Making the trek to Camp Wingmann has become a summertime tradition for many youths in the Diocese of Central Florida, and this year proved especially rewarding.
Three youths from St. Richard’s Episcopal Church in Winter Park won scholarships related to their participation in the 2017 Camp Wingmann summer camps, according to St. Richard’s rector, the Rev. Alison Harrity. In all, six youths from St. Richard’s attended various sessions throughout the summer during the camp’s middle and high school weeks.
One St. Richard’s youth received a scholarship from the diocese, and two others received scholarships from a special fund at St. Richard’s. “The Greysen Bernardi Youth Scholarship Fund was started last year in honor of 3-year-old Greysen, who died suddenly in 2015,” Harrity said. “His parents give $400 a year to ensure that those in need from St. Richard’s can go to Camp Wingmann or participate in other youth events.”
Harrity herself got a meaningful experience from Camp Wingmann, where she has served as a chaplain for four years. “I appreciate the love and care and respect that is shown to all people through the week at Camp Wingmann,” she said.
The St. Richard’s rector also said her children are Camp Wingmann veterans. “My children have been attending Camp Wingmann since 2012,” Harrity said. “Libby is now going into ninth grade, and Spencer didn’t attend this summer as a rising 11th-grader because he has a summer job. They both have fond memories of it.”
Camp Wingmann was scheduled to hold six weeklong camps over a seven-week period in June and July. Sponsored by the Diocese of Central Florida, the Camp Wingmann summer camps have been held for almost 60 years.
Camps were held for high schoolers, middle schoolers, and third- through fifth-graders. Activities traditionally include canoeing, kayaking, sailboarding, swimming, watching movies, and more.
Father Deke Miller, director at Camp Wingmann, said the camp has been extremely popular throughout all the sessions for decades. Camp Wingmann’s summer camps have run almost nonstop since forming in 1939. There was a period of closure during property ownership transactions, but the camps have been successful otherwise.
Campers stay busy all day, beginning with breakfast, usually around 8 a.m. A morning prayer is then given by a priest, followed by a morning activity.
Lunch is then held, followed by cabin time in which campers can take a nap or rest. A one-hour programming event is then held in which a youth leader, Sunday Bible School leader or priest discusses a topic that is developed around a theme.
The programming event is followed by canteen time in which campers can buy sugar items such as sodas or sweets.
Campers then attend a fun class in which they can learn about music, swimming, or another activity. Youths then head back to their cabins to get ready for dinner, which is usually served around 6 p.m. After dinner, an evening activity is held, followed by bedtime.
Miller said youths also engage in team building and participate in an Olympics competition at the end of camp. The Camp Wingmann director said youths from all around the diocese, as well as some from West Palm Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale were expected to attend this summer.