Nestled deep in the Ozark Hills near Windyville, MO, just over the Dallas County lines, lies a 40-acre church camp, Camp Aurora. Just the name, Camp Aurora, tugs at nostalgic child-hood memories of individuals scattered all across the state of Missouri.
Bought for back taxes, back in 1936, Camp Aurora was named for a Congregational Church, which burned in Aurora, MO. The congregation did not rebuild and gave what monies they had left to a regional committee that then used the funds to purchase the camp property. Originally designed as a pastor’s retreat, it soon became a residence camp for campers of all ages, serving outdoor ministry needs.
While Camp Aurora is sponsored by several United Church of Christ churches, we welcome campers and staff from all faiths and usually have people here from 12 or more denominations throughout the summer. We have a primary camp for second and third graders, which is just three days, and a whole family camping weekend as well as regular one-week camps for older elementary youth, junior and senior high age youth. We also rent the camp to other groups and organizations who would like to use it when we don’t have camping sessions going.
Camp Aurora has evolved into a facility utilized for a wide variety of camping experiences for all ages. Facilities and programs of the camp are open to all persons, regardless of religious affiliation.
People from throughout the United States have shared in the mission and ministry of Camp Aurora. The camp has enriched their lives, and their lives have enriched the camp.
Camp Aurora does have many fond traditions. Many memories include things such as Friendship Rocks, Medallions, the Camp Aurora song, Silence Avenue, the Bell, Green Plates, the To-Sho-Bu, the Po-Da-Coke Machine, Spic & Span Award, Plad Tower and the Commitment Service. Camp Aurora helps to foster friendships that last a lifetime. Some families now have their third generation attending Camp Aurora. It is truly a camping family tradition.