Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Mobile day camps see growth in second year

9/7/2018

Voyage Mobile Day Camps saw a 56 percent increase in the number of campers this year, according to Neil Tate, program director for Camp and Retreat Ministries.

Eight week-long day camps were held in eight cities across the state, including Edmond, Stillwater, Checotah, Duncan, Carnegie, Stigler, Perkins and Shawnee. Thirteen college students served as staff.

Students attending Voyage participated in activties such as bubble soccer and archery while learning first steps to knowing and following Jesus. The camp aims to engage children from diverse racial-ethnic backgrounds and is paid for in part by a New People New Places grant.

The mobile day camp reached an attendance milestone on week two when more than 100 campers participated at Stillwater-First.

Another large camp was held at Oak Park Retreat Center in Perkins, also a NPNP grant recipient. The organizations maximized their impact by working together to reach the greater Perkins community.

With increased attendance came repeat campers. Tate shared that on two separate occassions a student attended Voyage, traveled to visit a relative, and attended the mobile camp again.

“We’ve been doing this for two years, and we already have people who want to keep coming back,” Tate said. “It’s a great feeling to know we’re having a positive impact on these kids’ lives.”

Conference camps overall were well attended, according to Ed Parker, director for Camp and Retreat Ministries.

Camps included two LEAD Camps, youth and children’s camps, and two backpacking treks to Montana.

Parker is thankful for the 59 people who served as camp deans this summer, saying, “we can’t do it without their leadership and we can’t do it without the adult leaders who help ensure fun, safety, and spiritual growth.”

 

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