When Tina and Rachel stepped onto the Wild Woosey activity last summer, no one expected them to succeed. They faced each other, each standing on one of the two logs arranged in a V formation on the ground. They joined hands with their palms together and held on tight, walking sideways from the point of the V to toward the open end. As they did so, the distance between them grew.
They weren’t allowed to let go of each other’s hands, so they leaned toward each other. Each step required them to lean more toward their partner, supporting each other as they went. Their arms trembled, and their knees wobbled, but they kept going. Eventually, their bodies were angled 45 degrees toward each other. Partnering together, they reached the other end, and the astonished members of their group cheered in amazement.
Partnerships can be powerful. I’ve seen this, not just in camp activities, but through our relationship with other organizations as well. For example, the Summer Food Service Program seeks to provide free meals to impoverished children during the summer months. We partner with them by providing those meals to our campers, and they provide funding for the meals.
Angel Tree Ministries wants children with incarcerated parents to be able to experience summer camp. We partner with Angel Tree by bringing those kids to camp, and they provide scholarships for them.
We also partner with churches who want their children and teens to go to camp but don’t have the time or resources to put their own summer camp program together. They bring them to our camp, the campers have a life-changing encounter with God, and the church follows up with discipleship.
Then there are our supporters. These individuals understand the value of ministering to children through camp, but they're not in a position to work 125 hours a week at camp all summer long. Their donations, however, enable us to do just that, reaching hundreds of children each year with the love of God.
We value partnership on every level. I hope you do too. We are stronger together.