Equipping Student Leaders

by Jessica Noonan, LEAD Director of Operations

“What is Camp Hope?” Webinar
Wednesday, October 16 at 10:00 a.m. CST via Zoom.

“How have you grown as a leader through your involvement in Camp Hope?”

This was my favorite question to ask returning high school students at their Camp Hope Day Camp staff interviews. To me, this question was the litmus test for how effective this ministry was being lived out in our faith community.

The second year we hosted Camp Hope in our congregation, one of the returning staff came in for her interview and her answer to the question blew me away. She was a shy high school student who didn’t like to speak in front of others. This sweet high school student said,

“After being a small group leader for three weeks at Camp Hope, I realized I could do a lot of things. At school this past year, I felt more confident speaking up in class and volunteering to be in charge of projects. After leading a group of 1st graders for three weeks, I found out I was a leader!

You see, Camp Hope (day camp) is a unique ministry focused on two things – Biblical literacy in children and equipping/nurturing student leaders. It’s an awesome day camp for children that provides necessary summer childcare for families in any community. Campers are engaged with a new Bible story in seven different interactive ways each day over the course of the three weeks of camp. They really know the Bible story at the end of the day!

The second focus of Camp Hope is equipping and nurturing student leaders. Camp Hope is executed by high school and college-age students from the congregation and community who are equipped to run the camp with adult mentors walking alongside them.

When a student wants to become part of Camp Hope, they follow a specific process that begins with filling out an application. This is followed by an interview with the Camp Hope Director and Camp Hope Managers. For many students, this is their FIRST interview. Talk about learning life skills!

Upon being hired, students go through training and are paired with an adult mentor from the congregation. The mentor walks alongside the young person as they learn how to navigate and implement the curriculum and how to be a leader with children in the Camp Hope setting.

Camp Hope is an amazing strategy for leadership development!

Camp Hope turned 30 this year and in the midst of exciting camp days, we see evidence of this leadership school at work:

  • Nurturing the faith life of children and students through the experience of Camp Hope
  • Honoring and using the gifts of high school students and college-age students in our communities
  • Equipping young people with invaluable life skills
  • Growing future pastors, teachers, and other service-focused leaders for our world

Do you think your congregation might be ready to host Camp Hope and grow student leadership? 

Join us for the “What is Camp Hope?” webinar on Wednesday, October 16 at 10:00 a.m. CST via Zoom. Register now.

 

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