Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Put Feet to Their Faith" with Angel Tree Camping!

Did your church participate with Angel Tree at Christmas? Does your children's ministry involve your children in summer camp? If so, you may find Angel Tree Camping is the perfect ministry to involve the children and families in your church with to "Put Feet to Their Faith". Angel Tree Camping is a ministry opportunity which helps your church stay connected with the Angel Tree® families you served at Christmas by giving those children a week away from home which challenges and exposes them to the message of Christ’s love.  Their caregiver gets a week of rest and perhaps a chance to catch up on other responsibilities and the incarcerated parent may be deeply moved to know his or her child was cared for in this special way.  Prison Fellowship will help support your church’s ministry by providing materials and resources to help you create a wonderful summertime Christian camp experience.

A successful camping experience will be made possible by the prayers and efforts of a dedicated volunteer team.  Work with your church leadership to form a team of people who are excited about helping extend your church’s Angel Tree ministry in this way.  You may want to make public and written announcements inviting people to get involved with the program.  The tasks for volunteers may include contacting caregivers, leading the prayer team, hosting an information open house at the church for the families, providing transportation, raising money to purchase camp supplies, or filling a tote bag with supplies—whatever your individual camping program requires.

You can involve the children of your church in fund raisers to raise the money to pay for a child - or for several children - to attend camp. Children could run car washes, cookie bake sales and do yard work or they could make craft items to sell to raise money.

If you need help finding a Christian camp in your area, you can contact the Christian Camp & Conference Association (CCCA).  It is best to contact camps early, because spaces fill up quickly.  As you are trying to determine which camp to choose, you will want to consider things such as:
  1. How far is the camp from your church, and what will the transportation arrangements be?
  2. Is it possible to include the child(ren) in the week of camp the children from your church attend camp?
  3. What is the per-camper cost, and will the children in your church be able to raise the money to pay this cost or will the camp offer full or partial scholarships for Angel Tree children?
  4. Will the camp provide your church with brochures, videos, etc., which may be shared with the Angel Tree caregivers to help them understand the type of experience their children will have and help them feel more secure about the camping opportunity?
Angel Tree Camping is a wonderful opportunity for the children in your church to "Put Feet to Their Faith" and make a real difference in the life of another child. Next week I'll talk about how to contact the child's caregivers and finalize the details if you decide to get involved with Angel Tree Camping!

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