Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Christian Camp Questions...

                                           Brian and Diana

I am seeking advice from the Christian Community.  My wife and I are interested in developing a Christian Camp for disadvantaged children.  This would be a place where children can come to learn about God, have fellowship with games, activities, chores, meals and responsibilities.  It would be no cost for the kids.  The children would be referred to us by social services, school districts, police departments, etc.  Most likely we would serve children from ages 7-13 (or somewhere around those ages).  We are still in the planning stages.  It would be funded completely by donations with no government assistance.  So, with this all being said, here are my questions...

1. How do we begin?  (of course, prayer is the beginning of it all)

Okay, that is my list of question(s)!

Until I get the beginning down, I am not sure what other questions to ask just yet.  I really want to see what kind of advice people can give me for this venture.  My wife and I are both called to serve God in a powerful way for these kids.  Please help us by lifting us up in prayer.  Diana and I (Brian) really would appreciate your support.  We are praying for you all.


tc said...

Let me preface my advice by stating I have ZERO experience with Christian children’s camps or any camps for that matter. But, I enjoy the business end of things so here goes! If any of this advice is unbiblical, please toss it in the trash and be kind enough to show me in scripture why it is not right so that I can learn.

You already have step one, prayer covered. Knowing this puts you far ahead of many people seeking to begin a new venture. You definitely do not want to be doing something He has not called you to do.

(In no particular order)

2. Obtain firsthand experience. In my area there is a Christian children’s camp akin to what you mentioned, Youth Haven Ranch. You may have something similar in your area. Find one, volunteer for EVERYTHING you can. Even though you want to interact directly with children, you will probably find yourselves spending far more time doing administrative work and cutting the grass. Try to learn all you can and ask questions! Ask those with experience to give you answers to the questions you don’t even know to ask.

3. Learn about the federal, state and local laws governing these types of organizations – this includes licensure, staffing, taxation, and enough etceteras to make me nauseous.

4. Define your objective or mission statement. Why will this camp exist? It sounds like you’ve already got that too. (To share the gospel and show the love of God to the least of these).

5. Property acquisition and development

6. Staffing: Administration, Grounds, Childcare Workers

7. Funding for the camp acquisition and operations and how you will provide shelter, raiment and food for your wife and hopefully yourself. How will you give people the opportunity to hear about your camp and donate?

8. Reevaluate and Even More Prayer: Are you ALREADY doing this (sharing the gospel and showing His love to the least of these) to the degree you can right now, in the place the Lord has you at right now? Is the door to your home and to door to your lives wide open to children that need the gospel and the love of God? Is this what you spend your last bit of energy on when you are so weary all you want to do is rest? Is this what you spend your last dime on right now? This may come across as harsh but if you are not living like this right now, you should seriously question your plans.

I think of some in scripture that were uneasy about God’s mission for them and those that ran from it or went in the heat of their spirit. But they ended up doing what God called them to do. I also remember so many that God gave a special call to that couldn’t NOT do it. God gave them the desire and they lived it at the level they could right where they were. For example, King David was King with his own army, his queen and the allegiance of his people before he possessed the crown.

It is common to see in everyday life: A woman that will make a good mother will mother a flock of chicks or a box of rocks. A 12 year old boy that will be a great mechanic at age 20 will be out there changing the oil and learning how to change a head gasket every waking moment.

If you and your wife are living this as much as you can right now, and still have hopes for something larger down the road, do not be discouraged! You have no idea this side of heaven what a blessing you are to these children! Of a surety, the children you routinely influence WILL be impacted and even those that are not saved will remember God and being a little more willing to hear about him in the years to come because of the love of Christ shown unto them by you.

May the Lord richly bless you both as you serve Him together.

pastorbrianculver said...

Thank you TC. Great advice. My wife and I are so encouraged by your words and help. May God's blessings be with you always!

tc said...

You know how God sticks certain people in your heart? Well, I've been seeking out a somewhat local Christian camp to donate my husband's canoe to and came across the account of someone that had that same dream and started out with nothing much but faith and God did a whole lot with it.

I remembered your post about wanting to run a kid's camp and thought you might be encouraged reading this link.


Do not despise the day of small beginnings!

P.S Thank you for this blog. It has helped me to answer some questions I get when witnessing.

pastorbrianculver said...

thanks again TC! Michigan?? the land of the frozen tundra in winter time!!!! Looks like a pretty good camp. I will be getting in touch with them to get some advice from them. I appreciate your help!