Positively Contagious

Camp Grace Allendale Crew June2014

Last Friday, these children left Allendale in our minivan and went to Greenville for the Elementary Camp with Grace Church. For the three boys (including my son Elijah) it was a return trip to the camp, and for the two girls it was the first time ever at a sleep-away camp.

Besides the two girls, we actually had more children ask about going, even though they had never heard of Grace Church. Why? Because the five children who went last year told all their friends about what a great time they had.

Their excitement was contagious. You could say that they were camp-vangelists.

(And, yes, all five were chatterboxes for the three-hour trip back to Allendale. Do you think they’ll spread the word, too?)

Excited to Go Back, With Other Friends

I saw this same type of excitement when I brought some football players to Greenville, to be Reunited with friends from Greenville. Not only were they excited to be with teenage guys from Grace Church, but two of the guys had stayed with their host family last summer. Of course, they were eager to explain how great of a family they were. (“She cooks you breakfast, bro!”)

And I see this same level of camp-vangelism this week, as a half-dozen Allendale students are in Aiken for a 4H camp. Two of our children went last year, along with a couple of other Allendale students. While our kids aren’t able to go this summer, those other Allendale kids are. Do you think they told their friends about how much fun they had last year? Absolutely! They eagerly brought their friends.

Last year, through my job, we sponsored a child to go to a camp at the SC Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. This summer, four Allendale students are going.

It’s not just an increase in numbers that I like. I am encouraged by the increased momentum. I love seeing the growing awareness of and interest in these enriching experiences.

Your Giving Is Contagious

Just as these children have spread their enthusiasm about their camp experiences, your giving is also contagious. Last year, we asked for and received donations to help send students to football, art, 4H, and elementary camps. And we asked for the same this summer.

People like you (or maybe it was you) donated over $1000 to help send children to camps this year. This money provided scholarships for students to attend this summer’s sleep-away camps in Aiken and Greenville. Also, some money will be used to provide scholarships for an art camp in Allendale, which will take place next month.

What art camp? One led by a Grace Church member, who did the same camp in Allendale last year. Like the children in his class, he enjoyed his experience last year, and was excited to do it again.

And . . . while Community Bible Church (Savannah, GA) is not returning to serve in Allendale this summer, two teenage young ladies wanted to come back. They will be staying with us, as they volunteer at STEAM Camp and the summer program at a a church near us. Even though their family is moving (5 hours away) next month, they were eager to re-connect with the children in this community.

Positive experiences are contagious, whether you are a child participating in a camp, or a generous donor who can give some money, or a leader who can serve children in a hands-on way.

Thank you for giving of yourself. Your generosity encourages and inspires us, too.

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