Camp Empower 2023 was an amazing experience for our campers in four different states and two different countries- Columbia, South America, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina! This summer, kids were encouraged, parents were equipped, and families were empowered. We are so thankful for our volunteers and church partners who made these unique summer camp experiences possible. Keep reading for a recap of Camp Empower in each location and to hear from our dedicated church partners, Buddies, and volunteers!
Colombia Camp Empower
We hosted our first international Camp Empower in Villavicencio, Colombia from May 14-16! We were honored to serve more than 60 children from foster care, along with their families. We served alongside ICBF (the child welfare office in Colombia), Bob Jones University, and Lifeline’s Education and Global Orphan Care teams. It was a successful week of training these families and serving the local church in Villavicencio, Colombia.
Kentucky Camp Empower
Our Louisville, Kentucky, Camp Empower was hosted by Southeast Christian Church on June 12-14. 50 campers, 50 Buddies, and over 30 other leaders and volunteers attended. 13 out of the 80 total volunteers were adopted themselves! During Camp Empower, campers learned how God made their brains, bodies, and hearts to work together. They also learned about being connected to themselves, to others, to God, and their stories. Lastly, campers learned to use their voices to ask for help and make good choices.
This week has been nothing short of incredible! Our leaders, Buddies, and even our campers have been amazing! There are so many sweet stories I could share about cool connections that have happened!”– Blaine Hamilton, Foster and Adoption Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church
Georgia Camp Empower
Our first Georgia Camp Empower was in Columbus, Georgia, from June 19-21, and was sponsored by Jeeah’s Hope, an Adoption and Foster Support Ministry. 15 campers attended and 17 Buddies served. Campers participated in activities like an obstacle course, and they learned skills like the Bully in the Brain exercise that help them with self-regulation.
These children thrived in an environment designed specifically for them, where they knew they were seen, heard, and loved.”– Heidi Hunter, Lifeline Georgia State Director
I loved connecting with my camper and learning alongside him. The skills we developed and exercised in self-regulation were helpful to my camper and helpful to me!”– Georgia Buddy
Since camp ended, I have heard from numerous parents about how their children are using the terms and practicing the skills they learned at Camp Empower- self-regulation, redo’s, compromises, asking instead of telling, and more.”– Director of Jeeah’s Hope
Alabama Camp Empower
Ten campers and their Buddies attended Birmingham, Alabama’s Camp Empower from June 13-15 at Westminster School. The campers participated in Nurture Groups, Sensory Groups, and Movement Groups along with their Buddies, and they all walked away with new ways to self-regulate and communicate.
This camp is great for mobilizing the local church to do what it has been called to do, while significantly impacting the lives of vulnerable children and their families.”– Emma Gosselin, Lifeline Intern
The structure, creativity, and connectedness at Camp Empower provided the perfect opportunity for our campers to blossom. What sets Camp Empower apart is that Buddies are learning alongside the campers… every single person gained insight into how their brains work and how their bodies and feelings impact daily life.”– Madison Perekotiy, Volunteer and Missionary
North Carolina Camp Empower
North Carolina’s Camp Empower was hosted at Harvest Church in Cary, North Carolina, from July 10-12. Campers and their Buddies learned how to Calm Themselves, by Themselves! Campers also learned self-regulation tools in some fun ways.
Their brains are learning, and yet they are giggling and making lifeline memories… I love seeing her light up with joy when she realizes she can calm herself down when triggers happen.”– North Carolina Buddy
Our daughter had a great time… She’s been trying out her new techniques for calming herself and telling us about them.”– North Carolina Mom
Don’t miss out on next year’s Camp Empower! You can even host a Camp Empower with your church. Learn more here.