Tending the Fire is a monthly series sharing a deeper look at the people who make up Camp and Retreat Ministries. Each month we will share a story from our campers, donors, staff and volunteers and what impact Camp and Retreat Ministries has had on them, and them on us. We hope these stories will educate you, uplift you and inspire you to get involved in whatever ways you can.
Unlike many of our volunteers, donors or staff, Lori Alton did not grow up attending United Methodist Church camps or do any camping as a young adult. She was introduced to the Oregon-Idaho Camp and Retreat Ministries’ program by her spouse, the Rev. Wendy Woodworth. Lori provided leadership as a counselor at Suttle Lake Camp’s Mid-High Adventure Camp in the 1990’s. She would go on to volunteer with Creation Vacation, Grand Camp and at Wallow Lake Camp.
Even though Lori is pretty adventurous, she admits that going to camp can be a bit scary for all ages but likes that “camps take people on their own terms and let them grow.” Having first experienced camping as an adult, Lori said she was “truly amazed at how accepting (camp) is at giving kids the power to decide how they wanted to experience and engage with God.”
For several years, Lori donated to special appeals or projects at our sites. After retiring about a year and a half ago, she started hearing the need for everyday donations and decided she wanted to become a sustaining donor by making recurring (monthly) donations to several organizations. Camp and Retreat Ministries is one of those recipients. Lori understands sustaining donors are an important way to provide consistent revenue for Camp and Retreat Ministries, and that small donations add up to large support. As Lori said, “I give because I can.”
When asked why she is a sustaining donor, Lori shared that she values the sharing that happens at camp and that camp is “phenomenally important for kids and families. Campers get to be in community with each other, something we don’t get a lot of in our lives.”