By: Susan Erler | Category: Special Interest | Issue: April 2011
Happy campers from last year’s Camp Courage USA.
It’s hard to believe, but now is the time to start thinking about activities to keep your children busy and engaged during the upcoming summer months. Do you want to send your child to a traditional one-week summer camp, or do you need a more comprehensive weekly day camp? Wouldn’t it be super to find one organization that offered both? Now you can. This year, send your child to a camp that focuses on building character and promoting courage, and that creates meaningful activity for their campers. Maybe this is the year for your children to experience Camp Courage USA.
Camp Courage is the brainchild of Jennifer and Ronnie Hayes. Ronnie has an extensive background as a youth minister, and Jennifer comes from the administrative field. Three years ago, Ronnie and Jennifer decided to create a summer camp unlike any other. “We wanted an environment that taught Christianity, but on a non-denominational level,” explains Jennifer. “We were looking to use purposeful games and activities to help young people discover their personal strengths and show them how God can help them gain strength in their everyday life.”
Since that time, Jennifer and Ronnie have expanded their program to include a day camp, located at the Owasso Community Center. “Our day camp will be so much more than just keeping the children occupied,” says Jennifer. “We will have frequent day trips which will include going to the splash pad and the skate park, and we will take the kids fishing, bowling and even to the Helmzar indoor challenge course located in downtown Tulsa.”
Ronnie is proud to point out the many differences in their camp philosophy. “In many day camps, the focus is just to get through the day. In ours, we strive to make each day challenging, different and more like an adventure!”
The theme for this year’s camp will be “Crazy Love.” They will spend time each week focusing on loving others and treating others with respect – basically, the golden rule as taught from a biblical standpoint. Hours for the day camp are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and before and after care is available for those who need it. Day camp is open to those who have graduated kindergarten through age 13. Dates are June 6 through August 12, and families with more than one camper attending can receive a multiple child discount by calling the Camp Courage office.
For those looking for a more traditional summer camp experience, the Camp Courage resident camp offers experience-based learning through a variety of team building activities, each designed to promote fun while fostering individual strengths. Just some of the objectives include problem solving, communication, trust, teamwork, self-esteem building and good decision making.
Campers will find themselves immersed in a huge variety of activities including swimming, canoeing, wall climbing, rappelling, sliding down an 80-foot water slide, riding a zip line drop into the lake, hiking, fishing, volleyball, bonfires and much, much more. If your child constantly complains about having nothing to do, this camp will provide more things to do than they have time in their day. Plus, it is all offered in a Christian atmosphere with camp counselors who are committed to making sure each camper has an awesome camp experience, while helping them make better life choices during the rest of the year.
Dates for the Camp Courage resident camp are July 31 through August 5, and it is open to children ages 8 to 14 years. More information and registration is available at www.campcourageusa.com.
“Our goal is to touch the lives of the children we come in contact with,” says Jennifer. “Whether through our day camp program or our resident camp, we make an investment into our campers and staffers, and we see a return on this investment. Each year, we hear back from our campers, and they tell us what a difference we have made in their lives. That’s why we do what we do.”
To get more information about Camp Courage, log on to www.campcourageusa.com or give them a call toll free at (877) 3GO-CAMP.