Couple offers scholarships for kids to attend camp

Couple offers scholarships for kids to attend camp

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Katie Lange, left, of Port Byron, and the Rev. Dr. Kathy Crozier are shown on a trail at Jensen Woods Camp, which will reopen this summer. Crozier and her husband, the Rev. Jim Crozier, are establishing a scholarship fund for campers interested in attending.

The Rev. Dr. Kathy Crozier and her husband, the Rev. Jim Crozier, are honoring their late parents by creating scholarships to Jensen Woods Camp, located south of Macomb, Ill. 

The couple has established five $100 scholarships for youth in the Quad-Cities and surrounding area who are entering second grade through high school age and would like to attend the camp. For more information, contact Rev. Kathy Crozier, 309-507-0062, or jensensummercamp@gmail.com or visit www.jensenwoodscamp.com.

The Rev. Dr. Kathy Crozier recently completed studies for her doctorate in spiritual formation. She also is embarking on the adventure of resurrecting Jensen Woods Camp as the new camp director. She is the vocational discernment facilitator for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.

Her husband, the Rev. Jim Crozier, is the lead pastor at First United Methodist Church in Port Byron.

Crozier said she and her husband chose to establish the scholarships in memory of her mother, the late Nancy Hunt, “who made helping children grow and succeed as her life work,” and in memory of her husband’s late father, U.S. Navy Capt. Joe Crozier, “whose faith set an amazing example for his children.”

Jensen Woods Camp was owned and operated by the United Methodist Church for about 50 years, Crozier said.

In 2015, the decision was made to sell the property so the proceeds could be invested in other United Methodist-owned camps.

“The Jensen Camp Foundation was formed by some folks who wanted the property to continue to offer Christian camp experiences to children, families, and adults,” Crozier said. “For over three years the Foundation tried to buy the camp, only to have offers refused. In the spring of 2018, a gentleman made an offer on the property and that offer was accepted by the United Methodist Church. The day after the sale closed, the buyer went to the camp to secure a lease for the house on the property. The renter’s dad happened to be there and he shared his sadness that the property was no longer going to be used as a church camp.”

Crozier said the man who had just purchased the camp asked if the Jensen Camp Foundation was still interested in buying the property.

“He contacted the foundation the next day, which just happened to be Good Friday,” she said. “The foundation set to work and raised $500,000 for a down payment on the camp, secured financing for the remainder and purchased the property in August 2018.”

Crozier describes Jensen Woods as a rustic camp where campers sleep in tree houses, with each group limited to 10 children and two adults so deep friendships can be formed. Each group will prepare meals over campfires, plan the day’s activities, work together to solve problems and learn new skills.

“We are excited to share our 15 miles of trails, our horses, our swimming and fishing ponds, our opportunity to spend a week ‘unplugged’ from our usual lives and plugged into the Christian community,” she said.

Cost of the Sunday through Friday camp ranges from $250-$350, with the riding camps being the most expensive. The first week of camp will be June 16-21.

In addition to horsemanship camp, Jensen Woods offers archery camp, survivor camp, night owl camp, tree house camp, nature explorer camp and others including a mother/daughter camp and a family camp.

“During camp, we will have opportunities to talk about faith with each small group and we will worship together nightly,” Crozier said.

She said many of the children in the Crozier family, “biological, adopted and foster kids, went to camp at Jensen Woods. They remember it as a place where they were accepted and loved, despite their backgrounds. Three of our kids volunteered there to give back and two of them (now living in the Des Moines area) will join us on Memorial Day weekend to help install fences and clear trails.”

“Many youth and children from the Quad-Cities and surrounding areas have attended Jensen Woods in previous years when it was owned and operated by the United Methodist Church,” she said. “Our hope is that these scholarships will allow some kids from this area to attend again.”

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