As you might imagine, I talk about Heartland Camp a lot. I am a camp ministry professional, most people talk about their jobs, it makes sense. I end up answering a lot of questions, often focused on the things Heartland does or doesn’t have.

Do you have horses? Absolutely we do. 

Do you do worship around the campfire? Oh, yea. S’mores and everything.

Do you have a lake? (The most frequent question, I guess people love lakes.) Not yet, but maybe one day...

People ask about things, but what they want to know is what Heartland is passionate about. They want to know what makes us unique. What is Heartland Summer Camp all about?

Heartland’s Passion: Small Group Camping

As a Christian camp, all that we do is in response to Jesus. He is our first love and the reason why we exist.  After Jesus, our greatest passion, the thing we cling to, is small group camping.

Let's define small group camping for those who are not familiar with the lingo. Two counselors care for 12-14 campers, and they do everything together. Whether it is going down the zip line or eating breakfast, these small groups do it together. This differs from other camp models that include all camp worships of 100+ people or free choice times where campers can choose their groups and activities. For the record, those camps do great ministry too.

We love small group camping because we have seen so many benefits over our 60 years of ministry. 

Safety

The emotional, physical, and social safety of your child is our highest priority. Campers who don't feel safe cannot experience the joy of new adventures and new friendships. By choosing small group camping, we ensure that a college-aged staff member is always with your child. 

Since we maintain 1 to 7 counselor to camper ratios, that staff member knows your child. They know their allergies and favorite activities. Counselors provide an environment where your child, with all their quirks, can thrive.

Heartland is ACA accredited, holding to the highest standards and best practices for camper safety. All counselors are background checked and trained in CPR and First Aid.

Inclusiveness

I fully believe Heartland is a place where all people belong. At camp, children are able to lay down their labels of being the smart kid, the class clown, or the athlete. They are able to be themselves, completely and uniquely. 

If you have been around Heartland in the last month, you have heard about our $186 price reduction for Overnight Camp. Every child should be able to attend a camp like ours, the price should not be a barrier. Along with our price reduction, we will continue to offer scholarship assistance to families in need.

We are also delighted to announce Camp Exceptional, a camp for children with developmental disabilities. I am so excited that Heartland will be able to provide a camp tailored to their needs and passions.

Relationships

Time is the most valuable resource people have for building relationships. Think about your best friends, they are people you spent a lot of time with. It is time together more than anything else that defines the depth of a relationship.

We may only have a week of camp, but during that week our campers will spend as much time together as possible. Through going on creek walks and studying the Bible together, campers will form deep friendships. Through these relationships, campers will tangibly experience the love of God. 

I can’t wait for another summer. I am excited to see how God again will move through safe and inclusive relationships. More faith adventures await!

Written By: Jared Briscoe

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