Thank You, Dorcas, For Your Lifetime of Service!

As we bid farewell to 2017 and joyfully welcomed a new year, at The Hope Center we said goodbye to a long-time employee. Dorcas Black, known to many simply as Aunt DSC_0463 (2)Dorcas, retired from 48 years of full-time ministry at The Hope Center. Dorcas, daughter of founders, Jim & Ellen Resh, has been actively involved in many different areas of ministry at The Hope Center in her 48 years of service. From singing with The Missionaires, to directing The Lighthouse Puppeteers who entertained and ministered to hundreds of people throughout the area, to directing Echoes of Hope TV broadcast, to creating Conoco Camp, Just Kids TV show, helping in our Ladies’ Auxiliary, cohosting Koffee Klatch, and supervising the Sorting Room just to name a few. Her impact and influence has been a major part of the formation of many ministries and programs at The Hope Center, most notably the long-running children’s ministry that she started, now known as Wildside Youth & Camp Wild, which to this day is still reaching kids in Hagerstown’s downtown neighborhoods.

Dorcas has been a faithful servant of the Lord in her time here at The Hope Center. So inDSC_0447 (2) December we threw her a retirement luncheon in our former “studio” building where she spent so much of her time creating Just Kids and Echoes of Hope TV shows. Our staff joined the pride of Dorcas’ life, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in celebrating her career and all of the things she’s done while serving God here.

With all she’s experienced and accomplished at The Hope Center, we asked Dorcas to give us her thoughts about the 48 years of her ministry to reaching so many for Christ. Here are her thoughts:

“48 years… sounds like a really long time, but when you think about it, it’s almost like yesterday. And after 48 years of employment here at The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission, I have retired. I never thought that I would retire but it was the right time and the right thing for me to do. I really never considered my years here at the Mission as “employment” but rather as service and I am so thankful for the opportunities that the Lord gave me to serve. Actually I was here from the very beginning which was 62 years ago. My siblings and I watched as our dad and mom followed God’s call to start a rescue mission in Hagerstown. When we moved to the apartment above the Mission on Jail Alley, we soon realized that our neighbor was the county jail. We had no yard. We could not go out on the street under any circumstances so it was quite an adjustment for all of us five kids. But there was an excitement about this as we watched miracle after miracle take place as the Lord used our parents to minister to “the least, the last, and the lost” – as Dad used to say.

At the age of eighteen, I married Carl Black. That was July 9th, 1960. In May of 1962, with our two baby boys, Carl Jr. and Curtis, we moved to York, PA where Carl directed the York Rescue Mission for seven years. Moving back to Hagerstown, Carl became assistant to my dad and I started my employment as a clerk in the Thrift Store. That was August, 1969.  It has been quite a journey as I reflect on the past 48 years. For 34 years, I directed the Conoco Day Camp for children, the Lighthouse Puppeteers, Just Kids TV, Just Kids Bible Club, as well as helping in other areas of the ministry. Then in 2004 I took over supervising the Warehouse (Sorting Room) in place of my mother who was having some serious health issues – she was 87 years old and a faithful worker.

On November 3, 2015, while working, I tripped on a box and fell, breaking my hip. Following surgery and many, many weeks of therapy, it was determined that the bone was not healing properly, so a second surgery was performed in May of 2016. Again, after months of therapy and very little progress in healing, on November 2, 2016, I was sent to Baltimore where I had total hip replacement. Then seven weeks after this surgery, a knock came to my door. It was Sonny, Becky & Laurel (my sisters). Sonny informed me that my son, Curtis, age 54, had dropped over with a massive heart attack. I was totally devastated. It was difficult. The Lord had called my husband home to Glory in December, 2007. I was blessed to have two wonderful sons who had been there  to help me with anything I needed (even though they were grieving the loss of their father). And now my youngest, sweet Curtis, is gone. I can’t express the pain as I go through this grieving process, but I can express the wonderful sweet presence and peace of my Heavenly Father.

I never cease to be amazed at the sovereignty of God, knowing that He is in control and that He makes no mistakes and that He is faithful. I draw upon the precious promises of His Word which assures me that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5. Jesus is the healer of broken hearts. He is mending my heart as I depend on Him. I have wonderful memories as a wife and mother and I am slowly learning that even death cannot rob me of the joy of all those many sweet memories.

And now that time has come to retire. It was such a hard decision to make but through much prayer and soul searching I knew it was what I needed to do. I will still be involved in many ways. But as I adjust to this new schedule I know that the Lord will direct my path as I trust in Him, lean on Him, and acknowledge Him. And, I will always look back on those many, many memories of serving here at the Mission – some heart-wrenching, some hilarious, some miraculous. I am truly blessed.”

Aunt Dorcas, thank you for your creativity and passion and being willing to do so much to reach all people, young and old, churched and unchurched, for Christ! You will never know your true impact while on earth but Heaven is most certainly keeping track of all you did – and will continue to do even in your retirement.

Please join us in thanking Dorcas for all that she’s done to further the Kingdom of God in her 48 years of service! To God be the glory!

 

 

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Camp Wild Volunteers Needed

Camp Wild 2017 is quickly approaching! Each summer the Trinity Center at The Hope Center comes alive with the sounds of kids laughing, playing and having a great time together.

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Camp Wild is our free summer day camp for kids ages 5-12. We provide four weeks of camp that include transportation, specialized activities, interactive Bible lessons, lunch, prizes, snacks and more. Again, all of this summertime fun is provided free of charge to all of our campers thanks to the generous support of people in our community.

But since Camp Wild is free, we rely on volunteers to help us make the whole experience exciting for our campers. And we’re still looking for volunteers to be counselors for Camp Wild 2017.

As a Camp Wild counselor you will spread the Gospel of Jesus to the campers in your small group by building relationships with them. This happens by connecting with them during Team Time, leading them in daily discussions, encouraging them as they play games, and eating lunch alongside of them. In the afternoons at our Camp Wild facility just outside of Hagerstown you will visit one of our many outdoor attractions with your small group during our Daily Adventures times. Afterwards you will assist in monitoring our many other activities.

Our Camp Wild volunteers make a huge impact on the lives of the kids who attend camp. There are many roles that our counselors play in making sure that each day the kids have a fun and safe environment to learn, study, play, relax and grow. If you have one week or multiple weeks that you can volunteer at Camp Wild please contact us immediately.

Camp Wild runs from 9:30am – 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. As a Camp Wild volunteer we ask that you arrive at 8:30am for our morning prayer and Bible study, and stay until 5pm.

Camp Wild operates the following weeks:

  • July 10-14: North End/Jonathan Street
  • July 17-21: West End/Gateway Crossing
  • July 31-August 4: South End/Noland Village
  • August 7-11: East End/Locust Point

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact us at 301.739.1165 or info@wildsideyouth.com. To learn more about Camp Wild go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

Camp Wild 2015: Gallery of Smiles

Camp Wild 2015 was an incredible summer for both our campers and staff! We had over 230 kids experience all the action & adventure of our free summer day camp. There are plenty of activities for our campers to get involved in each day. From learning about Jesus, to building relationships, to creating art, hiking, swimming, exploring and playing, campers at Camp Wild are never lacking for anything exciting to do each day.

Since Camp Wild is free for any kid ages 5-12, we rely on the generous support of all of our donors in the area. We want to say thank you to all the individuals, churches, civic clubs, businesses and other organizations who helped to underwrite the cost of Camp Wild 2015. We appreciate your support and your commitment to reaching these precious kids for Christ and giving them a summer experience they will always remember.

For more information about Camp Wild go to http://www.campwildusa.com. To learn more about our youth ministry, Wildside Youth, go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

Camp Wild 2015 is Here!

The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission has been ministering to kids for more than 40 years. From summer camp programs, to the Lighthouse Puppeteers, after-school activities, block parties, TV shows, and Sunday Night Wild, our kids ministry has had a long, rich history of reaching kids for Christ.

One of the most exciting ministries that we have for kids takes place every summer. Camp Wild, known in the past as Conoco Camp, is a free day camp for kids ages 5-12. Camp Wild hosts four weeks of summer fun for campers who want to seek adventure, make friends, and get to know the greatest friend they’ll ever have, Jesus.

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Mornings at Camp Wild are spent playing games and sports activities, singing, engaging in interactive Bible lessons, spending time building relationships in small groups and enjoying a delicious lunch.

DSC_0284Afternoons are spent outdoors at our camp facility located less than 10 miles from downtown Hagerstown. Campers spend several hours outside learning, playing, exploring and swimming. Various themed activities are provided to our campers that help to immerse them in learning and give them the opportunity to be hands on and experience new things. Other activities for campers include hayrides, inner-tubing down the creek, flying high on our zip line and hiking on our wooded trails.

Camp Wild is a great opportunity to reach hundreds of kids for Christ by giving them a DSC_0526safe and exciting environment to play, explore and learn. Our staff and volunteers spend countless hours a day building relationships with the kids and helping them to see their value to God.

Since Camp Wild is a free camp, anyone between the ages of 5-12 can be a part of it. And we even provide complimentary transportation to and from our camp everyday for families living in certain areas of Hagerstown. All of this is free for the kids of Hagerstown thanks to generous friends and supporters in the greater Hagerstown area.

DSC_0342When you donate financially or through in-kind gifts like gently used items for our Thrift Stores or food donations, you’re helping to send a kid to camp for free.  When you give, you’re providing a summer opportunity that could change that child’s life for eternity. Pretty cool, isn’t it? You just never know how God will use your gift to change lives.

Want to learn more about Camp Wild? Go to http://www.campwildusa.com to get all the info you need. If you want to talk to someone about registering some kids for Camp Wild, please call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com.

If you’re interested in volunteering or becoming a financial supporter of The Hope Center, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@Verizon.net. You can take a look at various volunteer opportunities we have at http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

As we kick off another year of summer camp, please remember to keep our campers, staff and volunteers in your prayers. And keep checking back to see pictures from past years of our camp programs as well as pictures from all the fun taking place this year at Camp Wild 2015!

Camp Wild is Almost Here!

In just one week Camp Wild kicks off another summer of action-packed fun!

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Camp Wild is a free day camp for kids ages 5-12. The camp runs Monday through Friday from 9:30am until 4:30pm each day, including rainy days.

Camp Wild is a fun adventure camp for kids who want to get out of the house and experience a week of exciting activities, outdoor fun, building new friendships, and learning about God.

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Campers start the morning at our indoor multi-purpose building at The Hope Center where they enjoy free time in our game rooms, sports areas & craft tables. After free time, campers are taken to the Wildside Sanctuary where they sing, dance, and enjoy interactive Bible lessons followed by a small group time to learn more about Biblical principles and grow closer to Jesus.

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By midday the campers are given a delicious lunch and then transported to our outdoor camp facility located just outside of Hagerstown on our property by the Conococheague Creek.

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At the outdoor facility, kids are immersed into an adventure park based on exotic lands like Asia, Africa and Central America.

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Each land has themed attractions and activities for our campers to explore and discover. From activities like archaeological digs, to art centers, to interactive hiking trails, to obstacle courses, and our 600 foot zip line, there’s plenty of things to keep your campers busy. If that isn’t enough, we also have swimming, educational experiences and an inner-tube ride down the Conococheague Creek! There’s so much for your campers to see & do at Camp Wild…and it’s all free!

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Registration is easy. Just call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com. Did you know that for just $10 you can upgrade the Camp Wild experience for your kids? For $10 per kid, you can add the Camp Wild Premium package which includes a Camp Wild t-shirt, sugar shack* (snack bar) coupons, rental shack* coupons and VIP line jumping passes!

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Camp Wild hosts four separate weeks of camp. Campers may attend one week of their choice based on availability. Complimentary transportation is provided to certain areas during designated weeks only.

Camp Wild Dates:

  • July 7-11              North End
  • July 14-18             West End
  • July 28-August 1 South End
  • August 4-8           East End

If you have any questions about which week your campers would be receiving free transportation, please call Camp Wild immediately. Contact information is located at the bottom of this post.

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Space at Camp Wild is limited so please don’t delay contacting Camp Wild. For more information about Camp Wild, go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

 

If campers are in need of complimentary transportation but are not able to attend during scheduled transportation weeks, please contact Camp Wild immediately at 301.739.1165 or info@wildsideyouth.com.

*The Sugar Shack & Rental Shack are located at the outdoor camp facility. Neither one requires actual money to purchase snacks or rent items for play. Campers earn points based on various activities during the day that can be used to “buy” snacks, souvenirs and rental items like water toys, goggles and other things. Coupons given from the premium upgrade allow the camper to receive items without earning points during the daily activities.

 

 

Celebrate Camp Wild 2013!

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The first two weeks of Camp Wild have come & gone but there’s still two more weeks of fun & adventure to be had!

There are still two more weeks of Camp Wild 2013! Space is still available for the weeks of July 29th – August 2nd & August 5th – 9th.

If you know a kid between the ages of 5-12 who would love a week of excitement then check out www.campwildusa.com for more info or to download a registration form or call 301.739.1165 to have a registration packet sent to your house.

Until the second half of Camp Wild begins, enjoy some pictures from the first two weeks.

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