Erica Thomas

If you had a childhood anything like mine, you would have painted your fair share of rocks. As I grew up though, painting rocks became a hobby of the past. Like many past times we enjoy as children, it slow faded from our lives as we moved on to more “grown up” activities. Just like the recent resurgence of coloring in the adult community, painting rocks has it’s own set of health benefits.

One of the new breakout activities that will be offered at Harmony Health and Wellness Retreat in 2018 is Lake Superior Rock Painting led by Sonora Byrd. Sonora will be collecting the rocks from the shores of Lake Superior and helping engage each of us in thoughtful, meditative painting that will leave a lasting impression on us.

I will be guiding a meditative art session using Lake Superior stones and painting pens where all participants can use their own creativity to create a stone they can hold in the palm of their hand, keep on display, put their garden or carry with them for a simple reminder of the power of prayer.

It may seem simple yet there is power in the time spent creating your own painted rock. Rock on with paint brushes in hand! Join us this summer! Register for Harmony Retreat here.


With the joys of Spring also come the bugs and sunburns. Don’t let the insects or extra sunshine put a damper on your outdoor activities! Here a few quick and easy tips to staying away from sunburns and itchy bites.

  1. Make your own homemade bug repellent! It is easier than you think AND smells way better! Many recipes can be found on various health, wellness, and natural remedy sites online. As always be sure to through research and ask questions as needed. Essential oils are often key ingredients that smell fantastic from lavender and rosemary to eucalyptus and lemon. A personal favorite is adding vanilla to keep pesky gnats away as well. You’ll smell like a sugar cookie and you won’t look like you are fighting an invisible battle around your head!
  2. Don’t have the time or the resources at your fingertips? Not a problem! Here’s a tried and true natural bug spray that actually works. Buggins again smells amazing and does a fantastic job of keep you fly, gnat and no see ’em free. Although their mosquito repellent does contain DEET which is not a health or environmentally friendly choice.
  3. Eat your sunscreen. Yes, you read that correctly. There are ways to adjust your diet so that your body is able to boost Vitamin D levels for time spent in the sun without sunscreen. Of course, sun exposure should still be in moderation and using clothing, hats, and sunglasses are advised as well as seeking shade. But loading up your diet with Omega 6 and other health fatty oils helps your body fend off the sunburn effects of the sun without removing your body’s ability to make Vitamin D from the sun (which is what sunscreen does).
  4. Vitamin D, as mentioned above, is a very important part of a health life. We can consume foods with Vitamin D that is naturally occurring (rare) or added (such as milk). We can take supplements, which is especially helpful in an UP North Winter! And if we can allow your bare skin to soak in the sun for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a week we can help avoid Vitamin D deficiency. Not only is Vitamin D an important part of being healthy, lack of Vitamin D can have severe health impacts.

Ever wonder what is most important in a survival situation? How about how to properly pack your backpack? Or how to build a fire without matches? Or what wood is best to be burned for a long lasting fire? Can you tie more than 10 different knots? Or cook delicious meals over just a camp fire? If you get lost in the woods, do you know what to do? And what’s all this talk about “leave no trace?”

Is that plant edible?

Come and join the new Camp Director, Erica, from July 6th – 8th for the first year of Michigamme Survivor and find out the answers to these commonly asked questions and more. Erica has spent many hours on the trail, in camp, on and in the water, and she has a whole pack of adventures, travels, survival skills, and back country tips. She enjoys exploring new ways to do something we take for granted because of modern technology. And she loves being able to share her passion for the outdoors with others through sharing knowledge, enthusiasm, and time together.

As a Michigamme Survivor, you’ll have the opportunity to learn new skills from basic wilderness first aid tips to orienteering without a compass to shelter building. You’ll not only learn them, you’ll have the chance to put your new skills to the test with team building challenges and scenarios. Unlike Survivor, the TV show, you’ll be well fed as you prepare some of the best meals you’ve ever tasted over the fire. If you are gung ho about going to the extremes, you can. If you are more hesitant and just want to get a taste, you can.

Embrace your inner Bear Grylls and join us on the wild side of life

In addition to time spent swapping knowledge, soaking in the outdoors, observing wildlife, building your camp space, and cooking meals over the open flame, you will be challenged to open your mind to the concept of thriving. We were made to thrive, not just survive. We will explore what that means for us and our faith as we immerse ourselves in God’s beautiful creation. Worship around the campfire, daily devotions, and vespers will help draw you closer in your relationship with God.

Michigamme Suvivor has limited spaces and is open to all adults and youth who are entering 10th grade in the fall of 2017. Ready to register? You can do so here! If you have any questions about this program, please contact Erica directly at

Greetings from Camp Michigamme,
Each of us, in different ways, experiences a life changing event that re-directs our goals. For many that experience is an encounter with the Holy Spirit, strengthening our faith. My experience occurred in Junior High Camp at Camp Michigamme at the “Closing Campfire” 60 years ago. Many of us have had such experiences at Michigamme over the years.

Each of us has a role in providing for that opportunity for an encounter with Christ.

In 2017, we begin an exciting new year with a new Director, Erica Thomas, in place. A Director with enthusiasm for Christ, for Camp, and for bringing new directions to all of us. She has already shown her dedication, her creativity, and her love of Camp.

Michigamme faces challenges which all of us can help resolve. Camp needs campers, but it needs volunteers for working on projects at camp, it needs those unable to volunteer as counselors, workers, or staff, to sponsor a camper, contribute to a needed project on camp, or contribute to the general fund for running camp. Each of us has a role in providing for that opportunity for an encounter with Christ.
Projects this year emphasize the safety of campers and staff. Electrical wiring to be put underground, new wiring installed in Hampton Chapel, updating lavatory facilities, and new gas heating units in several cabins to ensure safe and comfortable experiences. All of this is needed, as well as, “clean-up crews”, painters, carpenters, and myriad of general volunteers to get Camp ready. Join us on one of three work weekends outlined in the brochure.

Come to Michigamme, visit Michigamme, give to Michigamme

My prayer this year is to re-build, re-vitalize, and re-dedicate. Come to Michigamme, visit Michigamme, give to Michigamme.
Tom Brown, Chairperson
Michigamme Board of Trustees

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