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.

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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.

Camp Wild is Off to a Great Start!

We’re almost through our first week of Camp Wild!

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Everyone’s been having a great time! From playing games, to creating art projects, swimming in the creek, discovering ancient artifacts, flying high above the earth, charming snakes & running with tigers, the campers have been getting their fill of action-packed adventure!

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The theme for Camp Wild 2014 is excellence. The campers are being taught & challenged to be excellent in everything they do. They’re learning that no matter what task is presented to them, they should always do their best and try their hardest. God wants the best for them, and in return, they need to give their best to God.

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In the afternoon, Camp Wild 2014 takes the campers on an adventure to the exotic continent of Asia. In addition to the exciting activities in our African & Latin American sections of the outdoor camp area, Camp Wild 2014 has added Asian elements of discovery for the kids to enjoy.

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Mixing education, entertainment & spiritual applications, Camp Wild 2014 uses interactive activities to transport kids, and their imaginations, to places like India & China.

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The kids are able to partake in activities like the Tiger Trail, a fast-paced obstacle course, the Snake Charmer, an educational hike into the world of Cobras, and Expedition Panda, our 600 foot zip line adventure where the kids fly high above the ground while trying to deliver special “food packs” to endangered pandas.

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Not only are the campers learning about new cultures, conservation & outdoor survival skills, they are also being taught about missionaries and how others travel the world to reach people for Christ.

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Camp Wild is more than just another day camp. It’s an exciting world full of new adventures, enchanting places, and valuable life lessons centered around Christ. The kids who attend Camp Wild aren’t just aimlessly wasting away their days. They are learning new things, creating strong bonds with staff, and, most importantly, getting closer to God.

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We’re so thankful to the staff, volunteers & donors who have helped to make Camp Wild 2014 possible. The vast majority of our supporters & friends won’t be able to see the spiritual & physical impact of Camp Wild on the lives of these kids, but in Heaven, you will. Lives are being changed, hearts are being won, and Satan is being defeated. Children are the most precious resource on earth and we’re thankful for the opportunity to reach them, teach them, and love them.

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Even though we’re winding down Week One, there’s still 3 more weeks of camp to come!

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If you know of some kids who would benefit from our free camp program, call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com immediately. There is some space still available for some of the weeks of camp but don’t delay! Call now and get your kid registered.

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Maybe you don’t have any kids but you feel the call from God to help reach kids for Christ. We’re always looking for people to help. Call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to get the process of volunteering started. Wildside Youth Ministries hosts activities all year long so there’s plenty of ways for you to get involved after Camp Wild ends. Jump over to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more about volunteering and see the many different areas of ministry that you can be a part of.

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If you’re interested in supporting Camp Wild and the many other ministries and outreach programs at The Hope Center, call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net to learn how you can become a partner of this ministry. You can also donate online through our secure PayPal account by visiting http://www.hagerstownrescue.org and clicking on the ‘Give to HRM’ tab located in the red box on the left-hand side of the home page.

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No matter how you get involved, please continue to pray for Camp Wild, the staff, volunteers and other ministries at The Hope Center. God is moving in many different ways in Hagerstown but Satan is always on the attack. Prayer is the most important thing that we can ask for. We appreciate your prayers and we see the power of prayer on a daily basis! Thank you for all you do!

To learn more about Camp Wild, go to http://www.campwildusa.com.

 

 

 

Camp Wild Needs You!

Camp Wild is just around the corner! In fact, it kicks off on July 7th. It will run for four weeks during the summer.

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Just in case you aren’t familiar with Camp Wild, it’s a free day camp for kids ages 5-12. Camp Wild runs Monday thru Friday from 9:30am-4:30pm, including rainy days. Campers are welcome to attend one week during the summer. They are able to pick which week they’d prefer to attend, but our free transportation is provided to certain areas during designated weeks only.

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Mornings at Camp Wild are spent in the Trinity Center located on The Hope Center campus in Hagerstown. Morning activities include games, free time in our rec rooms, theme time, small group time and lunch. Theme time is where everyone comes together to learn the Biblical principles for the week of camp. During Theme Time the kids and counselors also sing and dance to hip-hop, R&B, and rock-styled praise & worship music!

Following lunch, everyone is transported to our outdoor camp facility located just outside Hagerstown on the Conococheague Creek. This outdoor space is a missionary-themed adventure land with areas like Africa, Asia and Latin America. These different areas have fun attractions and activities like the Sanaa Trail, which is an African styled art area, Expedition Panda, our 600 foot long zip line, and The Great Caiman, an inner-tube ride adventure on the Conococheague! There are plenty of other fun outdoor activities like hiking, obstacle courses and so much more!

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Like we said, all this fun and adventure is free for kids in the greater Hagerstown area! Each week about 50 campers fill our camp with laughter, excitement and the taste for adventure. To many of these kids, this is their only vacation. The majority of our campers come from Hagerstown’s West End, Jonathan Street district, Noland Village and Frederick Manor/South End area.

Since the camp is free, we rely heavily on the support of financial donations and volunteer labor. It takes many people and lots of supplies to make Camp Wild operational for four weeks each summer. We’d love for you to get involved. Below are some ways you can donate your time or resources to help reach kids for Christ this summer.

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Take a minute to read through the various needs for Camp Wild. If you’d like to get involved in one way or another, contact information is listed at the bottom. We’d love to have you partner with us to make a difference and bring hope to kids in Hagerstown!

Food Donations Needed:

200 individual serving bags of chips/pretzels/cookies etc.
400 individually wrapped snack cakes
5 jars of spaghetti sauce
45 boxes of spaghetti noodles
400 taco shells
200 cans of Sprite
150 fruit drinks (Kool-Aid/Capri Sun)
500 napkins

Volunteers Needed:

Counselors:

We’re looking for counselors ages 14 and up. We’re looking for Christian teens, young adults, and adults who are developing themselves spiritually and want to help reach out to kids. We’re looking for volunteers who can help in the mornings (8:30-1:00), the afternoons (1:00-5:00), or even all day (8:30-5:00).

Small Group Leaders:

These counselors will be assigned small groups of 4 to 7 kids. They will lead those children in small groups discussions, visit attractions with them at the campground, and take care of those children’s needs.

Assistant Helpers:

These helpers will assist Small Group Leaders, Team Leaders, Assistant Directors, and the Camp Director where and when needed by serving lunches, helping lead kids, helping with small tasks around the camp like sweeping and cleaning, and helping out at the campgrounds.

All counselors will help out at our afternoon attractions such as monitoring the creek, helping with the kayak and inner tube ride, running the Rental Shop, staffing the Sugar Shack, and helping the kids have fun at the playground or soccer field.

If you would like to donate food items or just make a monetary donation to Camp Wild, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can always drop off food/monetary donations to our Administrative Office during business hours, M-F, 8:30am-5pm. If you just want to financially support Camp Wild, you can go to http://www.hagerstownrescue.org and click on the ‘Give to HRM’ tab located in the red box on the left side of the page. Donations are processed through PayPal and are completely safe.

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If you’re free to volunteer and feel that God is leading you to help reach kids this summer, welcome! We’re so glad to have you interested in joining our volunteer team! You’ll have the wonderful opportunity of building relationships with kids, talking and getting to know them, and leading them to knowing and growing in Christ! Your time invested in the lives of kids this summer could change them for eternity. What an incredible thought! To volunteer, please call 301.739.1165, email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net, or visit http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com and fill out the Volunteer Interest form located on the ‘Why?’ page. Someone will contact you quickly and get you the information needed to begin volunteering.

We are so thankful for supporters like you! You help to keep this ministry and all the other ministries of hope operational throughout the year at The Hope Center! Whether it’s volunteering time, donating gently used items, hosting food drives or providing monetary gifts, our friends and supporters are the heart of this ministry. The many different ways of community involvement help us keep everything free for our guests and also tax-free for the community. We don’t take any money from the government so all of the ministries and programs at The Hope Center are made possible through kind people in our community!

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Thank you again for your interest in Camp Wild and The Hope Center!