Why Summer Camps Are Important

4H Camp 2013Aug

Last fall, I was talking to someone who works for Allendale County Schools. We got on the topic of camps that we’ve done, and how we kids from other places come here to make new friends. (The relationships formed are the biggest reasons why we consider the Elevate Spring Break Camp a success.)

Then she asked me, “But have kids from Allendale gotten to go there?” Thanks to the support of many others, I was able to answer, “Yes!”

You may remember that more than $2000 was donated last summer to support students from Allendale going to a variety of camps. You may have even donated to that cause. If so, thank you for being a part of a life-changing opportunity.

Why Summer Camps?

Although we will be moving this summer, we will be involved with a few local camps. Local summer camps are an easy and effective way to engage children when school is out. However, there is a huge value in children attending out-of-town camps.

Here are 5 reasons why children from Allendale will benefit from attending out-of-town camps this summer:

  1. Something to do.  Since my first days in Allendale, the most common mantra I’ve heard from families is, “There is nothing for these kids to do in Allendale.” A few days out of town will be anticipated beforehand, enjoyed during, and talked about afterwards.
  2. Physical, mental, and social stimulation.  Children need to do more than watching TV and playing video games all summer. And they may not necessarily need tutoring. But all children need to run around, to play games, and to learn to cooperate (and compete) with other children. High-quality summer camps will provide these opportunities.
  3. Exposure to new ideas, places, and opportunities.  Many children from Allendale never travel more than 90 miles from home, and even that distance may be a rare occurrence. A trip may open their eyes to technologies (“I’ve never seen one of those in real life!”) and to opportunities (such as when this elementary student visited a college campus).
  4. Continued relationships.  Just as many children from Greenville have made friends with children in Allendale, a trip back to Greenville gives Allendale kids a chance to “return the favor” and to build on the relationships.
  5. Gospel conversations.  Going along with these relationships, these summer camp opportunities may open up doors for Gospel conversations.

Grace Church Culturally Engaged sums up these points like this:

“The goal for these trips is not only to give students exposure to other cultures, ideas, and opportunities, but to plant seeds for the Gospel to grow in their lives and to create lasting life-change.”

Which Summer Camps?

Do you want to be a part of this opportunity? Here are a list of camps that we think children from Allendale could benefit from attending. And for some of these opportunities, we are just waiting on the financial resources to come through.

  • 4H Camp (in Aiken, SC).  At least three kids we know are signed up, but need scholarship money.
  • GoSciTech (a week-long program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics).  Two students are definitely going, and two are interested but need financial assistance.
  • Grace Church Camp Grace (at Look Up Lodge).  We have 6 children from Allendale attending, including my son Elijah.
  • Furman Football Camp (Greenville, SC).  Six young men attended last year, and others have heard about it and want to go.
    • Note: There is another need for this camp. We need families to host 2 or 3 guys for about 3 days. This is a great way to build relationships. Don’t worry — I will only send the ones who I think can do the right thing.

If you can support any of these opportunities, please email or contact me ASAP. Any amount that you can give will help. You can stipulate which camp opportunity you want to support, or “where most needed.”

If you will financially support this, contact me so I can tell you who it needs to be done. DO NOT use my financial support link. That money will go to my account and it will be more tricky to apply it to these camps. (Of course, if you want to support us through the summer, by all means do so!)

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