We need male camp buddies at Camp Agape Bereavement Camp for Children

Sunday, June 26th from 11:00am to Thursday, June 30th, 2022 3:00pm (CT)

About

We need your help!

Camp Agape Bereavement Camp
for Children was conceived in 1994 to create a healing place for hurting hearts. But It was not until 1999 that the camp was established. Based on a "Walk To Emmaus" spiritual retreat weekend, the name "Camp Agape" was born, inspired by an arched rainbow, the connecting stick figures of children, and the number 12. In May of 2000, the IRS recognized our program as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and in 2002 we held our first camp program with just six children attending, held at the Buckner Boys' Ranch Orphanage in Burnet, TX. 

Volunteer today.

https://www.ultracamp.com/info/sessiondetail.aspx?idCamp=1088&campCode=CAT&idSession=341691

We serve children between 7 and 12 years of age who have suffered the loss of a loved one and offer a safe and nurturing environment to begin their healing process. Our Christian-based environment promotes God's unconditional love and shares the good news of everlasting hope during their time of despair and hopelessness. The theme throughout the program is based on the "Footprints In The Sand" poem, which reminds us that no matter what we are going through, God never leaves us and will carry us through our times of grief and sorrow. The program offers all the fun of a "typical" summer camp and unique and creative group-therapy activities to assist the children with their grief process. The Camp Agape program is offered at no cost to the children.  

Camp Agape is grateful for all the volunteers and trained professionals who are willing to donate their time and compassion to lend a hand to mend the hurting hearts of children. In addition, our program is supported and funded by local businesses, churches, service organizations, and private individuals who realize the value and need for a therapeutic service that offers Hope and Healing to grieving children. The losses from which the children have suffered are significant and range from suicide to car wrecks, cancer and illness, accidents, and even murder. In 2006, we expanded our service to include military children from Fort Hood who had lost a parent in the Iraq or Afghanistan war.

As a community service organization, we realize the value and importance of working with other organizations to further the aid given to children. We strive to coordinate our efforts with local hospices, funeral homes, churches, and schools. We also work with local seminary schools to provide internships for their students. And Camp Agape can also offer continuing education units to licensed social workers, counselors, and therapists.

Below are some of the ways Camp Agape addresses the needs of the whole child from emotional health, physical fitness, and spiritual aspects of their healing process:


Group Therapy - The fact that the children can get to know and spend time with other kids going through similar circumstances helps them not feel so isolated and alone. This is also why the group-therapy activities are so healing because everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings. These activities incorporate the use of art, music, play therapies, as well as the use of animal therapy. It is optimal to have guest counselors lead these therapeutic activities trained in art and music therapy. Equine or canine-assisted treatment has been utilized at every camp program and offers an extraordinary healing component for our campers. We have had miniature horses in our program for many years now, and the children love them!


Counselors - It is rare for individual counseling during our program as group sharing is a powerful healing experience. However, our Counselors play a vital role in supporting the emotional needs of our children campers. The therapeutic activities should be introduced and led by the group Counselors, with the Buddies assisting the children through the actual activity. As the exercises are performed, the Counselor will observe and identify any specific emotional issues that may require intervention. In addition, the Counselors should make time each night to visit with the Buddies in their group to discuss any behavioral issues they may observe in their camper. Finally, it is best when the Counselors make time to visit with the parent or guardian at registration and check-out to give the families some support and provide resource materials. 


Adult "Buddies" or mentors - It is also highly beneficial for each child to be assigned one adult "Buddy" with whom they can bond and who is there to listen to them and be there for them during the four-day camp. This mentorship can be a profound relationship that sometimes continues for years to come. The Buddies will participate in all the therapy activities with their camper and encourage or console them when needed. However, Buddy is never allowed to be alone with a child, no matter the circumstances. If a child talks about abuse or suicidal thoughts, the Buddy must immediately report this information to their group Counselor. The best quality is to be a good listener to your camper!


Physical Activity - The use of outdoor physical activity is vital for the children to learn to move through the waves of emotions that flood their little hurting hearts. They must learn how to deal with their emotions healthily and productively to help relieve their stress and anxieties surrounding their loss. They are on an emotional roller coaster with frequent highs and lows. After every therapeutic activity, there will be time for them to go outside, exert energy, have fun, and remember it's ok to laugh and enjoy life even in their grief. Some favorite activities are swimming; ropes challenge courses, archery, GaGa ball, lake activities, and playing basketball or ping pong. There is scheduled time for rest each day after lunch; this is also important in the healing process to slow down, relax, and take care of yourself. It's all about a healthy balance for our kids and adults.


Music – Incorporating music is imperative in the healing process at Camp Agape. Nothing puts a happy face on a child faster than teaching them a dance or hand motions to a song. It's fun, energizing, and interactive! The kids and adults learn it's ok to be silly and have a good time and still praise God in our times of sorrow. In addition, music is used to teach prayers before meals and therapeutic activities at camp.


Luau Celebration – The Luau event is planned for the last night of camp. Everyone is encouraged to wear their favorite Hawaiian attire, while leis and straw hats are offered to the kids. The dining hall is decorated with everything needed for a Luau, including Hawaiian music. It is a night of fun, celebration, and more healing. 


After dinner, everyone goes to a particular location where a treasure chest is at the foot of a cross. This is a sacred and "quiet zone" where no talking is allowed. Next, a skit is performed about the "Footprints In The Sand" and how it symbolizes that God is with us and carrying us through our times of grief. After a brief explanation of this skit and how God wants us to give our burdens to Him, index cards and pencils are assigned to each child and Buddy to write down their hurts and burdens. A Buddy will walk with his camper to lay their burdens in the treasure chest at the foot of the cross. It is a somber and reflective time and should remain so until all have had a chance to finish.


Faith - We can genuinely offer Hope and Healing through our faith-based environment and sharing God's word with them. A daily devotional children's bible is given to each child on the first day, and each night the "Buddy" reads the devotional to the child before bedtime and then discusses the questions that apply. The spiritual leader leads the group in a short devotional and prayer before breakfast. The spiritual leader is also available to help answer questions the children may have regarding faith-related issues. A child's "tract" is placed in each box during the Memory Box activity. After the child has completed their box, the Buddy will read the tract to the child and answer questions about salvation. We want to plant the seed about salvation during this opportunity.
Positions
0 Remaining
Registration
Opens May 10, 2022 12:00am
Registration Closes
Jun 18, 2022 12:00am or when space runs out.
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