A Christian Camp & Retreat Center
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A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in my office around 3 PM on a Friday, and I was just tired. Not the tired where I needed to lay on the floor with a pillow, but the kind of tired that indicated that I needed to escape. So, I sent a message to a few people asking about the best places locally (we have only lived in our area a few months) to take my wife out for a nice dinner. After weighing the options, I made a reservation, went home and freshened up and put on a button-down shirt, and took my bride out to a lovely dinner. 

I tell you that story to let you know that we need to “Know When to Go!” But, more importantly, we need to know when to get out of the office to our place of refuge. Here at the Bongiorno Camp and Conference Center, we provide that place of refuge for so many people. We love hosting retreats for groups that need a place to come and relax, glean from the Lord, eat, and enjoy the creation that the Lord has provided.  

We would love to be that place for you as well. We would be thrilled to talk to you about having a staff retreat or a couple’s retreat. We are here to serve your needs and would love to have a conversation with you about how we could best meet your group’s needs. Maybe you have put it off for too long, as I did in taking my wife out to dinner, and you need to “Know When to Go.” Please call us or send us an email inquiry from our website: https://bongiornocc.com/check-availability/ We look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a blessed day.

Why?

It’s a question that we have been asked probably 100,000 times in our lifetime. When was the last time you asked yourself Why? Why should I send my kids to camp? What is the real reason we would even consider this?

As a youth and kid’s pastor throughout my career, I have learned that there is not just one reason to answer this question. Over the years of ministry, I have learned that there are many, many reasons that you might want the kids out of the house for a week.

For the most part, most parents that I have had the privilege to know have the best intentions in mind when they send their kids to camp. Of course, some have ulterior motives, but they still have their kid’s best interest in mind, and still others, who just want a week of peace and quiet so they can finish the book that they started a year ago.

So, I ask again, Why? Why are you sending your kids to camp this year? I trust that you realize the Bongiorno Conference Center exists to give your kids an opportunity to encounter the Living God. We are unapologetically a Christian Camp and Conference Center nestled in the hills of central Pennsylvania. We would encourage you to pray for your kids while they are here that God would work deeply in their hearts. Pray that He will bring change and His Spirit would transform their minds. This world offers them so many misguided notions of how to “get ahead.” We know that God has a plan for everyone and your kids are no exception to this.

Another reason that you might send your kids to camp might be that you are just looking for some peace and quiet. It’s ok; you need a break too. It’s amazing that we have the resources and assurance that our kids will be taken care of while away. We have people serving in our churches that genuinely care about you and your family. They are happy to take your kids to camp for a week. They will help your kids pack their belongings into a church bus or trailer and cart them away to camp. You can act like you are crying for a moment and then get off to your task list as long or as short as it may be.

We all know that there is a great need out there for our kids to be encouraged. Allow your church leadership to “love on” your kids for a week; it will change them. It will help mold them into what God desires them to be. So many kid’s lives are changed when they attend a camp. So, ask yourself Why… or Why not, and send them to camp. It’ll change their lives.

We have all heard of the phenom we call Preppers. If you go to google and search for “Preppers,” you will see more than 10 million hits on everything from being prepared to endure Covid-19 to having enough food through a storm with a long-term power outage. That may or may not be necessary to you, but what might make much sense is, “How can I best prepare my kids for summer camp this year?”

Being prepared is something that Mom takes much more seriously than Chad, who is ten and is heading to kid’s camp. Let’s take a look at what Chad might pack if Mom gave him the task. Three pairs of shorts, two pairs of underwear, four shirts, and all the snacks he can fit in the rest of the space in his bag. Chad will forget his deodorant and toothbrush but would remember enough peach rings for the entire cabin all week. It would be a stinky surprise every time the counselor comes into the room and gasps in the essence of pure ten-year-old, foot stench, bathroom odors, and yup, you guessed it, peach rings! It brings pure joy, but only to a select few that have experienced it.

So we are going to help you out. Chad doesn’t need 10 pounds of peach rings from the bulk candy center at your local grocery store. He needs you to help him plan for each day, keeping in mind that it could (probably will) rain at least one day, and it’ll be hot. You can often get a schedule of your particular camp from your organization’s website to let you know what will be happening each day. Day 1 - Arrive and swim, dinner, then a service with snack bar following. Day 2 - Breakfast, morning service, lunch, free time and activities, pool time, and dinner and service with snack bar afterward. Let me encourage you to break down these days; consider that Chad will go out into the rain and slide in the mud with his friends on Wednesday, then they will use their pool towels to try to clean up. Make sure that your student has a couple of beach towels, a couple of shower towels (show them the difference), and put in an extra change of clothes, just in case. Chad won’t need his cell phone to text his “girlfriend” back home, but rather, pack that sunscreen and deodorant and show Chad how to apply it correctly.

I know what you are thinking; Chad will come home with clean clothes still in his suitcase. Trust me; the smell can be washed away! What matters most is that he had a fantastic experience and an absolute blast at camp. Don’t worry; your kids will be back home soon enough, saying “I’m borrrrrrred” and driving you crazy. Allow them the opportunity to have the most incredible summer ever and to be kids. It’s ok if they play in the mud and have a great time. Just remember, they need your help to properly “prep.” We sure hope to see Chad or Lisa, or Jamie at camp this year. We all need a break; they need the break from you, and we know you need a break from them. Hope to see your kids at BCC Pennsylvania Christian Retreat Center this summer.

When the summer months begin, and you’re off from school, you’ll probably find that you have a lot of free time on your hands. If you’re looking for something to do during the summer, or are looking to send your child to an inclusive summer camp to learn something new, consider joining our summer camps. Bongiorno Christian Center is a Pennsylvania Christian Retreat Center that focuses on providing numerous learning and skill opportunities for our campers that will help them in many areas of life. 

  1. Meeting New Friends

When our campers first arrive at our Christian Retreat Center in PA, we make it a priority to help every camper to get along with each other. While it can be nerve-wracking to meet somebody new for the first time, we believe that camp can help young people make new life-long friends. 

  1. Putting Aside Your Differences

It’s impossible to go through life without running into people who may annoy you or that you don’t see eye-to-eye with. When our campers become a part of our Christian Camps in PA, we help each child and teen to find common interests and common ground while putting aside their differences. Doing so can help teach campers how to navigate different relationships with different people, which can help them grow older and move into professional life. 

  1. Being a Good Communicator

One of the best skills you can learn at our summer camps is being a solid communicator. Communication plays a vital role in nearly every aspect of life, from talking with classmates about homework and assignments, discussing what you do and do not understand with a teacher or your parents, or addressing issues or complaints that you may have about something. At summer camp, effective communication will help ensure that all campers understand the tasks that they must do each day, such as completing chores, working together on a team, and expressing their thoughts and opinions in a safe setting. 

  1. Being Open to Learning

At our Christian Camps in Pennsylvania, we make sure that our campers have a wide variety of opportunities to learn new skills and activities they may not have much experience with. Each trailer should be open to learning new things each day and challenging themselves with skills that may take some time to master. Whether it’s tying knots, pitching a tent, or working with larger groups, our Pennsylvania Christian Camp provides abundant options for our campers to learn all through the summer. 

  1. Trying New Things

With an openness to learn comes trying new things, things that may take you out of your comfort zone and make you nervous or scared to try. But new things can also teach us something about ourselves and our fellow campers. You may only think that you’re afraid of heights before you try zip lining or that you’re not skilled at making a fire until you learn what types of branches and kindling work best. Whatever activities you choose to participate in at our Christian Conference Center, our staff always emphasizes the potential of trying new things to our campers. They might leave with a few new skills, interests, and hobbies that they want to learn more about and pursue in the future. 

Bongiorno Christian Retreat Center offers a wide variety of summer camp programs to help keep campers busy during the summer months. Our camp programs are designed to teach our campers a variety of practical life skills that can be used in many areas of life. If you or your child are looking for a Christian camp in Pennsylvania, join us at the Bongiorno Christian Center. A perfect setting and retreat venue for any summer camp or outdoor gathering, our Pennsylvania Christian Retreat Center is located near Carlisle, PA. Our staff is dedicated to providing a memorable camp experience to our campers and can help you with any retreat or conference questions that you may have. Contact us today and learn more about our Christian Camps in Pennsylvania so you or your child can learn something new this summer. 

Whether you attended Christian camps in Pennsylvania growing up or getting ready to send your kids off for a fantastic summer experience, it is essential to take some time and reflect on the tremendous life skills learned at camp. 

Teamwork

Teamwork is at the heart of many camp activities. Campers quickly learn that they have much more fun and can get things accomplished much quicker when they work in teams, whether they are writing computer code, playing sports, or building a fire. These team-building skills follow children throughout their entire lives.

Leadership

At camp, kids become independent. Mom is no longer there to lead their every decision, and they are responsible for their schedules. Older kids at camp get even more exposure to leadership as they fill the roles of junior counselors and counselors. Many people who never thought of themselves as leaders find that they have a natural talent for effectively leading at summer camp.

Resilience

Camp is real-life, and when campers get stung by a bee at camp, mom is not there to nurse them back to health. Instead, they learn to use resources like the nursing station and overcome the pain and challenge independently. When kids learn to overcome challenges and get back on their feet alone, they make tremendous progress toward being strong, successful adults. Summer camp is filled with opportunities to develop resilience, and as a result, campers come home more confident in their abilities to battle diversity. But rest assured that the camp counselors are on the sidelines, ready to assist when needed.

Decision-Making

Summer camp is an excellent tool to teach kids how to be independent. Of course, a large part of independence is making decisions. The camp environment helps kids understand situations and the consequences of their actions and decisions in a safe environment. This fosters the perfect domain to make mistakes, learn from mistakes, and learn how to make vital decisions. 

Sportsmanship

Even if your child is attending a non-sports camp, they will still learn the fundamentals of sportsmanship, from playing board games to making arts and crafts to cooking. Sportsmanship benefits kids in school, friendships, and their future careers and families. It is an essential skill to learn and practice at Christian camps in PA.

Courage

It takes much courage for kids to pack their bags and bid farewell to their parents, siblings, and friends for an extended period to head to camp. But, kids can’t learn what they’re capable of until they experience it. At camp, kids have many opportunities to step out of their comfort zones, try new things, and make new friends. This leads to brave, courageous, confident kids.

If you are looking for a Pennsylvania Christian retreat center to host a summer camp, look no further than Buongiorno Conference Center. Located just six miles outside of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Bongiorno is one of the top Christian retreat centers in Pennsylvania. Contact us today to find out more!

When you attend a camp at a Pennsylvania Christian Retreat Center or send your children to a camp at a Christian Conference Center, you empower them with lifelong skills. Attending camp is so much more than just having a good time. Camps instill many life-long values that will help your camper grow and thrive. 

Working with People You Dislike 

Working with people you don't like, or people that annoy you, or people you can't get along with is part of life. Camp exposes you to this reality and teaches you how to handle complex relationships from a pretty young age. The lessons of working with people you dislike will translate into your professional life because you will be armed with the skills to put your feelings aside and get the job done.

Effective Communication 

Communication is vital in virtually every camp activity from chores, to making sure your team performs well in the talent show and speaking up about an uncomfortable living situation. Camp teaches us almost immediately that without accurate and effective communication, teamwork can't work. 

Trusting Your Learning Capacity 

Everyday life at camp becomes a learning experience, from learning how to tie knots and start fires to learning more complex things like conflict resolution and how to cohabitate with your friends. They have in common that you often find yourself surprised at how much and how quickly you can learn new skills. As you go through life, you understand that you never know when knowing how to do something is going to come in handy, and the skills learned at camp and the confidence in yourself to learn new things will work in your favor. 

Adequate Preparation 

In life and camp, you must arm yourself with the knowledge, resources, and support you need to be successful. Eventually, you find out that the teams who plan generally see the best results. Suddenly, you realize the value being of being prepared. Preparation is a skill that can make all the difference between passing and failing a course, nail-ing or failing a job interview, and being successful in every aspect of your life, from work to personal relationships to family. 

Leaving your Comfort Zone 

From going mom and dad to conquering your fear of heights and trying so many new things, camp pushes you out of your comfort zone. This breeds bold and brave adults who aren't afraid to try new things in life and business. These new things can lead to unexpected relationships and business inventions, innovations that can make you millions of dollars or help you find the love of your life. Camp at a Christian Retreat Center plays a huge role in preparing us for life. Camp affords you the chance to learn about who you are, what you can do, and how you will fit into the world. If you're looking for a place to host your Pennsylvania Christian Camp, look no further than Bongiorno Conference Center. We are located in beautiful Central Pennsylvania, just six miles outside of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Our mission as a Pennsylvania Christian Camp is to provide a welcoming venue for our guests to hold a life-changing conference, retreat, or camp. 

Whether you’re getting ready to send your child off to a Pennsylvania Christian camp, or you’re attending a Christian retreat in Pennsylvania yourself, you’re in the right place. This post will go over everything you need to ensure a fantastic time having fun and learning about Jesus.
Start Packing ASAP
We know you may be buried under snow at the moment, but it’s never too early to start preparing for camp. The sooner you start, the less stressful the situation will be. Before you start rummaging through all of the closets in your house, check with the Pennsylvania Christian retreat center that’s holding the camp. Most camps will provide packing lists to give you a general idea of what’s needed. In addition to recommendations, they will likely tell you which items are not allowed at the Christian conference center.
Camp Packing List
Below are some helpful items to start gathering to ensure you or your child are fully pre-pared for camp:

Backpack
First and foremost, you need somewhere to store all of your belongings that you’re bringing to camp. Find a reliable backpack that fits comfortably and that will hold everything you need.


Toiletry Bag
To avoid having to bring your entire backpack to the shower with you every morning or set, we recommend a separate toiletry bag. These bags are commonly waterproof in case something spills. This helps ensure the rest of your clothes and items in the backpack don’t get ruined should something spill.


Comfortable Shoes
Activities vary from camp to camp, but no matter your activity level, you need comfortable shoes. Camps and retreats are always jam-packed with activities, often in different locations. You need to ensure you can get there comfortably and not worry about pain or blisters when standing for long periods.
And More:
• Sunscreen
• Shower flip-flops
• Sweatshirt • Swimsuit • Pajamas
• Socks
• Reusable water bottle • Laundry bag
• Spending money
Include Some Home Comforts
If you’re sending your child to a Christian camp, they will likely start missing the comforts of home. Be sure to include some ca, Iliad items to cut down on homesickness. Here’s what we recommend.
A Comfort Item for Sleep
Include a special blanket or your child’s favorite stuffed animal. There’s something about sleeping in a strange place that can be uncomfortable. These items will help ensure your child feels comforted and can catch up on their zzz’s after a busy day of fun activities.
Stationary or Post Cards
It’s important that your camper can write some letters home to fill you in on all of the things they’re learning at camp. If you are attending a retreat yourself, stationery and postcards are a great way to ensure you always have materials for writing down things you are learning and want to take back home with you.
To find out more about Christian camps in PA, contact us today. We are located in beautiful Central Pennsylvania, just six miles outside of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to provide a welcoming venue for our guests to hold a life-changing conference, retreat, or camp.
We look forward to hearing from you.

It's never too early to think about your child's upcoming plans. Summer camps can be life-changing opportunities, introducing them to new people and helping them find a place in their community. You'll find a wide range of choices available these days, including many secular options that don't offer any religious benefits. 

Don't overlook the importance of finding a great Christian camp in Pennsylvania for your children to attend! Bongiorno Conference Center offers the best Pennsylvania Christian retreats for all ages. Explore all the reasons why camp is a powerful choice for your family and why a Christian camp is the absolute best environment.

Amazing Amenities

Camp has come a long way from sleeping in a tent on the dirt. Today's camp and conference facilities offer world-class facilities. Bongiorno's full amenities will help your child make lasting memories and build bonds with their fellow Christian campers. 

Traditional options like outdoor fire pits, pavilions, multiple game courts, and more allow campers to experience nature's splendor while learning essential life lessons. Modern options include an Olympic-size pool with slides, inflatable bounce houses, wagon rides, and more. Your kids will love their time at Bongiorno's Christian conference center. Long after going home, they'll associate these good memories with their growing faith.

Bonding With Friends

The camp experience creates tight bonds that form the basis of lifelong relationships. Children need to learn how to socialize and make new friendships as they grow up. Your child will probably meet fun new friends at any camp, but you can help them build their network of believers when you send them to a Christian camp. Please encourage your child to grow in their faith by spending time with their spiritual peers. 

Pennsylvania Christian retreat centers like Bongiorno are a powerful tool for your child's spiritual development as part of a broader community. If your child wants to spend time with friends from outside the church, invite these friends to camp as well!

Exposure To Good Role Models

Camp also offers a chance to form relationships with older Christians. Whether your child attends a weekend Christian retreat in PA or is part of a more extended camp stay, every experience creates meaningful bonds with fellow attendees. Your child will see their youth pastor, student leaders, volunteer staff, and other role models in a new light. 

Spending time with religious influencers helps your child picture themselves as a grown-up living in the faith. Camp allows your child to see their role models in a variety of situations. They can watch their religious leaders outside the formal structures of church and worship and learn from daily situations. When they see their youth leader play sports, eat three meals a day, and handle surprises, your child gains a broader understanding of what it means to live in the church. 

When you're choosing summer activities for your family, make sure to support their spiritual development and help them build a community at the Bongiorno Christian camps in Pennsylvania.

Even though you may have packed your child up for a family vacation, at a Christian Camp, lots of times, packing for summer camp is different. Once you’ve got the obvious covered—clothing for hot days, cool evenings, and wet weather, personal toiletries and any medications, a backpack—sorting out the must-haves can get a bit confusing.

The first thing to do is check with your child’s camp to determine precisely what is and isn’t provided. For instance, a few camps require that you bring your own bedding or bath towels. Also, ask if any “performance” clothing is required. Many camps have the kids put on productions or skits for which costumes or special garments might be needed. Another possibility is a dance or awards dinner, which may call for clothing you probably wouldn’t think to pack, like chinos. Lastly, find out if your child will need a tent or other outdoor gear. Some summer camps and retreat centers have kids sleeping under the stars as much as possible, while at others, campers are nestled in their cabins every night.

You’ll also want to consider how long your child will be there. Camp sessions of two weeks or longer may necessitate packing items (such as nail clippers) you’d be able to skip for shorter stays.

You may also want to consider the following:

Flow these tips to make packing fun and successful.

#1 Print out and use the packing list your camp provides!

This seems like obvious advice, but it’s fundamental to your packing success. Your camp has specific activities and requirements and has spent time carefully, creating a list of appropriate and necessary items for your camper’s comfort. If the list is online, print it and use it as a checklist as you get items laid out for camp. If your camp mailed a paper list, make an extra copy in case the original gets misplaced.

 #2 Have your camper do most of the work.

When your camper is away, you won’t be there to help locate towels, socks, or flip flops. It’s essential for kids to feel empowered and responsible for their belongings before they leave for camp because learning to keep track of their stuff is a way kids grow from their camp experience. So, whether it’s laying out items on the packing list, labeling things, or packing a trunk, let your camper lead the way. Even young kids enjoy counting out their six pairs of socks! For younger kids (under age 10), use a teamwork approach to packing. For older kids, provide some oversight, like making sure they don’t pack a dry-clean-only shirt!

#3 Label EVERYTHING.

On behalf of all camp and retreat center staff in America, I plead with you to make sure everything your camper brings is labeled. The lost and found table is often overflowing with unlabeled items many campers walk past without recognizing. Labeled items have a much better chance of making it home. You can use a Sharpie permanent marker and have your camper help label things with at least a first name and last initial, OR you can order stick-on labels that make it easy to delegate this task to your child completely. I’ve used these labels in the past and found them easy and very useful. 

#4 Roll outfits or place in large zippered storage bags.

At some camps, campers live out of their luggage (suitcase, footlocker, duffel bag, or backpack). It’s challenging to keep a suitcase or duffel bag organized; while rummaging for one item, the rest of the clothing gets tossed and unfolded inside. I am a big proponent of keeping outfits rolled up. Simply layout a t-shirt and shorts, place underwear and socks in the middle and wrap the whole outfit like a burrito. Not only does rolling outfits help more items fit in the luggage, but it also makes it much more likely that your camper will change their underwear! Double win.

 #5 Include some extras.

Your camp’s packing list may or may not include some optional, extra items that many kids enjoy:

• A comfort item to sleep with (stuffed animal, special blanket, etc.)

• Letter writing materials: Postcards or envelopes (already pre-addressed and stamped!) make it easy for your camper to write letters home, which you will want to get while your trailer is away.

• Book to read: Many camps don’t allow electronics or e-readers, and even if they do, there may be no power source to charge the device. “Real” books made of paper are best for camp.

There you have it. Just a few Christian Camp packing tips to help make your retreat center preparations go smoothly.

During 2020 due to COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Christian retreat center industry, has hosted less retreats than in the past.  During the last six months the Bongiorno Christian Conference Center experienced the cancelation of retreat groups and Christian camps in PA.   We wanted to host groups but with so much unknown about COVID-19 and changing regulations coming down from our state government,  we felt we could not hold retreats in good conscience.  Thankfully the state of Pennsylvania allowed an exception for religious groups to meet.  We needed to be wise and we need to think about the safety of groups and reducing the risk of  COVID-19 during our meetings or retreats.

Our geographic area of Pennsylvania entered the green phase in June which allowed us to hold Pennsylvania Christian camp and retreats of a larger size, but with cautions and safety protocols.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidelines for children and youth overnight camps.  These guidelines were not mandated laws, but were very strong recommendations.

In the month of July our Christian Conference center hosted a youth camp with over 400 teens  and a children’s camp with over 230 children.  Both camps operated with the guidelines recommended by the CDC as well as even more stringent guidelines when it came to food service and other areas.  At Bongiorno, our Pennsylvania Christian camp, the cleaning staff have worked extra hours with EPA N chemicals.  We’ve done our normal cleaning and then have gone beyond to clean high touch surfaces. 

Our food service has done an excellent job, with every staff member wearing masks and gloves.  We were  extra cautious during July and August with no self-serve buffets.  Food items were portioned out in disposable containers, staff would serve drinks and sanitize tables after guests exited.  Our July and August groups did not experience any Covid issues.  This is great news for Christian Camps in Pennsylvania.

We served several adult groups in August, September and the beginning of October.  Sneeze guards, masks and gloves along with disposable plates and utensils allowed us to resume with a self-service buffet . Food service was carefully monitored.  Masks worn by attendees when social distancing was not possible also created a more sanitary environment.  Public areas cleaned and sanitized often also helped.  We purchased an electrostatic sprayer to help sanitize those difficult areas, meeting rooms and chairs.

We are owned by a denomination that holds all of their Christian camps in Pennsylvania.  We outlined the risks and precautions (masks, social distancing, etc.) we were taking in a COVID form and disclaimer.   We asked the same question asked when going to a Doctor’s office . and we required temperature checks when arriving on campus.  This was a comforting thought knowing that everyone who attended walked in as healthy as possible.  

We are one of the few groups that were able to hold summer camps without any COVID-19 issues.  We planned ahead; we thought it through and we took extra precautions.  Everything in life has a risk.  As a Christian retreat center in PA, we do our best to minimize that risk as much as possible.

Bongiorno is open for ministry, ready to host you.  We are a Christian conference center, a religious organization and  allowed to hold religious meetings in Pennsylvania.   We also operate with caution, we don’t live with a spirit of fear but we strive to live with a spirit of wisdom.  If you’re having second thoughts, not sure about holding a retreat,  give us a call we’ll share some of our precautions with you.  Hold your next retreat at a Pennsylvania Christian retreat center.

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