Distinctively Nathanael

One of the nice things about living in this area is the wide variety of Christian camps available. Christian Camp and Conference Association lists 27 member camps in Minnesota, and 80 camps within a four-hour drive of Minneapolis. It’s a wonderful thing that there are so many great ministries ready to make a positive impact on the lives of children, youth and families.

The challenge can be deciding which camp is best for you or your children. You wouldn’t go wrong attending any of these camps. They’re each special and distinctive in their own ways, as their fans and loyal campers would be happy to tell you. However, not every camp is best for every camper. It makes sense to consider the things that make a camp stand out from others. Consider what makes each camp distinctive.

Camp Nathanael is distinctive because:

  • Nathanael is exclusively for boys and young men. Our mission is to raise up young men to be Christ-following leaders for his kingdom. The world needs godly men. We believe this happens best in an environment where we can minister exclusively to guys.
  • Nathanael is a camp that active boys love. Our programming and daily schedule are great for boys who love to be active, play hard, learn new skills, explore and spend time outdoors.
  • Nathanael offers some amazing and very popular Father-Son camps. These half-week sessions give dads a chance to spend high quality time with their sons doing things men and boys love to do.
  • Nathanael provides adventures for guys. Our wilderness trips (whitewater canoeing, climbing and rappelling, trail biking, BWCA trips) are great for young men who want to take their camp experience to the next level. But even our residential camps are full of adventures.
  • Nathanael’s skill classes offer the chance to learn or hone skills in a variety of areas including shooting sports (archery, riflery, shotguns), woodworking, trail biking, climbing and rappelling, model rocketry, outdoor survival and more.
  • Nathanael trains and equips young men to lead and serve. This has been Nathanael’s core mission from the beginning. Each summer more than two dozen high school aged guys (we call them noncoms) spend the summer with us. Following a rigorous application process they spend two weeks in training and then serve in a variety of ways through the summer. They lead cabins, teach skill classes and Bible studies, lifeguard and serve on grounds and kitchen crews. They are trained, coached, mentored and evaluated throughout the summer. Most spend three summers with us and are given increasing levels of responsibility and leadership.
  • Nathanael continues to mentor and encourage selected noncoms even through the school year. Those who choose pursue our Legacy Noncom program will meet with a mentor throughout the year and will fulfill a variety of requirements, including mentoring a younger guy, completing a study on leadership, memorizing Scripture, completing a project to benefit the ministry of Nathanael, participating in a weekend retreat and more.

After many years of Christian service in various places, I have never believed more strongly in the value, importance and impact of a ministry than I do in Nathanael. Thousands of men look back on their Nathanael experience and remember it as life-shaping. Hundreds more, including myself, agree that Nathanael equipped them for a life of of Christ-focussed leadership and service.

Mark Watkins
Executive Director