DayShore Blog Series: All are Welcome Here

In Summer 2018, DayShore will be in its third year. We have already seen amazing growth and stories from years one and two. Last year’s DayShore Team Leader, David McDuffie shared a few stories about his experience with the program that will be shared over this four post blog series. Be sure to read last week’s installment: “Church and Community.”

“DayShore extends Lakeshore’s mission, ‘offering ways for all to encounter Life, Love, and the God of Grace,’ beyond its property. This growing program proves a commitment by the camp and its staff not to exclude any campers or communities from our programming.

One of the cool things about DayShore is that it allows campers from all backgrounds to enjoy a week of Lakeshore-programmed camping. Some of these campers are already Lakeshore campers or are actively involved in children’s ministries. Others are too young to spend a week at Lakeshore but have an opportunity to begin experiencing the joy of summer camp at an early age. DayShore also reaches campers with health issues, homesickness, financial concerns, or other circumstances that would prevent them from attending sleep-away camp at Lakeshore. In addition, DayShore draws in children from the surrounding community that do not actively attend the church. So many of the campers I worked with last summer would not have attended Lakeshore, but through a week of DayShore learned the same lessons about God’s love.

On the first day of the week at one DayShore, I noticed a group of boys who kept biking by and slowing down to watch what the camp was doing. All morning, the boys would pass by and gaze at the campers playing games. I spoke with them and offered them some registration forms to take home and talk with whomever they lived with about signing up. On Tuesday morning, the boys showed up with some friends and joined the camp for the remainder of the week. The boys did not attend the church despite living so close to it, but DayShore drew their interest and brought them through the church’s doors.

It was awesome to see them grow, break out of their comfort zones, and learn throughout that week. It was also special to see the counselors interact with them beyond the scheduled hours of the camp. A few of these boys came to play on the church’s playground after the day ended, and some counselors joined them on the swings. Before we knew it, the conversation had turned to how to handle bullying at school and why fighting wasn’t the best response. That night served as a reminder of the willingness of DayShore’s counselors and volunteers to serve the communities and make a lasting impact.”

We have a few spots left for DayShore hosts! If your church is interested in reaching out to your community members and deepening children’s relationships with God through DayShore, contact Allison Doyle to get started!

Lakeshore can’t do all the work in ministry it does without help from friends like you! Approximately 25% of our annual campership fund allows community children to attend DayShore. We are partnering with churches all over the conference to help us go and be about the family business. If you are moved by the work we are doing here, consider making a donation to the campership fund to ensure those opportunities for children to grow closer to God.