Struggling through classes and/or work? Need a break? The Shehaqua Spring Gathering is just around the corner! From May 17–19, we will have a retreat that is both stimulating and relaxing. This year we are switching it up, and staying at Camp Shehaqua for the entire workshop. There will be two tracks:. One set of activities will be designed for families with young children, and the other track is aimed at young adults. The theme of the workshop is "Dare to Live," and it will offer a challenging experience that will bring you closer to your peers. The young adults group will take part in a game of epic proportions, as well as a challenging hike. There will also be camp fires, testimonies and everything else you know and love about Camp Shehaqua.

Register at www.shehaquafamily.org/register. See you this Spring!!

Registration for Summer Family Camp is now open! For arrival and departure information check out the schedule here. You can find the fees here. See more information about Family Camp here. To register, go to www.shehaqua.org/register. The early bird deadline is May 31.

Our Summer Programs at a Glance:

All ages are welcome to attend any week of Shehaqua Family Camp, and additionally this year we have optional education tracks for those who are interested!

Shehaqua Summer Family Camp Week 1: July 21 – 26
Optional adult and young adult education track: Health Retreat, by Gregg Noll. Read more here.

Shehaqua Summer Family Camp Weekend 1.5: July 26 – 28
Optional adult and young adult education track 1: Young Adults and Professionals Workshop. Read more here.
Optional adult and young adult education track 2: Intentional Community Workshop, by Diana Leafe Christian, author and public speaker on Intentional Community Building. Read more here.

Shehaqua Summer Family Camp Week 2: July 29 – Aug 3
Young Family week. Read more here.

Shehaqua Summer Family Camp Week 3: August 5 – 10
Optional track for married couples: Couples Retreat. Read more here.

Special Education Tracks:

Health Retreat, by Gregg Noll

(First week: July 21 – 26)

Come to Camp Shehaqua during week one of family camp and participate in our annual health retreat. Get away from the stress of modern life, reconnect with nature, and take control of your health destiny. We will examine the multi-faceted aspects of health: spiritual, emotional, mind and body. Through a combination of talks, small group discussions, live demos and documentaries we will discover what it takes to recover our full health. What you can expect:

  • Health Education: Nutrition, the value of movement, emotional well-being, deliberate creating through the power of thought, and much more!
  • Examine principles of developing a healthy lifestyle that promote natural healing of mind and body.
  • Healthy & tasty menu: breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Cooking demonstrations: Easy, fun, inexpensive and yummy!
  • Morning Qi gong & Yoga: A great way to begin the day.
  • Outdoor pool, hiking/walking trails

Now is a good time to take charge and live life to the fullest. Join with others on this exciting journey to greater health and happiness.

Young Adults and Professionals Workshop

(Week 1.5: July 26 – 28)

Join other people your age for a relaxing, spiritually stimulating, and fun weekend where you can spend time building new connections and reconnect with old friends.

We will provide practical, insightful, and context-specific content for college students and early career adults (~19–24), as well as for more established young professionals (25–35+). The weekend will include:

  • Forum-style interactive education
    • Challenges, insights, and best practices on how to integrate college and professional careers with our personal growth and spiritual lives.
  • Space to relax
    • Shehaqua is a great place to hit the "pause" button. There will be plenty of time to hang out, play sports, enjoy nature, go swimming, or do whatever you find rejuvenating!
  • Time to connect
    • Extended meal times and small groups make this weekend a great place to build new relationships or catch up with old friends.

In short, this weekend is going to be awesome! We hope to see you there.

Intentional Community Workshop

(Week 1.5: July 26 – 28)

Workshop by Diana Leafe Christian, author and public speaker on Intentional Community Building. Learn more about Diana at http://www.dianaleafechristian.org/about_diana.html. More details about this workshop will be announced soon.

Young Family Week

(Second week: July 29 – Aug 3)

We've often heard that the first five years of life are the most important in shaping who your child will become, but it can be difficult to navigate the waters of parenthood when it's all so new! That's why Shehaqua Family Camp is dedicating a whole week to Young Families! Parents of children under 12 can share experiences, get support, and bond as a family. Create memories at Family Fun night, the camp fires (with s'mores!), crafts, swimming, hiking, and educational programs for every age. Engage in programs geared towards the specific needs of young families, such as the adult discussion topic, "Raising Blessed Children in the 21st Century", while your children form friendships that can last a lifetime.

Couples Retreat

(Week 3: August 5 – 10)

Facilitated by Crescentia DeGoede. At this retreat, (for married couples only!) you and your spouse will learn skills to strengthen your relationship with one another, while enjoying an emotionally and spiritually supportive, marriage-and-family-friendly, and pristine natural environment. Sessions will include dynamic presentations from some of our Unification Church community's most experienced and trusted marriage and family educators and mentors, guided group and one-on-one discussions, and fun and meaningful exercises for couples to do together. You and your beloved will learn skills to:

  • Strengthen your friendship, deepen your understanding of one another
  • Spice up your intimacy
  • Transform inevitable relationship conflicts so you can build solid bridges between the two of you
  • Unearth the values and life purpose you share
  • All married couples, both young and more mature, can benefit from this retreat! Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to produce more true love and joy in your marriage!

Here are the dates for the upcoming Shehaqua Spring Gathering, the Shehaqua Family camp in summer and the Shehaqua Fall Festival. Save the dates in your calendar now, request time off at work, and get ready for another season of fun! We will send out another email when registration opens.

SPRING:
Shehaqua Spring Gathering: May 17 – 19

SUMMER:
Group leader training: July 19 – 21

Shehaqua Family Camp Week 1: July 21 – 26
(Adult and young adult education track: Health Retreat)

Shehaqua Family Camp Weekend 1.5: July 26 – 28

Shehaqua Family Camp Week 2: July 29 – Aug 3 (Young Family week)

Shehaqua Family Camp Week 3: August 5 – 10 (Adult and young adult education track: Couples Retreat)

FALL:
Shehaqua Harvest Festival: September 20 – 22

See you at camp!

Camp Shehaqua has a swimming pool that can be used during family camp as long as there is a lifeguard on duty. Weather permitting, we keep the pool open for two hours during free time in the afternoons. To ensure that two lifeguards can be on duty at the same time, and that neither one of them has to be on duty for more than an hour a day, we need more lifeguards.

If you are a Red Cross certified lifeguard and are interested in serving as one of the lifeguards at Camp Shehaqua, please get in touch with Haydee Ching, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you were a lifeguard last year and are willing to serve again, please get in touch with Haydee Ching, as well. In exchange for your service you will have to pay only one half of the camp fee for the week you are a lifeguard.

If you are not a lifeguard yet, but are interested in becoming one, please let us know as well to discuss how best to do it.

Enjoy your swim!
The Shehaqua Family staff

Dear Shehaqua Family,

Spring is just around the corner, and, unseen to our eyes, the forces of nature are preparing for another season of growth, blooming, and producing fruits. A lot of growing and organizing is going on in our Shehaqua Family as this time as well, as we are getting ready for an exciting new year of camp programs. Last Sunday, the newly elected Shehaqua Council held its first conference call to prepare for its 2013 Spring Meeting in Philadelphia on March 16. We will send out a separate newsletter introducing the members of the new Shehaqua Council to you soon. You voted for our new mission statement, but the vote resulted in a 3-way tie. The final mission statement will be chosen at the Spring Meeting, and we will let you know the result afterwards. We are early waiting for the Hickory Run State Park rangers to let us know which dates they will allow us to use the Shehaqua campgrounds, and we will announce this year's Shehaqua Family Camp dates as soon as we find out about them.

Haydee Ching, our bookkeeper (she wears many other hats, too), has finished the financial report for 2012. In the first article you can read about it, and download some nicely formatted pie charts.

Remember the surveys we asked you to fill in last year? We have read all your answers, and we discussed and incorporated many of them into our planning for this year. In the second article Rob Sayre addresses some of the points that you commented on in the surveys, and he answers some other frequently asked questions.

2012 Financial Report by Our Bookkeeper

By Haydee Ching

Here is the Shehaqua Family Financial Report for the last operational year (Feb. 1, 2012–Jan. 31, 2013). It shows the finances by event and separately states the general overall expenses.

Some explanations:

  • Activity expenses are expenses for the family fun night, crafts, sports, service project materials, teaching supplies, candles for candle light prayers, s'mores materials, candle making and pies plus watermelons for contests in the fall, etc.
  • General expenses are truck rentals and gas, paper towels, bathroom supplies, registration folders, light bulbs, supplies for fixing broken or missing things, etc.
  • Food includes kitchen supplies like pots, utensils, coffee maker, plates, napkins, etc.

Thanks to Nathaniel Ching who has made the report viewing easier by converting the data into pie charts.

You can download a PDF of the report here.

If you have questions or would like more details, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Haydee Ching, Shehaqua Family Bookkeeper

Shehaqua: Building and Creating a Community of Faith

By Rob Sayre

The "Shehaqua experience" started as both an experiment and commitment. The experiment was to learn how to educate our children in the basics of our faith. The commitment was to do this with volunteers and our own money. The result from both of these has been to build a living, evolving and very real community of faith. Transparency in how we handled money, our decision making and how we evaluate and learn have always been a central part of what we do and who we are.

We thought we would try to answer some questions that come up frequently which also highlight some of our core principles we use to operate and make decisions.

Click here to read the entire Q&A.

Last year's service projects included the construction of picnic tables and the painting of camp facilities.

Help Us Reduce Expenses, Save on Credit Card Fees

Did you know that credit card companies charges us approximately 3% of the amount of every transaction? In other words, if you pay $200 for a Shehaqua camp by credit card, they charge us $6 for this service. That quickly adds up. That's why our total credit card fee charges last year for all four Shehaqua programs amounted to $1,690! A staggering amount that we would like to bring down a lot, as it would help us to keep the camp fees low. But we can't do it without your help. We encourage you to pay for Shehaqua programs by check whenever you can. It's a bit less convenient than paying by credit card, but it really makes a difference. The address to mail the check is provided on the registration page and on the fees page.

By Rob Sayre

The "Shehaqua experience" started as both an experiment and commitment. The experiment was to learn how to educate our children in the basics of our faith. The commitment was to do this with volunteers and our own money. The result from both of these has been to build a living, evolving and very real community of faith. Transparency in how we handled money, our decision making and how we evaluate and learn have always been a central part of what we do and who we are.

We thought we would try to answer some questions that come up frequently which also highlight some of our core principles we use to operate and make decisions.

Q—How are you able to provide programs so inexpensively?

A—The answer to this has three parts. First, we use the unique talents of a wide group of people to staff, as volunteers our programs. Early on, when we had no money, few people and yet a big desire to educate our kids and provide meaningful experiences for them, we prayed for guidance. The answer, from God came as, “everything you need is already prepared for you. You need to learn how to see them.” Not knowing what this meant exactly, it dawned on us that the people we knew and could involve had all the talent we needed and if we could create programs that people really valued, they would provide the money we needed.

Secondly, we rent facilities that are inexpensive and provide the services our programs need. We don’t have to pay to own or rent facilities year round. We are very efficient.

Finally, we evaluate every program every year. As an organization we learn and grow. We have learned what works and what does not. This discipline and the freedom to try things that sometimes failed have allowed us to continue to grow and evolve.

Q—Why are your programs focused on participation by the entire family?

A—We took to heart that the family is the building block of society and so set out to provide educational programs and experiences for every family member. We also found that when the parents are involved in and attending the programs and not just paying for them, the kids take them more seriously. Participation by parents communicates to the kids that this is important. Also participation builds the community of faith. We work, eat, play, laugh and learn together. Collectively, we own these programs. This is a real, living community of faith.

Q—Why do some people get discounts and others don’t?

A—This is determined by the role or job they take. The majority of the volunteer jobs take 2-4 hours a day at camp. This leaves more than 80% of the people with lots of time to participate in the programs, be with their family and have ample time for sharing and rejuvenation. We have roles that require significant investments of time during camp, anywhere from 6-12 hours per day and some roles that require their active work year round. Our leadership team determines these roles and the discounts. These are shown in our financial reports and anyone can apply for these roles. These keep our costs low, allow us to operate year-round, successful programs and yet not burn anyone out.

Q—You have service projects each year. Why do you do this and how did this get started?

A—Around 2002, our programs were growing very rapidly. We needed to expand from two to three weeks to accommodate the demand. Because we have to apply each year to the Park System that operates Camp Shehaqua to use these facilities, there is a lot of competition with other groups to use them as well. We knew that serving others would be a good experience for the kids and that “being the best group” might help us get more time allocated by the decision makers at Hickory Run State Park, PA. So each year, we discuss and plan projects with the Park staff that will improve the facility and lower their expenses. They often contribute materials, and we invest some money each year and provide manpower. It is a great partnership, which has allowed us to continue to use Camp Shehaqua. We have a good working relationship with the staff at Camp Innabah where our Winter Retreat is held as well.

Q—You now have 3 generations attending programs. How do you see this changing things, if at all, going forward?

A—That is a great question. Our programs are centered on the family, and we are trying to model our programs after Principled family dynamics. In addition to young adults and families, our programs are well positioned to include families with young children. We have both young adults and young parents leading every program and activity, but we don’t leave the young adult leaders all by themselves. We provide them with older couples who act as mentors and a have a wealth of experience. It’s not perfect yet, but we have a great group of young adults and families with children under 12 actively leading our programs. We strive to provide some stability and familiarity in our programs while always looking for new ways to change and grow. It is really a part of our culture now.