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Rows of family-size canvas tents are set up in preparation for an old-time Northern New England camp meeting.
There just aren’t that many full, nine-day camp meetings left in the North American Division. Nor are there many places left where meetings are held in a big tent or where actual camping is a big part of camp meeting. Not so in Northern New England, where traditions are slow to change.
Northern New England Conference’s (NNEC) camp meeting is held on the expansive grounds of Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, Maine. This year’s camp meeting will be July 15-23; and preparation for the event is an all-hands-on-deck event with the pastoral and administrative staff taking several days to set up rows and rows of canvas, family-size tents, most of which were manufactured many decades ago. The same crew then tackles setting up the main tent, which is made of coated canvas and can seat some 500 people. Finally, large tents are set up to serve as the headquarters for the prayer warrior teams, and for youth meetings.
When all is said and done, the athletic fields at Pine Tree Academy have been transformed into a peaceful village, complete with walking trails, recreation and sport, areas, a running/walking track, a cafeteria that, according to past campers, serves amazing food, and a bathoom/bathhouse building.
But the substance of camp meetings is far more important than the setting. Here again Northern New England sticks with tradition, offering widely-known featured speakers for the weekend and evening meetings, and offering a multitude of knowledgeable seminar speakers on everything ranging from prophecy to family life issues to country living “how-to” events to practical workshops on an array of topics.
The world is changing, the North American Division is changing, and the pattern has long been that Northern New England eventually, reluctantly, changes as well. But for now NNEC is sticking with its traditions and offering a full, old-time, camp meeting experience. If you don’t know what that’s like, or would like to relive memories, consider making a trip to Maine and joining the spiritual feast. For more information, email Diane Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Communication staff, Northern New England Conference; article originally published in the May Atlantic Union Gleaner