My, My What a Spring It Was!

Summer has officially arrived! We love those long, hazy and hot days of summer. The smell of grilling out, the taste of a cold glass of lemonade and the chance to cool off by taking a dip in the pool are some of the things we like the best about this season. But we also love hosting hundreds of kids each summer at Camp Wild, our free summer day camp for kids in Hagerstown.

But before we kickoff Camp Wild season at The Hope Center, we want to take a moment to look back at Spring 2017.

From our 3rd annual Rock the Run 5k, to Easter celebrations, to Soup Line parties and more, our spring was loaded with activities.

We started celebrating random “National Holidays” with our Soup Line guests. On any given day we would include our guests in a “holiday” of sorts which could include prizes and a themed meal. There’s so much negativity and hurt in the world today so we wanted to have some fun with our guests and bring smiles to their faces as they celebrate such days as Oreo Day, Strawberry Day and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day.

But of all the springtime celebrations, of course nothing can compare to the importance of Easter. And this Easter we had so much going on! We hosted everything from a Wildside Youth party complete with a huge Easter Egg Hunt, to our Auxiliary bake sale, Easter celebration with our staff, residents and guests and an Easter cantata performance by the choir from Maranatha Brethren Church with a delicious meal too! Easter is obviously so important to our ministry because it is the basis for the change and hope that we offer at The Hope Center. The power of Christ’s resurrection is what makes all this change possible. So we make sure that our residents and guests understand how important this celebration is to the power of hope.

As soon as Easter was over we were tying our running shoes for our 3rd annual Rock the Run: A Race for Hope presented by Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe. Each year our race gets better and better as we see so many new faces. But with all the new faces, we’re so thrilled to see so many participants returning to support The Hope Center. From our sponsors, to our volunteers and participants, our race this year was an overwhelming success! And we’ll be hosting it again in April, 2018 so plan to join us. Learn more about the race at http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

And just this past weekend the awesome folks at Germantown Church of God hosted our residents for an evening of fellowship and great food! The people at the church have been hosting this picnic for years upon years and it’s an activity that our men genuinely love. We were so thrilled to have some of our staff join our men as we mixed and mingled with the people from Germantown Church of God. In fact, our very own Sue (she’s the voice you hear every time you call The Hope Center) is wife to Mark, the pastor of Germantown Church of God. We’re so thankful that the church continues to provide this evening of relaxation and fellowship for our men.

So as we bid farewell to yet another spring, we excitedly look forward to what God has in store for this summer. Camp Wild is just weeks away and things here are focused on making sure that our campers have another safe, fun and action-packed experience this year. Keep up-to-date on Camp Wild by visiting http://www.campwildusa.com. If you’re interested in volunteering or donating supplies for Camp Wild 2017 then call us at 301.739.1165.

We want to thank each of you who have prayed for us, supported us and volunteered with us thus far in 2017. We couldn’t do all that we do without the loving support of each of you. Your gifts, time and talents do not go unnoticed by our staff or our Heavenly Father. Thank you for caring and sharing and investing so much in the lives of so many! We look forward to all the great things in store for the rest of the year!

If you would like to learn more about all the different ways that The Hope Center is working in our area then go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. Thinking about volunteering? Great! We’ve got the information you need at http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

 

Camp Wild 2013 – Part 3

We’re posting more pics from the exciting summer at Camp Wild. Be sure to keep up-to-date on all things Wildside by going to www.wildsideyouth.com.

Wildside’s fall activities will be starting later this month. Keep checking back here or our Facebook page for updates about all the various activities taking place this fall at The Hope Center.

If you’re interested in volunteering at Wildside or any other ministry at The Hope Center, please call 301.739.1165, email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net or click on the volunteer link on our website, www.hagerstownrescue.org.

Grace Pointe Teens Have a Wild Week at Camp!

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We are always happy to have missions teams come and serve at The Hope Center. As you know, the summer is prime season for missions teams so it’s a perfect match for our day camp program, Camp Wild, which relies heavily on volunteers to operate.

Camp Wild is a free summer camp program for inner-city and at-risk kids in Hagerstown. To help meet the needs of families in Hagerstown, Camp Wild is a free camp for kids ages 5-12, including free transportation to-and-from our facilities each day.

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Since we provide Camp Wild free of charge, we require many volunteers to help make the program run successfully, and as a way to keep it free for the families.

We are eternally grateful for all the volunteers who take time out of their summer schedules to help reach kids for Christ. Some of our volunteers are high-schoolers, some are college kids, others are teachers and some are people who use vacation time to help us minister to the kids.

But some weeks we are happy to host a missions team. In the past, we’ve had teams come from all over America, and some come from our own backyard. These teams raise financial support to come and work for a week at Camp Wild. They stay in hotels in Hagerstown and help in many ways at The Hope Center, not just at Camp Wild.

This summer, we were happy to host a group from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene from Severn, MD.

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The group of teens was Brianna, Sammi, Tiffany, Miranda & Clayton. They were accompanied by leaders Dennis & Sheila.

Dennis & Sheila are a husband/wife team who play many roles in their church, in addition to being the Teen Service Group leaders. Dennis is on the Teen Board and Sheila is on the Children’s Board. Both were extremely pleased to bring their teens to Hagerstown to have them help Camp Wild.

The group was put to good work during their time at Camp Wild. They helped in many ways, including helping to clean-up and reorganize after Camp Wild concluded for the season.

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Sheila said that they all enjoyed their time at Camp Wild. In fact, they all loved it so much that discussions have already started about returning next year to help again!

“We are already working on plans for next years missions trips and the teens who attended have told the others they think we should go there again”. Sheila happily says that she & Dennis are definitely on-board for returning!

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We are so thankful for people, like this missions team from Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene, who take time to help reach others for Christ. It’s not always easy to raise support for trips and then spend long days in the hot sun working with kids. But when it’s all said and done, lives are changed, but not just the kids who attend Camp Wild. Volunteering and working with these kids can have a profound and life-changing effect on the staff as well.

If you would like to volunteer at The Hope Center or have your family, Sunday School class or civic group volunteer, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net for more info. You can also go to www.hagerstownrescue.org to see the different ways you can get involved at The Hope Center.

Camp Wild 2013 – Part 1

Camp Wild has come & gone. Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of pictures to share so you can relive the adventure of the summer for tons of kids in Hagerstown.

Camp Wild is the summer day camp ministry of Wildside Youth. Wildside Youth is proudly sponsored by The Hope Center.

For nearly 40 years, Camp Wild, formerly Conoco Camp, has been a local, free day camp for kids. This camp provides a fun & safe environment for many inner-city and at-risk kids ages 5-12. While there is plenty of adventure & excitement at Camp Wild, the main focus of each week is to introduce the campers to Jesus and have them learn about His love and their value to Him.

Even though Camp Wild is over for the year, there is still plenty of fun planned from Wildside Youth. Go to www.wildsideyouth.com for more details and information on various activities and programs.

But now, enjoy some pictures from Camp Wild 2013. And keep checking back for more pics from Camp Wild and updates about other activities taking place at The Hope Center!

Our Residents Enjoy A Tubing Adventure

With temperatures soaring into the 90’s this week, everyone’s looking for the best way to cool down. Some think it’s by drinking lots of lemonade, sweet tea or water. Others run for the comforts of the AC. But really, most people would just like to take a nice dip in a refreshing pool.
But what do you do if you don’t have a pool? At The Hope Center, you go tubing on the creek!
We are fortunate to own property just outside of Hagerstown near Cearfoss. On the property we have our Good Samaritan Lodge which is home to some of our graduates. Also on that property is our farm which is home to pigs, chickens, and cows. Located on the opposite end of our property is the outdoor recreation area for Camp Wild, which is set to open the 2012 camp season on July 9th.
While there is plenty of land for ministry use, the favorite feature of the property, by far, especially during the summer months is the Conococheague Creek that runs the entire length of our property. During Camp Wild, the kids enjoy swimming and playing in the creek. On the Lodge side, our men enjoy fishing and relaxing on the banks.
But sometimes it’s just so hot that you need to go for a dip. Or grab a tube. And as the thermometer kept pushing higher and higher on Wednesday, our men were able to take a break from their work and classes to enjoy a little time outside in God’s creation.
The Foundations staff and residents were able to have some fun and fellowship as they went tubing down the creek. For some of the guys who were born and raised in the city, this was their first time “tubing on a creek!” It’s always nice for our residents to have a break and just enjoy living as they fight to renew the life that God gave them. It’s important to teach our residents that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed and that can be done without alcohol, drugs or the many other addictions that control people. We want them to see that God has created a beautiful world for us to enjoy and sometimes it’s important to just step away and take time to fellowship and enjoy the gift of each day.
Remember to pray for our residents as they daily fight to overcome the sin that has ruined relationships and destroyed their spirit. Pray that God continues to work in their hearts, and that they will continue to grow and pursue a Godly life even after they leave our program.