Empowering Camp

Posted by Nick Ressler, Executive Director on

I began attending summer camps at the age of 8. I was one of those lucky kids whose parents valued camp (or at least getting their energetic son out of the house for a week) enough to send me to Bible Camp and to Boy Scout Camp until I graduated high school. I was lucky enough to become a regular here at Kenbrook and attend Camp Mack, Hawk Mountain and Bayshore Boy Scout Camps. Not only did I have the opportunity to make new friends and memories but each of these camps had summer staff who took their time to pour into the children that came through. 

My Kenbrook counselors poured into me spiritually. I met the Lord at Kenbrook at a young age and continued my spiritual development by becoming a Jr. Counselor, Counselor and Program Director. At Boy Scout camp I learned about Environmental Science, Outdoor Skills and boating. At both places I found investment in relationships, compassion and care for God's creation (both in people and in the created world).

Yesterday NPR did a special segment on camping (Click here to listen) that is definitely worth listening to as you mow the grass, wash the dishes or drive home from work. One of the elements they bring to light is summer camp's investment in underprivileged youth and the fact that without attention summer camps could simply fade away. 

Recently the ACA (American Camping Association) put out an article called "The Power of Camp" and it is a read (or a skim) that will remind or teach you of just how powerful the camp experience is for summer staff, year round staff and our campers. (Click here to read).

I say all of that to say this: I was lucky to attend many summer camps but I didn't come from a wealthy family. To get to Boy Scout Camp my troop, together and as individuals, did a lot of fundraising and one year even walked all the way to camp. Each year I earned a scholarship that paid my way to Kenbrook by hand making dozens of Easter cards and visiting senior citizens with my Pastor and Grandfather. A scholarship was the only way that my family could afford to send me to camp.

To this day, Kenbrook still offers scholarships. We have a fund set up where we freely give to families in need so that their kids can experience some of the life-long, life-changing activities at camp. This year (2015) we have given almost $5,000.00 in scholarships! And, as the Executive Director, I am so ecstatic that we are are setup to do so. 

Here is where all of you come in: The way that we replenish our scholarship fund is through our Annual Golf Outing. Each year we invite as many golfers to come out, as possible, to have fun, play a sport and share in a sense of fellowship and every single dollar that we raise though this event goes back into our scholarship fund. Can you help us spread the word? Would you consider joining us on August 6th to help us raise the money or tell your boss or company about this great cause in case they want to sponsor a group of golfers? You can find out more information at www.kenbrook.org/golf

Help us spread the word and help more kids get to camp! Thank you.

Tags: aca, boy scouts, care, children, donate, golf, golf outing, npr, scholarship, summer camp, underprivileged



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