Camp Hope is a series of small camps for at-risk campers. Through this often life-changing, memorable week, campers are able to tell their stories, learn lifeskills and build community with each other, all while having so much fun. Catch the first installment of the series here.
Read some of Jeremy McDuffie’s memories from Camp Hope this summer.
We had two cousins come to camp one week this summer. Due to some things going on at home, they fought a lot. During worship the last night, we talked about how God calls us to love one another and that we are born to fight for what is right. To close the worship, each boy buried a rock that represented their past while planting some seeds next to the rock to symbolize what they can become as Christian men. After planting their seeds, the cousins looked at each other, shook hands, and embraced.
Following the worship, one of the cousins came up to me sobbing, apologizing for acting out and excited because he felt God’s presence for the first time in his life. He came from a small town in Missouri, and his family didn’t help him get to church. Despite this, he said he knew he needed to go to church so he could grow in his faith, and he asked me to give him a list of churches near his house. His plan? Fix his broken bike so he could ride it to church every Sunday morning.
So many of our Camp Hope campers have had similar experiences. They come to this place, feel the love of the counselors, watch the group grow closer, and feel the presence of God. During summer 2017, Papa G baptized three Camp Hope campers at the waterfront. We were thrilled to be part of their walk with Christ in this way. It is such a joy to watch campers accept that they are loved by Him and be baptized into the family.
All of our Camp Hope Series campers receive a full campership. If you want to support this ministry to at-risk youth, you can make a donation to the campership fund.