New Song Adventure Camps 2020!
We had never really considered holding summer camps on the New Song campus, but with the encouragement of a wonderful ministry from Indianapolis, we did, and God truly blessed!
Last spring, in an effort to better utilize our scenic Brown County campus, our board and ministry team began considering some different options to take advantage of the beautiful resources with which God has blessed us. One of the considerations was hosting at-risk kids for overnight summer camps. The idea was mentioned to Lanna Blanchard, the director of Safe Families of Indianapolis, and she felt like several of the moms her ministry works with would enroll their kids in camp, especially since many of the larger camps were shut down due to the pandemic.
After much prayer and planning, hiring temporary summer staff, the receipt of a wonderful $5,000 gift in support of the effort, and a LOT of hard work (we built a new “challenge course” on campus in 3 weeks!), we launched two week-long “New Song Adventure Camps” in July.
Both camps were very successful, but they weren’t the traditional summer camps with kids who were always well-behaved, having joyful attitudes, enjoying one exhilarating activity after another. The kids were 7-13 year-olds from difficult backgrounds who don’t always handle conflicts and rules well. Our staff did a lot of personal discipleship with the kids throughout the camps on many topics including how to apologize, how to forgive others, why we shouldn’t seek revenge, and the gospel of Christ! The kids responded VERY WELL overall, and they enjoyed the wide variety of exciting experiences that were provided.
Some of the many activities that the kids participated in were:
- morning devotions
- messy paint wars
- daily challenge course activities
- bonfires and s’mores
- making bird houses and bracelets
- swimming and kayaking
- percussion band competitions
- tug of war
- slip and slide down a hill
- a scavenger hunt
- movie night under the stars
- equine therapy at a local horse ranch
All of the 14 kids who attended the camps were children whose families were involved with the Safe Families ministry, and we are profoundly grateful to Lanna for entrusting us to provide a safe and fun experience for the campers.
The camp weeks were full of high-energy activities led by our camp director, Ellie Trotter and her able- bodied assistant, Lindy Peklo (our first college intern, who is a student at Taylor University.) Brown County native Cindy Boldt, who is an educator and a trained challenge course facilitator, came up with challenge course features we wanted and facilitated the kids each weekday afternoon in healthy, team-building exercises. (Special thanks to Mark Lindsay of Common Ground Adventures, whose company made the challenge course happen! www.commongroundadventures.org)
The two Adventure Camp weeks were so exciting for the campers, and it was such a joy to see a campus filled with kids! But God had even bigger things in store. He used the camps as a “bridge” for several of the campers to enroll at New Song for the 2020-21 school year!
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could ever ask or even imagine, to Him be the glory…” (Ephesians 3:20-21)