Thank you for your prayers and support in 2015! We had a great kick-off year, sending over 100 boys and girls who have no father in their lives to a fun-filled week of summer camp. Of those sent to camp, 86 attended Camp Lake Louise in Michigan. We provided a male and female counselor there every week during the summer to specifically minister to our fatherless campers.
Another 10 campers (boys in foster care) attended Camp Wilderness Ridge near Bastrop, Texas. Please keep Camp Wilderness Ridge in your prayers, as they suffered a devastating wildfire in September, 2015--the second time the camp has been destroyed by fire in the past few years. We continue to support them as they seek to purchase new land and rebuild, and hope to send 10 campers this year to the camps they will operate out of rented camp facilities. An additional 4 kids attended Camp Lone Star and Carolina Creek Christian Camp in Texas and another 5 fatherless teens went to camp with YoungLife through our scholarship program.
Since last Summer and into 2016, we have made some great strides and have exciting highlights to share with you:
1. We have teamed up with another camp, Frontier Camp in Grapeland, Texas. They will offer "Timothy Week" camp which will be entirely comprised of 80-100 fatherless boys and girls. This will include inner-city kids, kids from the Big Brothers/Sisters program, and other fatherless kids. Please see the attached flier for more information. We are excited about this new partnership and are already into the planning of a camp program just for fatherless kids.
2. We are partnering again this year with Camp Lake Louise, and hope to increase camper scholarships from 86 to 100 there this year. We have found a female counselor for the summer and are seeking a male counselor for the fatherless kids. One of our other Board Members, Bruce Johnson and his wife, Margie, are active at this camp all Summer. Bryan will serve as program director for the week of Family Camp, for which single mothers and their fatherless kids will be invited to attend. And Kent Nunn, another Psalm68five board member and his wife, Colleen Nunn, will also be assisting the Program staff at Camp Lake Louise. Camp Lake Louise is our “Mothership Camp” where this ministry was birthed. Please see the attached link to Camp for the Fatherless for the summer of 2016:
3. We have begun an initiative to create materials and curriculum for ministering to fatherless kids and are looking to team up with a Christian College which specializes in Outdoor Ministry. Our goal at Psalm68five is not just to provide fatherless kids with a great week at summer camp (although that would be worth the effort) but we work to plant seeds about God’s heart and special love for toward the fatherless, as displayed in many Bible verses. Knowing God’s special love and protection of the fatherless helps replace the shame of being fatherlessness with the true identity of being a child fathered by God, a child of royalty. We seek to help change the trajectory of the lives of fatherless kids from one of statistically very poor outcomes, to one of hope and a future secured by God’s love and direction.
4. We have launched our website. Please take a look at Psalm68five.org and let us know your comments and suggestions, as we continue to update and improve it. We are especially looking to add blogposts which might help others understand the challenges of growing up fatherless and the stories of lives changed by God coming into the lives of fatherless kids.
5. We joined with the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA)and attended their conference in Arizona to improve our ministry. We have already made many camp connections which will help us to be more effective in reaching our goals.
6. As promised in 2015 and continuing into the foreseeable future, 100% of all outside donations are used fully to send fatherless kids to camp and for Psalm68five camp counselors, whose role is to plant seeds of God’s love to the fatherless kids at these camps. All other expenses for administration, websites, and other initiatives are covered by a private source.
By partnering with camps, we are able to have a lower than normal cost per camper. Currently, our cost is approximately $350 per week per camper, while the average cost to send a camper to camp normally might be $500-$750. It has been a blessing to see how God has provided for this ministry through the prayers and financial support of many people with a heart for fatherless kids.
We will update you again as the summer camp season progresses.