Man Camp w/ Photos 


Man Camp || Photos

Andy Im / February 1, 2019


More than 200 fathers and sons gathered at Camp Au Sable for Man Camp, otherwise known as Father-Son Retreat. Facial hair, flannel, toolbox gadgets, and a healthy dose of masculinity were on full display over the packed weekend, up from about 160 registered attendees the previous year. 

Steven Conway, pastor of the Detroit Northwest and Cherry Hill churches, delivered probing messages that hit home and challenged the male audience to live fully for Jesus and to be intentional about strengthening their relationships. In a climate where fathers and sons are too busy to spend quality time with each other, the messages were a timely reminder to never forget that relationships are built on two-way streets. 

The weekend schedule facilitated the harmonious blending and growth of the physical, mental, and spiritual faculties. Fathers and sons collectively engaged in treasure hunts and other challenges that tested whether the attendees were boys or men. One such activity challenged the participants to successfully strike campfires with only two cotton balls and several matches on a small strip of sandpaper in the blistering cold snow. Under conditions that hit minus 38 degrees Fahrenheit on Sabbath, that was quite a feat!

The treasure hunts also inspired groups of men to trek across camp in the snow, wind, and cold. Not everyone won prizes, but the true value of the activities were in spending time with each other as the groups braved bone-chilling conditions. 

The physical activities also generated intense hunger pangs, and chef Miguel did not disappoint. In typical fashion, the meals were both hearty and tasty as chef and his team managed to satisfy the grizzly appetites. 

With this year's Man Camp booked to the max, expect next year to fill up quickly, especially as word gets around that this event is one you don't want to miss. "We were truly blessed by the Holy Spirit and it was exciting to see fathers and sons growing closer to each other and God," remarked Chad Bernard, associate youth director. One father, as he was leaving camp, stated, "Praise God for Man Camp! I feel closer to my son than I ever have!"

That's an experience money simply can't buy.


 

Song service is energetic as attendees are encouraged to participate. Pastor Chad leads the charge. (©Andy Im)
Song service is energetic as attendees are encouraged to participate. Pastor Chad leads the charge. (©Andy Im)

 

Public interaction is a given. Here, fathers & sons are opening up to one another. (©Andy Im)
Public interaction is a given. Here, fathers & sons are opening up to one another. (©Andy Im)

 

Pastor Conway's messages are transparent & address heart issues. (©Andy Im)
Pastor Conway's messages are transparent & address heart issues. (©Andy Im)

 

40 dads & sons came from the Holland church. Several attended last year, & they spread the word. Expect availabilities to fill up quickly next year. (©Mike Nephew)
40 dads & sons came from the Holland church. Several attended last year, & they spread the word. Expect availabilities to fill up quickly next year. (©Mike Nephew)

 

The challenge is to make a campfire with only several cotton balls & matches. (FB: Chad Bernard)
The challenge is to make a campfire with only several cotton balls & matches. (FB: Chad Bernard)

 

 A creative way to get warm. (FB: Chad Bernard)
A creative way to get warm. (FB: Chad Bernard)

 

Conference office dads take this opportunity for son time. Pictured here, Kamil Metz & son Micah. (©Andy Im)
Conference office dads take this opportunity for son time. Pictured here, Kamil Metz & son Micah. (©Andy Im)

 

 Jeremy Hall with son Josiah. (©Andy Im)
Jeremy Hall with son Josiah. (©Andy Im)

 

Many pastors in attendance. Here, pastor Hodet is enjoying a moment with sons Asher & Jadon. (©Andy Im)
Many pastors in attendance. Here, pastor Hodet is enjoying a moment with sons Asher & Jadon. (©Andy Im)

 

Pastor Jeff Akenberger with son Judah. (©Andy Im)
Pastor Jeff Akenberger with son Judah. (©Andy Im)

 

It doesn't get much better than this; young sons in worship. (©Andy Im)
It doesn't get much better than this; young sons in worship. (©Andy Im)

 

Pastors Ken (left) & Chad  (center), along with pastor Craig comprise the leadership team of the Youth Department. Craig is on assignment with the Pathfinders area coordinators. (©Andy Im)
Pastors Ken (left) & Chad (center), along with pastor Craig comprise the leadership team of the Youth Department. Craig is on assignment with the Pathfinders area coordinators. (©Andy Im)

 

"God should be sitting on the throne of your hearts," says Steven Conway. (©Andy Im)
"God should be sitting on the throne of your hearts," says Steven Conway. (©Andy Im)

 

 Priceless. This is God's gift to fathers. (©Aaron Bernard)
Priceless. This is God's gift to fathers. (©Aaron Bernard)

 

Meal time is a highlight for great food, fellowship, & fun. (©Andy Im)
Meal time is a highlight for great food, fellowship, & fun. (©Andy Im)

 

You can tell, Pastor Nathaniel & son Caleb take their food mighty seriously. (©Andy Im)
You can tell, Pastor Nathaniel & son Caleb take their food mighty seriously. (©Andy Im)

 

Chef Miguel & his team work round-the-clock & year-round to serve the Michigan family. (©Andy Im)
Chef Miguel & his team work round-the-clock & year-round to serve the Michigan family. (©Andy Im)

 

©Andy Im
©Andy Im

 

Everyone pitched in. Boys become men as they learn to sacrifice & lend a helping hand. (©Andy Im)
Everyone pitched in. Boys become men as they learn to sacrifice & lend a helping hand. (©Andy Im)

 

The look on pastor Travis' face says it all. (©Andy Im)
The look on pastor Travis' face says it all. (©Andy Im)

 

Recreation time will not soon be forgotten. (©Andy Im)
Recreation time will not soon be forgotten. (©Andy Im)

 

"It was great seeing pastor Conway encouraging men to have God sit on the throne of their hearts & spend time with Him daily," says Chad Bernard. (©Andy Im)
"It was great seeing pastor Conway encouraging men to have God sit on the throne of their hearts & spend time with Him daily," says Chad Bernard. (©Andy Im)

 

See you next year! (©Andy Im)
See you next year! (©Andy Im)