1960 Camp Michaux Youth Fellowship Training Conference
Scanned from original mimeographed document by Lee Schaeffer Feb. 2008
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The Synod of Pennsylvania Youth Fellowship Training Conference at Camp Michaux is different from anything you have ever attended before. Its particular purpose is to unify and carry forward the program of United Presbyterian Youth in the churches of our Synod. We do this in two ways. First, through the guidance in certain new programs and areas of concern, Presbytery Workshops, afternoon workshops, and evening programs we gain the knowledge needed for doing our job. Second, through morning watch, the evening vespers, evening watch, and the fellowship of working with other Christian young people we deepen and enrich our spiritual lives so that we may use our knowledge and our lives as a witness, helping other young people in our Synod, Presbytery, and local church to have a fuller and more abundant friendship with God as Christ revealed Him to us.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CAMP MICHAUX
1785, the King and Queen of France sent Andre Michaux to America to gather plants for the Royal Gardens. He was 38 years old when his ship landed in New York accompanied by his 15 year old son, Francois. In near by New Jersey he set up his garden and into the wilds he plunged to gather seeds, leaves, roots, cuttings, and plants for the King. And so Andre and his young son journeyed through this forest which now bears his name. We are indebted to him for discovering and naming over a hundred flowers, shrubs, and trees never before seen by white men.
In 1794, upon his return from an expedition of relentless searches in Canada and the Arctic Regions about the Hudson Bay, he discussed with Thomas Jefferson the prospects of an exploration of the great West by way of the Missouri River. The Lewis and Clark expedition in the next century followed the Frenchman's plan and suggestions.
The Original Farm
In the middle of the 19th century, about 250 acres, including the present site of Camp Michaux, were cleared of timber and farmed by the Gardner family. The deed to this property was destroyed when the Confederate Army marched through Bunker Hill Farm. The thick stone wall still standing north of Trail Lodge was a part of the barn on the Gardner farm. The buildings must have been very well constructed judging from this wall, because it is about three feet thick.
The farm was last cultivated in 1919, at which time it produced over a thousand bushels of wheat.
In 1931, the Civilian Conservation Corps took possession and cleared the
land which had grown over with weeds and briars. At first the corps lived in tents. While tents were the only shelter, lightening struck the camp, killing one boy and injuring another. Money found in the slain boy's pocket is still kept in the District Forester's Office. It is fused into one solid mass. While the C.C.C. boys were occupying the camp they built log cabins- Honeymoon, Hutch, Tool Shed, and Gasoline Storage (these names were given to them later.) A part of the Mess Hall, Headquarters, and the lower Recreation Hall were also constructed at this time. It is believed that Calvin barracks was originally a truck garage.
Prisoner of War Camp
During World War II, the P.W. Camp was located at Michaux because it was close to the Carlisle Barracks and at the same time only a two hour drive to Washington, D. C. Perhaps more important was the fact that the site is isolated and could be kept a secret.
It was under the supervision of the Intelligence Department of the Army. The camp had a private telephone line from here to Washington, D. C. It was originally intended to house German Naval Officers, but it was enlarged to include prisoners from Rommul's African Corps. Later Japanese Officers were also imprisoned here.
The camp was occupied by 1500 prisoners and 150 American personnel. The inventor of the German Buzz bomb was held here.
From information obtained from a German Naval Officer, a submarine base in Germany was bombed for the first time.
The Michaux Prisoner of War Camp is mentioned by President Eisenhower in his book, Crusade of Europe.
The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail which begins at Mt. Katodin, Maine, and ends at Mt. Ogelthorpe, Georgia, passes through Camp Michaux. The old tenant house belonging to the Gardner Farm is one of the stations along the route. The key to this house can be obtained from the forest ranger in Caledonia. About two miles south of the camp are two lean-tos which furnish shelter for travelers on the trail. The trail is plainly marked by white markings painted on trees along the route. The half-way mark from Maine to Georgia is located about 8 miles from Michaux near Mt. Holly Springs. It is a 1225 mile stretch either way from this point.
This trail is sometimes known as the °' Blue Trail" for there are blue paint markings on the trees indicating the direction of the trail. It extends from the Appalachian Trail about one mile south of the camp.
A Religious Education Camp
Camp Michaux came about through the vision and untiring efforts of a few ministers and laymen who were faced with the great need for Christian Youth Training. These men took over the Prisoner of War Camp and equipped the ground in a suitable manner for the adequate training of youth.
The present tract contains 65 acres of beautifully landscaped forest land. The whole property is conservatively valued at a half million dollars. During the past five years $150,000 has been invested in Camp Michaux including a $50,000 swimming pool.
All camps and conferences are similar, for each is a summer project in living with a group of people in a vital Christian experience. However, this conference is also very different from the Presbytery conference. This is a unique conference in our state, for here in the Council we determine
policies and initiate studies and projects that are concerned with Youth Fellowship in our Synod. Those attending this conference are two-faced. First, we are here as individuals to receive inspiration and insights through our Christian experience. Second, we are here as representatives of the many thousands of young people in the United Presbyterian Church, U. S. A. of our Synod. Therefore, we have a program that is directed to us, so that we can go back to our Presbyteries and promote the Youth Fellowship program in the Synod of Pennsylvania, keeping in mind that the local church is the basis for which our Church operates. Remember that this is a training conference. As we progress through the week, you will see what is meant by a training conference.
A SUMMARY OF THE PROGRAM
MORNING WATCH - Here at Michaux we will use the " Camp and Conference Supplement of "Thy Will-My Will" is published quarterly in cooperation with six churches of the Reformed Faith of which we are one. Each delegate is asked to buy one copy for his own use if he does not already have one. It is hoped that these booklets, in addition to the special supplement, will be used more widely for the personal Christian development of the young people of the Synod.
MORNING PROGRAM - To meet the need of a better understanding of Worship which most Presbyteries face, the Reverend Robert Vogelsang of the Latrobe Presbyterian Church will lead our thinking concerning Worship for our morning program. During the past seven years Mr. Vogelsang has made an intensive study of Worship in preparation for the many groups which he has instructed in this area.
PRESBYTERY WORKSHOPS - Every morning from 10:30 to 12:00 each Presbytery will meet together under the leadership of its Moderator. This is the time for the Presbytery gang to get acquainted and to evaluate their previous year's program before beginning to plan for the coming year. Questions such as " Do we really need this rally or is it merely tradition? and What does our Presbytery really need?" would be helpful in this evaluation. Because this is alien to the procedure most Presbyteries have used in the past, everyone should realize that this will require added cooperation and deeper thought.
REST HOUR - Because of our complete schedule, it is necessary for us to have a rest period-- and rest it will be: At 1:15 the girls should report with pillow and blanket to the Upper Recreation Hall and the boys to the Craft Hall for motivated rest under the "boring" direction of Richard "Sleep-Maker" Sigler.
SWIMMING - The camp will swim at two different times, 3:00 - 4:00 and 4:305:30. While half of the camp swims, the other half will be divided among five workshops. During this time John Caldwell will be in charge of sports equipment for softball, basketball, badminton, horseshoes, ping pong, and 4-square. The equipment should be returned to the Headquarters Building at the end of each period. Weather permitting, there may be an opportunity for an evening swim.
WORKSHOPS - The Workshops are designed to give each Presbytery valuable working tools to better help the local churches. The Workshops on AudioVisuals, Song Leading, Recreation, Publicity and Communications, and Church Polity will teach us the philosophy behind the activity, then how to execute, and how to teach others. Each delegate should attend the workshop to which his moderator assigns him for the entire week.
CHOIR - Dr. James Evans, Minister of Music at the Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church near Pittsburgh, will direct the choir which will sing at the Vesper Services each evening. The Choir will rehearse every afternoon from 2:15 to 3:00 in the Chapel. There are many people at Michaux each year that enjoy singing. We hope that you will be one to take advantage of this opportunity to participate regularly in rehearsals and Vespers with the Choir.
VESPERS - Dr. William F. Orr, Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, will be our Vesper speaker. The theme will be centered around youth's responsibility in the church.
COUNCIL MEETING - This year, because a National Consultative Conference will meet instead of National Council, there will be no recommendations for our consideration; therefore, we will have Council Meetings only Thursday and Friday at 8:30 P. M. Thursday the nominated slate for Synod officers will be presented along with the recommendations from U.C.Y.M. Friday's meeting will consist of the election of officers.
The Council is composed of four young people plus non-voting advisers from each Presbytery; those not on the Council will have free time or planned program as scheduled.
STORE - The camp store, located in the Lower Recreation Building, will be open from 2:15 -3:00 and 8:30- 9:30.
POST OFFICE - The post office will be open from 3:00-3:15 and 4:30-4:45. This is located in the Headquarters Building.
SONG BOOKS - The conference songbook, "Rejoice and Sing" is published jointly by the young people's groups of our churches of the Reformed Faith. THIS SONGBOOK WILL BE USED THROUGHOUT THE CONFERENCE, SO KEEP IT HANDY:
EVENING WATCH - We will end each day with Evening Watch for which the men will gather by the flagpole as the women meet by the Lower Recreation Building for antiphonal singing and devotions to be led from the P. A. system. Everyone will then go directly to bed.
TIME SCHEDULE MICHAUX 1960
6:40 Table setters up
7:00 Table setters at dining hall; Everybody up:
7:40 Morning Watch
8:00 Breakfast Workshops
9:15 Morning Speaker
10:30 -12:00 PresbyteryWorkshops
1:15 Motivated Rest
2:15- 3:00 Choir and Free Time
3:00- 4:00 Swimming and Workshops
4:30- 5:30 Swimming and Workshops Dinner
8:30- 9:30 Free Time or Planned Program
9:30- 10:30 Planned Recreation
10:30 Get ready for bed
11:00 Night Watch
12:20 Day's End
|STORE HOURS||2:15-3:00 and 8:30||- 9:30|
|POST OFFICE HOURS||3:00-3:15 and 4:30||- 4:45|
During the two periods of Swimming and Workshops, half of the camp will go swimming while the other half is divided among five workshops. Each Presbytery moderator will assign his delegates to the workshops on the basis of their abilities and interests. Everyone is to attend the same workshop all week: Audio Visuals, Song Leading, Recreation, Publicity and Communications, and Church Polity.
Y R I P C