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Progress at Metigoshe Ministries

Expansion and improvements double size of Retreat Center

Submitted Photo New carpeting in the dining area is among the many improvements that have been made at Metigoshe Ministries.

Bigger and better than ever, and almost complete.

The Retreat Center at Metigoshe Ministries has been undergoing a makeover for the past several months. It has been expanded to nearly twice its original size and upgrades have been made, or are in the process of being completed, throughout the entire facility.

“We in the process of painting and flooring, doing the finish work,” said Jon Halvorson, executive director. “Progress has slowed a whole bunch in the last month with coronavirus and contractors finding safe ways to work a little at a time.”

Halvorson said he had hoped the project would be done early, in time for the main influx of campers. Now, with the unforeseen delay, the best guess at a completion date is, “this summer, sometime.”

Nevertheless, expansion and improvements have come a long way. Improvements are impressive and very noticeable, even if a few finishing touches remain.

“It’s pretty exciting,” remarked Halvorson. “I’m beyond excited with the addition, adding six new sleeping rooms, new themes as well. The expansion is east of the existing buildings. There’s new chapel space and three large group comfort centers. It’s just a phenomenal place.”

Metigoshe Ministries is a cooperative effort of churches belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America. The summer camp and retreat center is located among the scenic trees and lakes north of Bottineau.

Like many other summer camps, their dates of operation are very much tied to the current coronavirus outbreak. Halvorson describes the upcoming summer season as in a sort of “holding pattern”.

“We know a time will come when we have to make a decision. It may come down to all or nothing,” said Halvorson. “We’re holding out and waiting. We just don’t know yet.”

Halvorson said Metigoshe Ministries is in regular communication with other camps, mostly in western North Dakota, to help them determine future operating plans if the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“Maybe someone will offer camp programming, even over the internet in some way,” said Halvorson. “We are working hard to figure alternative plans if it comes to that.”

Metigoshe Ministries has had to cancel some early season retreats scheduled for March and April.

“It was disappointing, but with the way things are now it is the only responsible option,” explained Halvorson.

However, when and if Metigoshe Ministries opens this summer visitors will be greeted with a new and expanded showpiece of a building – a beautiful Retreat Center that is the culmination of several improvement projects.

“It’s the last of the capital project campaign and the big, main one,” said Halvorson. “The last and biggest is well on its way.”

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