Join our Thanksgiving Tradition!

We are just days away from Thanksgiving! If you are planning on spending the day alone or you don’t have any plans at all then why not celebrate the holiday with our family?

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Our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is the longest running free community Thanksgiving Day meal in Hagerstown. It’s practically a Thanksgiving tradition that you might want to be a part of.

Our buffet is full of the most delicious food including roast turkey, mashed potatoes, our famous stuffing, sweet potatoes, succotash, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, fruit, pumpkin pie and more!

And did we mention it’s all for free??!!! There’s no charge and no reservation needed. Our activities for kids start at 11am and then we kick everything off at 11:30am. Come alone or bring friends, family and anyone else with you on Thursday because the Trinity Center is one of the biggest dining rooms in Hagerstown and all are welcome! We promise there will be plenty of food and you’ll have plenty of good conversation.

For more info about our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

*Just a reminder: our Thrift Stores in Hagerstown & Chambersburg will be closed on Thursday, November 24th. Both stores will reopen for normal business hours on Friday, November 25th.

**Our overnight transient shelter for homeless men will be open as usual on Thanksgiving. Our food bank, sorting room and soup line will not be open on Thanksgiving Day but all are welcome to come to the Trinity Center at 11:30am for our buffet feast.

 

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Flashback: Camp Wild 2015

Even though the carefree days of summer are a thing of the past, our memory of the excitement of all the various summer activities lives on!

As we all start to bundle up, sip our delicious PSL and enjoy the crispness of the air, we want to take a quick trip back to one of the highlights of our summer: Camp Wild 2015.

In case you’re not familiar with what Camp Wild is, let’s get you up to speed.

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Every summer Wildside Youth Ministries at The Hope Center hosts four unbelievably fun weeks of camp for kids in Hagerstown. This camp is free for any kid between the ages of 5 -12 and we even provide complimentary transportation to kids living in certain parts of the city.

While at Camp Wild, the kids are given an assortment of activities to be a part of. From singing, to group games, hiking, art projects, interactive Bible lessons, hands-on educational activities, swimming, and more, the campers are not lacking for excitement each day.

Since Camp Wild is a free ministry to the kids of Hagerstown, we rely on the generous support of donors and volunteers to make each summer possible for our campers. We’re so thankful to say that since the 1970’s our summer camp programs, Conoco Camp/Camp Wild, have been blessed by God and He has provided the necessary funds, volunteers and resources to reach hundreds of kids for Christ! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our summer camp outreach programs in the past.

Camp Wild 2015

Camp Wild 2015 was an amazing summer of ministry. God proved Himself faithful by providing over and over again in the areas of drivers, counselors, donations, and plenty of campers. We ministered to 228 children, sharing with them the message of Jesus’ love and salvation. Churches like Tri-State Fellowship, Faith Christian Fellowship, Maranatha Brethren Church, and Grace Point Community Church came along side us in the ministry. A truly fantastic summer.

This summer’s lesson series focused on our core-value of relationships. In today’s culture there is a big need in understanding how to cultivate and maintain healthy, pure relationships. We wanted to use our lesson time to help children learn some great truths from the Bible about how we connect and bond with others.

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We began by explaining and defining a relationship. We learned through the Bible that we are to do our best to live in peace with everyone. This means that living in peace is a key to having good relationships with others. Fighting hurts relationships, but peace leads to life.

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After defining relationships we moved on to talking about the most important relationship of all, the one we have with Jesus Christ. Campers learned that we need to stop trying to live life our own way but start living life Jesus’ way. Our Bible verse for the day focused on how when we were God’s enemies He made peace with us through the death of Jesus.

Next, we moved on to talking about relationships with friends and family. Campers learned how it is necessary to have balance in relationships, to ask for forgiveness when needed, and to always forgive others as Christ forgave us. They learned the key to having good relationships with parents comes from God’s command that children are to obey their parents in all things because this pleases Him.

We spent some time talking about a negative relationship- enemies. We all have relationships that require hard work. In this lesson we talked about loving enemies and praying for those who hurt us, just like Jesus did when He sacrificed Himself for us.

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The week concluded with learning how having successful relationships will lead to having a successful life. The Bible commands us to encourage one another and give each other strength. Nothing in life is a complete solo task, we depend on others and others depend on us. Because of this, our lives and dreams need to be centered around Jesus and serving the needs of others.

Africa Park
This year saw the re-opening of our Africa park. We went back to the roots of camp and gave our African-themed area a complete facelift and overhaul. This involved both major and minor renovations, a new attraction, lots of paint, and tons of flags.

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Part of the transformation process began in 2012 by opening GPS, God’s Preaching System, in what was to become the Habari Jungle. This was the first part of a three-year strategy to consolidate our existing African attractions to one area of the campground while opening the Latin America and Asia parks. In 2013 we moved The Dig and Sanaa into their permanent spots.

This year we added new signs to the camp, new exhibits, new buildings, and lots of details to really make campers feel like they have traveled into the heart of Africa. We added lots of decorative elements to the camp, repainted some old signs, and added new cultural elements all around the African park to enhance the camper’s experience. In an effort to celebrate the diversity of God’s creation among cultures, we added in 45 flag poles. These were used to display flags from African countries.

ZULU
One area we were very excited to open was Zulu! Campers traveled to South Africa to train how to be a Zulu warrior. The word Zulu means “people of Heaven’. Here camper’s learned about the armor of God, King Shaka Zulu, and the culture of the Zulu nation. Camper’s got to shoot bow and arrow, practice dodging splash balls with a shield, and learn how to toss a spear. Each activity took place in brightly painted, African gazebos.

Our new activity center was complete with an 8-foot display of the armor of God, real spears, an authentic cowhide shield, and a six-foot tall mannequin dressed as King Shaka. We also included a life-size elephant skull replica, as well as replicas of zebra and leopard skins.

KIJIJI EXPEDITION
After being closed for two years, we re-opened the Kijiji Expedition. This summer we shortened the trail, condensed the activity centers, and refurbished some displays to give them longevity. Arnold Horst and the S.W.A.T. team (Senior Worker Attack Team) completely transformed our temple area to include nice thick plywood walls and a sheet-metal roof. We created a new meerkat mound using Styrofoam and cement, as well as covering our existing termite mound in cement. We also added a back wall to one of our bamboo huts, really giving the campers the illusion that they had stepped into someone’s house in the jungle.

SENEGAL
Kids traveled to Senegal to visit two active learning centers. First up is the return of GPS. This year we made GPS, our missionary zone, into a word scavenger hunt. Campers would work in their Small Groups to figure out clues related to each of our Senegal cultural signs. At the end of the activity, all the kids reviewed things together and learned how they could be missionaries at home.

The second active learning center is Matu. We reopened this attraction after a year hiatus and put it in the middle of the GPS trail loop. Here at Matu campers learn about the creation of the world, the anatomy of a seed, Senegal’s exotic animals, the life cycle of a plant, and even take home a plant pot of their own. The goal of this hands-on learning center is to educate and celebrate God’s marvelous creation!

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At the Sanaa Trail, camper’s got to express their creativity and reflect their Creator God by making some different forms of art. This summer campers were able to make safari ornaments and color their own tribal masks.

The Dig is one of the camper’s favorite attractions. This archaeological dig simulator teaches campers the purpose of learning other cultures and the excitement of finding buried treasures. We always teach campers that you must also dig into the Word of God to find the true treasure of Jesus Christ and eternal salvation.

Matu Base/Shed
In an effort to make the best use of space, we placed the Matu attraction inside the loop created by GPS. We wanted to have a building erected that would serve as a jungle base for the kids to play in. Here the campers can look at animal replicas, play on a chalkboard, learn about God’s creation, and take a break from the sun’s heat. After camp ends, we utilize this space as storage for displays, tables, and most of our Africa décor. Having this new storage shed greatly reduced our clean up time this year while freeing up storage space at the office. The majority of the materials were donated by Mike & Bre Black and the construction was done by Arnold Horst and his crew.

Staff
This summer we introduced two new levels of staffing into Camp Wild. The first group is called Shepherds. These counselors were the ones who led the daily small group discussions with the campers. They were available if any campers had questions of a spiritual nature or need prayer.

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The second group added was the Student Trainee. These were older campers who had been appointed by the Director or Assistant Directors to pitch in to help out with small tasks where and when needed. Although Student Trainees did not have authority over other campers they proved to be a big asset in having a successful summer of camp.

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As camp moves forward, we hope to continue finding ways to better serve our faithful counselors. Equipping them better, giving them more training and encouragement has been invaluable in improving the quality and effectiveness of camp ministry.

Thank you to everyone who has donated of their time, talent, and treasure to make Camp Wild a success. Every year I am encouraged by the generosity of God‘s people, amazed at God’s faithfulness, and grateful for all everyone who cares about the campers and has sacrificed in order to give them a summer they’ll never forget!

To learn more about Camp Wild, including seeing more pictures from 2015, go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

Even though Camp Wild is over, the fun of Wildside isn’t! Our youth ministry hosts activities all year long! Go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com to learn more about our youth ministry program and all the activities Wildside has planned in the upcoming months.

Want to be a part of the action? We’re always looking for volunteers to help at Wildside and our other ministries at The Hope Center. Go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to see all the various opportunities we have for you to get involved.

Maybe you don’t have the time to commit to volunteering but you really want to become a financial partner of The Hope Center. If this is you then don’t wait any longer to get in touch with us! We’re always thankful for our donors who help to fund all of our programs to the people in our community. Since we do not receive any tax money or government funding, we operate completely on the generosity of our faithful donors and Thrift Store patrons. Call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to talk to somone about financially supporting this ministry.

Our Sponsors Rock!

Rock the run logo jpgOrganizing our first 5K has been fun and challenging. We’re so excited for this opportunity to bring our community together for a day of physical activity while also raising awareness of the homeless and hungry in Hagerstown.

In order for this event to be successful and help people in need, we, ourselves, needed help from others.

And that’s why we love our sponsors so much!

These individuals and businesses help underwrite the expense of hosting such an event. Money raised by participant involvement can go towards the programs and ministries at The Hope Center that help the homeless, hungry, and hurting people in our community.

So please be sure to thank these businesses for their support of this ministry by using them the next time you need their services. And be sure to spread the word to your friends, families, co-workers, and others about these wonderful local businesses.

 

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Gold Sponsors

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Silver Sponsors

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Mile Marker Sponsors

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And it’s not too late to become a sponsor and participant in our Rock the Run: A Race for Hope 5K on April 25th! Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register for the race and learn more about how your business can become a sponsor of our 5K for the homeless and hungry in Hagerstown.

It’s Time to Rock and Run!

We are inching closer and closer to our 1st 5K, Rock the Run: A Race for Hope! Have you registered for the race yet? There’s still time, but don’t delay. It’ll be here before you know it.

Rock the run logo jpgRock the Run: A Race for Hope is a 5K race/walk at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown on April 25th, 2015. There will also be a kids race prior to the main event. This is a wonderful opportunity for your whole family to get involved and help reach the less fortunate.

Our Rock the Run: A Race for Hope is an important opportunity for us to expose the community to the struggles of homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown. The Hope Center has been open everyday for people in need since our beginning 60 years ago.

We are still dedicated, as we were at the beginning, to helping those in physical, emotional, and spiritual need in our community. Homelessness and hunger can affect anyone at any given time and it is our goal to relieve the burden and stress of the situation by not only addressing the physical needs but the spiritual ones as well.

God has called us to help each other. And for 60 years we’ve been doing exactly that. We’ve seen the demographic trend change from older to younger, from alcohol to drugs, from starving singles to desperate families. God has blessed The Hope Center and we know it’s because of our great support system of friends, volunteers, and donors.

Now, as we celebrate 60 years of helping people in our community, we want to take 60th-HiRestime to help make our community more aware of the reality that is homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown.

And that’s why we’re doing Rock the Run: A Race for Hope. This 5K helps us raise financial support through sponsors and participants, exposes the work of The Hope Center to a new group in our community who may not totally be aware of exactly what we do, and gives everyone a chance to help those in need.

In addition to the run/walk, we’re bringing our donation trucks to the race so that participants and volunteers can donate food items, toiletries, shoes, clothes, and household items. These items will be used in one way or another in our various outreach ministries. From our food bank, to our daily Soup Line, our overnight shelter, to Camp Wild, Family Assistance program, Foundations Life Recovery program, and our Thrift Stores, these donated items will help in multiple ways to provide the physical relief that so many people in our area need.

So go ahead and fill out that registration for Rock the Run: A Race for Hope. You don’t have to be a seasoned runner, you can walk it. And invite your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, Sunday School class, and more because it’s always more fun to participate in an event like this with friends.

Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to learn more and register for this event. Also, go to http://www.facebook.com/rocktherun5krace to join the community on Facebook. Spread the word and tell others to join you. This is not just an ordinary 5K. We’re coming together as a community to run homelessness out of town. And it all starts with the click of the mouse.

We’ll see you on April 25th in your running shoes!

You Ready to Rock the Run?

It won’t be long until we host our first 5K Race/Walk in Hagerstown!

Our Rock the Run: A Race for Hope will take place on Saturday, April 25th at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown.

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We are dedicated to helping our neighbors who are homeless & hungry get the shelter, food, and support they need during tough times. This race is just another way for all of our friends in the area to come together and show support and love for those who are struggling.

Money raised through this race will help to fund our homeless (transient) shelter which operates every day of the year. We provide hot showers, toiletries, food, and a warm bed for thousands of homeless people each year.

And we’ve been providing these same services to people since 1955 at no cost to our guests or the tax payer! 

Participating in this race helps to make sure that the less fortunate have a safe, comfortable and loving place to rest, relax, and refresh all in the name of Christ.

You ready to help? Go to http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com to register. And be sure to spread the word to your family, friends, coworkers, church, civic clubs, and more!

We’ll also have our donation trucks available at the race if you have gently used items for our Thrift Stores and Family Assistance ministry as well as food items for our food bank.

If you would like to talk to someone about Rock the Run: A Race for Hope, please call 301.739.1165.

A Wildside Party Kids are Gonna L-O-V-E

Valentine’s Day is almost here and Wildside is ready to celebrate with a big party!

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All kids ages 5-12 are invited to join all their friends at Wildside’s Valentine’s Party on Tuesday, February 10th, from 5-7pm in the Trinity Center.

Kids are gonna have a great time playing games, earning prizes, creating art projects, eating delicious food, and learning all about the love of Jesus! And there will be special prizes for the person who wears the most red!

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This is a free activity for kids but we do ask that you call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com to register your kids for this event.

Complimentary transportation is provided to select areas inside of Hagerstown but space is limited so please call or email Wildside immediately if your children need transportation to and from this event.

To learn more about Wildside Youth Ministries and other activities at Wildside, go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

Don’t Miss Wildside’s Football & Cheerleading Party!

The Super Bowl is upon us and Wildside Youth Ministries is ready for the big game!

On Tuesday, January 27th, Wildside will host their second Football & Cheerleading Party.

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Join all your Wildside friends for a fun night celebrating America’s favorite game by participating in football themed games, cheerleading competitions, and an actual game of football. A night of football isn’t complete without some delicious food so you can be sure to get your fill of great food! There will also be prizes, and, most importantly, a chance to learn more about Jesus! Be sure to wear a shirt or jersey from your favorite team!

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Wildside’s Football & Cheerleading Party is from 5-7pm in the Trinity Center located next to our Thrift Store on Walnut Street in Hagerstown. This activity is free for kids ages 5-12. Transportation to and from this event is possible but limited. If your kids need a ride, please call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com immediately.

To learn more about Wildside Youth Ministries go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com. If you’re interested in volunteering at Wildside or any other ministry at The Hope Center then go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more.