and wonderful episode that you can stream and listen to for free.  It’s about an hour long, but it is well worth the time.  Check it out here

Final Thought: I, obviously, think that the summer camp options at Shrine Mont are equal to none – that spending a week or two at one of our camps can profoundly transform one’s relationship with self, other, and God.  However, there are things that many overnight camps have in common (if they are healthy and well-run organizations). Plus, this just seemed like a fun list of things to check out!


%d bloggers like this: