07/13/09: The church’s Episcopal Camp and Conference Centers (ECCC) organization honored Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE tonight with the 2009 Hero of Camping Ministry Award “in recognition of his bold vision and commitment to enriching the lives of children, adults and families by creating, promoting and sustaining the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center.”
Massachusetts deputy and summer camp assistant program director Sam Gould told a story of seeing a camper’s outlook transform through his first experience of Christian story and community at summer camp.
“One thing we can say, without Bishop Shaw’s efforts there would not be a story like that to tell in the Diocese of Massachusetts,” Rufus Miller, the ECCC board president, said, before presenting Shaw with a walking stick.
“You know, I’ve been a bishop for about 15 years, and at every General Convention there’s always a tremendous amount of talk about youth and about evangelism, and one of the things that I know from the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center and from visiting some of your camps is that the greatest way to work with youth and to evangelize is through our camps and our conference centers,” Shaw told the gathering. “The kind of work that we can do in a week or two with a young person transforms their lives, and I know that everybody here has been involved in camp and conference center work for a long time. You’re doing the real youth and evangelism work of the church, and God has enormous gratitude to all of you for the work that you’re doing.”
Lynette Wilson’s story for Episcopal Life Online is here.