Latgawa's Story of Partnering with a Creature

September 11, 2018

Reflections on the Seven Foundations for Camp & Retreat Ministries

Foundation 5: Teaching Creation Care and Appreciation

by Samantha Grainger, spouse of Samuel Grainger, director of Camp Latgawa

Keeping our environment clean and helping reduce waste is something we are very passionate about at camp. Since I am an Earth Day baby, I feel more connected to preserving the land and watching what goes to the dump.  Although not everyone cares about waste management or cares about where the food waste goes, we try to make it a little more fun for the campers to really grasp where all of their waste goes. In order to help promote creation care, we sometimes get creative. This is the story of one of our creative solutions.

At the end of 2016 I tried to persuade Samuel into getting a pig to consume our food scraps at camp. It took a lot of convincing and pleading over the next few months. I told him that if the kids could see where their food waste went they would be more apt to not throw it in the trash but would put in in the compost bucket, also named Spot’s Bucket.

Finally he agreed and we brought home Spot at the beginning of March 2017. This idea went over very well for our campers. They loved helping us feed Spot after meal clean up and even loved knowing what we used the food waste for. 

It was an additional step in our compost process too. Spot would go through the food waste and eat what he wanted and mash up the stuff he didn’t want to consume. After, we would clean up his pin and add that mashed up food waste to our compost pile.  Eventually that compost turned into soil and will be used around camp to plant trees, flowers, fruits, and vegetables!

Having him eat most of the waste really helped keep down the compost pile and helped us go through and make sure there wasn’t things in there that shouldn’t be.

Unfortunately, at the end of 2017 Spot got very sick and is no longer helping us maintain our food waste here at Camp Latgawa. Spot was well loved and definitely helped campers and guest see what happens with food waste and see the process we go through at camp to help minimize how much of our trash is taken to the dump.

Alongside all of Creation, God be with You,


© 2014 Camp and Retreat Ministries:

A partnership between The Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church
and The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon