This past October 31, as 29 members of Team Pecometh headed down to Ocean City, and participated in the Seaside 10 Miler/5K Run...all to help raise funds for Pecometh Camp & Retreat Ministries.This was the scene...the ocean breeze wafting through your hair, the OC boardwalk and later hard street pavement under your feet, and hundreds of other runners and walkers right alongside you...some in costume, and some not.
Why Ocean City this year, and not Baltimore as in years’ past?
Jack Shitama, Pecometh Executive Director adds, “It was just easier to get to.”
This was the fifth year that Team Pecometh participated in this effort. (You can read more about previous efforts in a previous post).
Those participating in this year’s event included Becky and Thomas Gill, Beverly and Laura Meadows, Team Segar (Tom, Sue, Mike and Sam Segar), Elizabeth Townsend, Erin Browne, and Rev. Rick Vance.
Why run for Pecometh? What does it mean for those involved?
For Sue Segar and her family, there are many reasons.
Personally, she’s coached track, and also had some knee problems, but trained more for important events as the years went on.
It’s also a family affair, as Sue has homeschooled her two kids, Mike, now 20 and Sam, now 17. Both have long histories with Pecometh as campers.
Mike worked for 2 summers doing Maintenance at the camp, and Sam first went to camp at age 8, and would like to be camp music leader one day.
Sue also says that running for Pecometh is the “family thing to do now,” and also she’s glad to go to OC rather than Baltimore. This is Team Segar’s fourth straight year running for Team Pecometh.
Elizabeth Townsend has a different story.
She currently works for the University of Delaware and lives in Hockessin, DE. Married to Rev. Rob Townsend of Hockessin UMC (who also ran the 5k in OC), she has 3 children, one of whom ran the 10 mile. It’s her first ever 5K. Why did she run?
“Pecometh has been a tremendous blessing to our family and I welcomed the opportunity to give back. I have thought about running a 5K for about 7 years, but wasn't able to find the motivation to make it happen until this opportunity came along.“
Well said, Elizabeth.
What does Pecometh mean to her and her family?
“My husband went to Pecometh as a child. My oldest begged me to go to mini-camp 10 years ago. Since then, we have not had a summer without Pecometh.
Between 3 kids attending camps (sometimes multiple weeks), and weeks spent as Spiritual Life Coordinators, Pecometh feels like home to our family.
We feel God's presence there, and have all grown in faith as a result of our time there.
Seeing an opportunity to help provide camperships, and offer to others what we have experienced, seemed like the perfect way to serve a powerful and important ministry.”
Erin Browne of Newark DE shares her perspective.
She worked at camp from 1997-99 on staff, but started going to camp with her grandparents, the Hagemanns, as early as the early 80s.
Her daughter Reagan has attended camp for the past two summers, and Erin is currently the President of the Camp Pecometh Staff Alumni Association.
Erin also spends at least two weekends a year helping run various weekend camps, such as Friends & Family Camp and the Single Parent Family Retreat.
Why is she running for Pecometh?
“I've been an avid runner most of my life, starting with cross-country in high school. I've done several half marathons in recent years. Running for Pecometh pretty much combines two of my favorite things for a great cause.”
Why is Pecometh important to her?
“My earliest memories of camping are from weekends at Pecometh with my grandparent’s church. We loved the ‘beach’ of the Chester river, and the setting was always perfect for exploring and having fun.
The summers I spent on staff are some of my best memories. I'm still close with many staff members from those days. The setting of Pecometh can't be beat. I still will wander down to the pavilion when I'm on site in the evenings as it is amazingly peaceful.
Watching my daughter enjoy her time there has solidified to me that we need to preserve camp so that future generations can experience it.
Every child should get to go to camp for a week, and experience the friendships forged and memories made, and get a chance to unplug from all the technology and hectic world we live in these days.”
Finally, Rev. Rick Vance, a United Methodist elder currently serving at Ebenezer UMC in Newark, DE, shares his comments.
This is his second time running with Team Pecometh, last year doing the Half marathon in Baltimore. Having recently succeeded in a major weight-loss effort, this event for him will become a “yearly opportunity.”
What’s his Pecometh story?
He’s been involved since the mid 80s with many church-affiliated Pecometh retreats, and has had the pleasure of working with Pecometh Executive Director Jack Shitama 2 years ago on a retreat on clergy health.
Why is camp so important to him?
“I’ve seen how camp experiences for kids have changed their lives. Pecometh’s ministry is very much focused on Christ, and it’s a great resource for local church congregations.”
All with Team Pecometh enjoyed their time in OC that Halloween morning, and are already looking forward to returning next year.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)
There's still time to support the team! Check out who ran, see how much they've raised so far, and consider making a donation. Your gift ensures that the next generation will be blessed by Pecometh's ministries.
Fundraising Websites - Crowdrise