By Trinity Martin
After running for 60 years strong, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the beloved Morgan County Association Children’s Camp at Hard Labor Creek State Park’s Camp Daniel Morgan to shut down for the summer.
On April 17, pastors with the MCA met to discuss what effects COVID-19 would have on the association’s annual camp. After serious consideration, they decided to skip a summer in an effort to keep all who participate safe and healthy.
“Everyone is sad and disappointed,” Rodney Allgood, camp director, said. “But in the best interest of the campers and the counselors, it was better to cancel.”
For some, the loss of such a cherished occasion was not easy to accept. Counselor Lydia Alexander expressed her sorrow having said, “It’s heart-breaking to know after 60 years, that COVID-19 was able to shut us down.”
MCA Camp has been a part of Alexander’s family for many years. “My grandfather was camp director when my dad, Matt Alexander, was a kid. My dad gave his life to Christ there in the worship center in 1980,” she said. The program has continued to lead its campers to Christ through the years, having multiple kids dedicate their life just last year. “Last year I had the privilege of leading one of my campers to ask Jesus into her heart,” Alexander said.
This program also played a big role in the counselors’ lives. “Camp is the one place away from home that feels like home as you grow closer to Jesus,” said counselor Nolan Brown. Kaitlyn Sims, who became a counselor last year, said “being a counselor really impacted my personal relationship with Jesus. It reminded me what having child-like faith looked like. Pouring into those children and seeing them pour out their love for the lord really makes the humid and sweaty days all worth it.”
Although MCA may not be a glamorous stay for campers, it is designed for life changing moments. “This camp is not big, air conditioned, or fancy, but it is filled with spirit.” Alexander said. “You can expect to leave this camp dirty, a little tired, and full of fond memories.”
Although MCA Camp could not proceed this year, plans for 2021 are already in the works. “This setback gives us time to plan for the best summer ever for our 2021 kids,” said Alexander. Counselor Ansley Shultz is looking toward to a bright future, “As a former camper and current camp counselor, my heart breaks that we had to cancel camp this year. However, I treasure the sweet memories from past years and look forward to joy that’s coming,” she said.
Despite this year’s setback, the counselors said campers can expect an action packed and touching program next year.
To learn more about MCA summer camp at Camp Daniel Morgan, located inside Hard Labor Creek State Park, find them on Facebook at MCA Children’s Camp.