M4G 2015 Camp Elva Form

Summer Camp GradesEvery year, I am can’t wait for camp. It’s a great time to connect with kids, celebrate shaving cream craziness, and to share the gospel. This year did not disappoint. FBCE’s kids ministry (Ministry for Generations) participated in three camps this summer (Winshape Day Camps, Connect Camp (FBCE’s very own camp!) and Centrikid). All three camps were phenomenal. Our campers were exposed to great biblical content and made a ton of memories during Trianglulaiton, OMC, and their track times . But with that being said, I’ve also come to realize that not all camps are created equal. Below, I will evaluate the three camps our FBCE kids attended, looking specifically at each camp’s production value, cost, organization, attendance (i.e. FBCE campers), and Bible content. Let’s take a look:

Winshape Camp for Communities

  1. Production Value: A-

  2. Cost: B

  3. Organization: A-

  4. Attendance (FBCE Kids): C-

  5. Bible Content: B+

Negatives: Although the Bible content was solid, it can occasionally slipped into moralism (one down side to having the camp pastor be college winshape 2015  1student). But the biggest drawbacks for FBCE is Winshape’s  cost and accessibility. Though the $199 per student is not ridiculous, the price can be a little much for parents with multiple kids. Combine the cost with the travel distance (we had to drive to Dublin, GA everyday) and you get only minimal participation. FBCE had only four kids attend camp this year.

Positives: Winshape is a fast past, great day camp. The worship is high powered and features a great combination of teaching, drama, music and video. The camp also runs incredibly smoothly. The kids get to experience a ton of activities. Moreover, the staff really cares about their campers and invests in them. In many ways, Winshape for Communities is like 9-5 VBS run by professional kid workers!  

Overall Grade: B

Connect Camp

  1. Production: B-

  2. Cost: A+

  3. Organization: B

  4. Attendance (FBCE): A+

  5. Bible Content: A+

 Negatives: Being our first year of camp, Connect Camp experienced some technical difficulties. We had to shuffle staff around on occasion to make sure every class and track was covered. connect camp blank logoAnd, we lacked the live band and custom videos found at Winshape and Centrikid. This year’s mantra was flexibility!

Positives: The three biggest positives of Connect Camp were cost, attendance, and content. Running the camp out our Kids’ Ministry budget, FBCE did not have to charge an attendance fee. Consequently, the number of Connect campers more than doubled the combined number of campers who attended Winshape and Centrikid. And most importantly, we got to ensure that the gospel was clearly preached every day of camp.

Overall Grade: A-  

  Centrikid Camp

  1. Production Value: A+

  2. Cost: A

  3. Organization: A+

  4. Attendance: B+

  5. Bible Content: B

Negatives: In most ways, I think Centrikid is the standard for all kids’ camps. The only negative for Centrikid this year was the camp’s biblical content.CENTRIKID-LOGO-ORANGE Admittedly, I struggled with this rating. The small group leaders did a great job relaying the gospel and of sharing their testimonies. But the camp pastor did not do so well. He taught (exegeted) great biblical truth, but he never tied his lessons back into the gospel. Because our kids left the main sessions without hearing the gospel, I dropped Centrikid to a B.

Positives: Centrikid Weekend Camps are the perfect way to introduce kids into camp life. Lasting three days and two nights, Centrikid is so jammed pack with activities, games, cool music, teaching, and OMC, the kids have no time to miss home. Plus the $165 cost (which includes all meals) is a very reasonable price. The weekend camp appeals to both campers and their parents, resulting in great FBCE participation. Every year our kids leave camp with a better appreciation for Jesus and of course a little exhausted.  

Overall Rating: A

Connect Camp: A Quick Look Back at What Happened

Quick look back at connect campWhen FBCE launched Connect Camp on the July 2nd, we were diving into uncharted waters. We weren’t sure who would come, what would happen, and how people would feel about it. Today, I’m excited to report that Connect Camp 2015 was a smashing success! We had a great bunch of kids, relationships were built, and families felt loved. To God be the glory!

Connect Camp Daily Stats  Connect Camp averaged 45 kids per day. We were able to minister to over 60 kids throughout the month of July. And while these numbers fall short of FBCE’s VBS stats, they greatly exceeded the total number of campers who attended Winshape and Centrikid weekend camps. (FBCE took 4 kids to the Winshape Camp for Communities in Dublin and 14 kids to Centrikid weekend camp at Norman Park). In short, Connect Camp allowed FBCE to connect with an unprecedented amount of kids this summer. And many kids who could not afford or find time to attend a traditional summer camp, we able to experience camp at FBCE!

Connect Camp Class SizeConnect camp also served as a great venue for building relationships. Because the class sizes were smaller than their VBS counterparts, the teachers and track time leaders were able to devote more time to individual kids, learning their hobbies, families, and concerns. We also had tons of opportunities to relate the gospel to kids’ lives through basketball, art, and the small group time.

Connect Camp Church AffliliationLastly, Connect Camp ministered to families. For years, parents have asked FBCE to do some kind of summer program. Connect Camp was just such a program. It received a warm welcome from kids and parents alike. And the word spread. When camp ended, we had ministered to over 65 different kids. And 30 were non-church members.Most everyone who interacted with Connect Camp loved it, asking FBCE to do it again next year!

The positive feedback is a great testimony of God’s goodness and of the sacrificial work that all the parents, college students, and high school students put into camp. I am very thankful for all who helped!  I also wish to thank Lifeway. Their Zip curriculum made camp possible. It provided me with the direction and our teachers and track leaders with the amazing activities. The FBCE Connect Team and Zip curriculum proved to be the perfect combination this summer!

Connect Camp was launched to help the members of FBCE connect with our community in order to connect families to Jesus. By God’s grace we succeeded. Connections were developed. But we are not done. We need to keep building on what was start by participating in the  Back 2 School Connection and the Veggie Tales Movie Morning. We need to keep developing an outreach mindset of ministry and teaching!

Oh and one more thing! Connect Camp will be back in 2016! More information will be coming in the days ahead!

What was your or your kids best summer camp memory this year?

Connect Camp: Moving Past VBS!

Connect Camp SlideWe had a great VBS this year. We hosted over 250 kids and raised $413.80 for our IMB missionaries. And everything from the snacks to crafts went well. I had several parents tell me their kids had an amazing week! I am very thankful for all those who selflessly served to make VBS 2015 a resounding success! For more infor about VBS 2015 Click Here!

But our work is not done. Almost 25% of the kids who came to VBS this year were unchurched. That’s right, at least a quarter (though I suspect the the percentage is far higher) of the kids who came to VBS were unsaved. And, they came to us. Seeking to take full advantage of this incredible opportunity to reach Eastman, FBCE launched Connect Camp on July 2.

Taking place the on the first four Thursday of July, Connect Camp exists to help the members of FBCE develop the relationships that began during VBS. From 8AM-12 Noon, we will be connecting with kids through art projects, bouncing basketballs, and learning sign language. And, we hope that loving the kids of Eastman will open doors for gospel proclamation. Our ultimate goal for Connect Camp is to see kids and their families connect with Jesus and his church.

Please join with us through prayer and/or by serving with us on Thursday mornings.

Click here for more info about Connect Camp.

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. – Luke 10:2