Crossways Camping Ministries – Waypost on Mission Lake, Hatley, Wisconsin
In the fall of 2009, Waypost adopted a vision to provide environmental education experiences to all ages, developing caring and responsible stewards of nature, demonstrating environmentally sustainable practices, and being a place to explore, recreate, rejuvenate and connect with God’s creation and each other. At Waypost – the staff, campers, congregational leaders, and other guests began to live out the vision – both inside and out. It has been a true learning process – as we rearranged our traditional camp schedule, reviewed the priorities for programming, and put new ideas and practices into action.
Every morning, following breakfast – campers engage in 45 minutes of a “Sustainable Living Activity”– bread making (campers make 95% of the bread at camp including - Waypost Wheat, Breadsticks, Soft Pretzels, English Muffin Bread, and Hamburger Buns), composting or vermicomposting (all paper towels at camp are composted, as well as compostable food waste), recycling, aquaponics, or working in the Garden of Hope to harvest, plant, and water using the rainwater collected from rooftop runoff around camp.
At first, you may think that “Sustainable Living” (SL) is a big concept – a difficult concept to teach young children and adults. But I would like to share several of the definitions that campers have used to explain what we are doing at Waypost and what they have learned. This is how they have described SL:
· Something that helps us last for a long time - maybe forever
· It’s like a circle - everything goes around and all of it gets re-used
· Loving and taking care of God’s creation
· Sharing what God gives us with others and not taking more than our share
· Thinking about what we need rather than taking what we want
· Making the world a better place for the future
These statements are amazing …inspiring…and even reassuring. Campers, first graders through grandparents, are learning how to make the community of Waypost, their congregation, their hometown, and even the world a better place. They are excited to make their own bread, plant, tend, and harvest their own food in the garden, share food with other communities and organizations, take care of camp by recycling what we use, and creating soil for our garden with compostable food waste.
Photos can be found on our Facebook Page – Waypost on Mission Lake.
351 Crooked Lake Drive
Hatley, WI 54440