A Leaders Guide to the Camp HOPE Ministry

By Benjamin Holloway




Table of Contents
iii
Table of Contents
Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................... iii
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... v
What is Camp Hope? .................................................................................................................. v
This Manual ................................................................................................................................ v
Camp Basics.................................................................................................................................... 3
The 5 Principles .......................................................................................................................... 3
1) Congressional Ownership: .................................................................................................. 3
2) Biblical Literacy: ................................................................................................................ 3
3) Youth-Led, Adult-Mentored ............................................................................................... 3
4) Staff Training ...................................................................................................................... 3
5) Commitment to the Community ......................................................................................... 4
The Parts of the Camp Hope Day ............................................................................................... 4
The People Involved ................................................................................................................... 5
The Camp Day ............................................................................................................................ 5
Scheduling: ............................................................................................................................. 5
Alpha & Omega Worship: ...................................................................................................... 6
Manna Time ............................................................................................................................ 7
Tribe Time .............................................................................................................................. 8
Staff & Campers ........................................................................................................................... 11
Staff ........................................................................................................................................... 11
Recruitment ........................................................................................................................... 11
The Application Process ....................................................................................................... 11
Staff Expectations ................................................................................................................. 12
Staff Job Profiles ................................................................................................................... 12
Campers .................................................................................................................................... 13
Meeting the Needs of Certain Ages of Campers .................................................................. 13
How People Learn................................................................................................................. 15
Index ............................................................................................................................................. 17

Introduction
v
Introduction

What is Camp Hope?
For years Camp Hope has offered care during the summer for Christian youth all over the
country and taught them to grow in their faith. Camp Hope is not just a program. It is a
place for all ages to practice servant leadership as a way of life, a place to experience
Christian community that connects deeply to the family and finally a place to claim Bible
stories as our own story. The program has steadily grown to become one of the finest day
camp ministries in the country. While Camp Hope helps all youth to grow more in their
faith lives, it also helps teach them leadership and creates lifelong relationships between
themselves and others. Once you have unleashed the gifts of youth there is no turning
back, they will help shape their communities. From elementary school to high school, this
camp is for youth of all ages and for years parents have trusted their churches to aid their
children to grow and learn.

This Manual
This manual is designed for congregational teams that want to successfully host Camp
Hope in their own community. Camp Hope is confident in saying that their ministry is the
best day camp strategy for growing biblically literate leaders as they serve their
neighborhood. This manual will help launch a congregation towards success. The next
few chapters share what years of Camp Hope have taught and will help the camp run
more smoothly.



Camp Basics
3
Camp Basics

The 5 Principles
The Camp Hope system revolves around 5 principles. These principles are congressional
ownership, Biblical literacy, youth leadership with adult mentorship, staff training, and
commitment to the community.
1) Congressional Ownership:
A team of adults, fully supported by their pastor and congregational leadership who are
committed to Camp Hope as their primary volunteer ministry. What doesn’t work is for
one or two adults to “own” Camp Hope as if it were their pet project or for over extended
volunteers who see this as one more thing to do. Information about how to build a
successful ministry team can be found on the Camp Hope website at:
www.campHopeministries.org.
2) Biblical Literacy:
A design for learning Bible stories is required. This helps everyone at camp become
better story tellers. This interactive approach engages all the ways people learn while the
campers and staff can experience different lessons and stories each summer.
3) Youth-Led, Adult-Mentored
Adults mentoring and supporting youth and young adults to carry out Camp Hope is what
makes this ministry unique. Youth in high school lead differently than adults. They don’t
have much previous experience so they are not like teachers or parents. In fact they are
closer to the children, which is why the campers connect with them so well. However,
without experience you can’t expect the youth staff to be successful, so the program uses
committed adults to coach/mentor them in their leadership role.
4) Staff Training
Quality training for the staffers prior to serving at camp has a huge deal to do with how
beneficial camp will be for everyone. Training events are held all over the country for
Camp Hope staff where many other congregation’s staff will all train together. However
it is not uncommon for a congregation to hold their own training. Where the staff is
trained and how they are trained do not matter as much as the quality of their training.
Effective Camp Hope ministries have returning staff. It is common for these staff with
experience to believe they don’t need to go through training again. All youth if they are planning
to work as staff need to attend a training session. Because as they progress through life they
change and will need to keep learning. Also, the Bible stories taught at camp change from year to
year so they will need to learn how to teach them. Lastly staff training is the first chance for a
specific camp’s staff to bond and learn how to work together, so make sure that every staff
attends.

Camp Hope Guide
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5) Commitment to the Community
Camp Hope is first for the community and second for congregational members. Many
youth both campers and staff that participate in camp aren’t always part of the church that
they are attending camp at. You need to know how your congregation will host their
neighbors. Intentional preparation can make it easier for families from both the
community and the congregation to become a bigger part of camp. This could include
visiting Sunday and participating or possibly showing up and becoming part of any other
congregational or community event or gathering.

The Parts of the Camp Hope Day

Each Part of the Camp Hope day is designed to do 3 things:
1. Teach the Bible story
2. Empower student leadership
3. Attend to the needs of the camper
As you can see in the chart below, responsibility for the success of each component is shared by
several leaders.
Part of Day Purpose Leadership
Alpha Praising God with music; start the day,
introduces the theme, introduces the
story.
Worship Director w/ other
Directors, Support Staff (SS),
Media Director (optional)
Manna Reading of the Bible story and
interacting with the story.
Small Group Leader (SGL)
and SS
Games Play games related to the story & life. Games Director, SGLs, SS
Crafts Create something related to the story &
life
Crafts Director, SGLs (Have
time for a short break), SS
Lunch/Sabbath Enjoying eating as one whole camp then
having time to rest afterwards.
All Directors, SGLs, SS
(Support staff may use
Sabbath time as their break)
Expressive Arts Using imagination to make the story
come to life with music and calmer
games.
Expressive Arts Director,
SGLs, SS
Snacks Creating a snack related to the story and
healthy living.
Snacks/ Kitchen Director,
SGLs, SS
Camp Store Affirming responsible behavior. Camp Store Staff, SGLs
Tribe Connecting the story to real life. SGLs, SS
Omega Celebrating the camp day; praising God
with music and prayer; ending the day.
Worship Director w/ other
Directors, Support Staff (SS),
Media Director (optional)

Camp Basics
5
The People Involved

The people included in the camp day are:
Campers- Children entering Kindergarten in the next school year through those who just
completed fourth grade.
Disciple Campers- Children who have completed the fifth and sixth grades.
Support Staff (SS)- Youth who have completed seventh grade or older.
Small Group Leaders (SGLs)- Paid, trained staff who are in high school or college.
Directors- Paid, trained staff who are older high school students or college students.
Volunteers & Partners- Parents and members of the community.
Leadership Team- The Camp Manager, Disciple Camp Director (if there is one), and any other
directors that are high up and mentor others and ready to expand their responsibility.
Congregational Staff- Paid and unpaid members of the congregation including the pastor,
church secretary, etc.

The Camp Day

Scheduling:
AGE GROUPING-
 Each Small Group Leader has a group of campers, roughly around seven kids that are in
the same grade or are the same age. There will normally be two or three groups of the
same grade level, each headed by its own Small Group Leader.
 Groups will each have a name, usually a number or color. For example the youngest
campers that are entering kindergarten can be Group #1, #2, or #3 or they can also Pink
Group, Yellow Group, and Purple Group.
 The four rotations during the day are games, snacks, crafts and expressive arts. For each
rotation it is normal to put all of the groups that are the same grade level into the same
rotation. For example, the three groups of first graders may have snacks from 10:35am-
11:10am and during the time that they are in snacks the two groups that are made up of
the second graders are at expressive arts.
TIMING-
 Younger campers need a snack in the morning; lunch is just too far away. Camp Hope
has created a recommended schedule so that each age group will go to certain rotations at
certain times depending on what order is best for that age group.
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Alpha & Omega Worship:
Alpha and Omega are the names that Camp Hope uses for opening and closing worship.
Campers and staff engage in worship based on the day’s theme and Bible story. Both
Alpha and Omega worship require careful planning ahead of time and practice for the
songs and skits. Alpha is important because it sets the theme and the mood for the day,
while Omega is important to end each camp day on a positive note.
Teaching Worship Leadership:
Purpose
 Introduce staff members to camp-style worship and discuss creative options for leading
worship with children
Activity
 Lead worship
o Demonstrate a camp worship by inviting the training participants to participate in
Alpha or Omega.
o This can be led by experienced camp staff, or by the worship team, which
includes the worship director and their support staff.
o Be sure to practice each worship exactly as you would perform if it were real.
o When planning worships always keep the campers in mind.
o What Biblical examples are there for worship?
o How can they make worship a central part of Camp Hope?
o Recognize the most and least successful parts of worship with the campers.
o Learn to brainstorm ideas for worship.
o Plan a worship.
o Come up with ways groups can plan a worship and participate in worship on
certain days.
The Gathering:
 Opening Song- Help children choose a song they are learning at camp. Choose an upbeat
or happy song to help wake everyone up and get Alpha started.
 Opening Prayer- This can potentially be led by children, one of the groups, a staff
member, a volunteer or a pastor (You can let them know ahead of time so they can
practice).
The Word:
 Scripture Reading- Choose a scripture from the Bible Story of the day, or other
scripture with special meaning to the day. Be sure whoever reads this can be heard and
has either practiced it or reads it out loud.
 Message- Use skits (performed by the worship team or by a group), puppets or other
drama for a creative message. You can also ask someone to give the message but make
sure they have time to prepare.
Camp Basics
7
The Celebration:
 Sharing Gifts- Use this time to play a song, have a special blessing, or do something that
your camp had the idea for on its own.
The Sending:
 Sharing of the Peace- Pick a fun song to sing/teach
 Song 2- Find a song that reflects the message or is related to the story
 Closing Prayer- Led by children, one of the groups, a staff member, a volunteer, or a
pastor (You can let them know ahead of time so they can practice).
Each camper should have the opportunity to lead/plan an Alpha or Omega during the camp
week. Remember the overall goal of the camp is to grow in faith as well as grow as student
leaders.

Manna Time
The purpose of Manna time is to introduce the Bible Story to the campers in small
groups. It is led by the Small Group Leader using interactive, teaching methods. The
emphasis is on the story itself. Think what is the story about? Who are the characters?
What happened? What is God communicating? What would it be like to be in the story?
The Parts of Manna
 The Grabber- An interactive time designed to introduce an element in the Bible story
before actually reading it to get the group interested. It helps encourage participation by
the whole group with a group building activity.
 The Story- The Bible story is emphasized throughout the camp day. The text is included
in the daily guide for reference but you can use the Bible story out loud. All staff
members both Small Group Leaders and directors will learn every story during their
training.
 Commentary & Enrichment- Use commentary during the Bible story to help get the
message across to your kids and to make sure they know what is going on during the
story. Afterwards ask your campers what they thought about the story and what they
think it meant. Then have the Small Group Leader ask questions about the story to the
kids. If a camper gets a question correct some camps will reward them with tickets or
something else that they can trade for toys or candy in the camp store later that day.
 The Connection- This part of Manna will vary depending on the age of the campers in a
small group. Play a game, make a simple craft, or do another activity to help campers
understand and express the Bible story. If the activity requires certain supplies the
materials will normally be given to the small group leaders ahead of time. Choose the
connection that is best suited for the group.
 Extra Time?- If there is still time before the group’s first rotation you can use that time
to continue playing the current game, go back to the grabber, play another simple game
with the group, or sing a song until it is time to leave.
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Tribe Time
The purpose of Tribe time at the end of the day before Omega, is for Small Group
Leaders to help the campers relate what they learned that day to their own lives. Tribe
time is also where campers can ask any last minute questions that day.
What Makes Up Tribe Time?
 Biblical Speaking- Make sure that the lesson taught in the Bible story that day is clear
and make sure the campers got the message.
 Relationally Speaking- The campers should learn how to apply the lessons they learned
that day to their own lives. Relating the Bible story to something else that they might
understand could help them relate more to the story.




Staff & Campers
11
Staff & Campers

Staff
Camp Hope is about growth in faith, leadership, and in relationships. But growth isn’t
only intended for the campers, also applies to the staff.
Recruitment
There are several strategies for recruiting staff for Camp Hope:
1) Involvement
People support what they help create, so get future staff involved in planning Camp Hope
from the beginning. Including youth in the process will help them be more interested in camp
and create excitement for camp to start.
2) Connections
Staff don’t necessarily have to be youth from the congregation and people are attracted to
people like themselves. So good candidates for Camp Hope Staffers may have friends that are
also good candidates to become staff. Have your potential staff invite some of his or her friends
that are fellow Christians to apply to work Camp Hope.
3) Ask 7 Ways
Research shows that most humans must be given information in as many as seven different
ways for it to impact them. You can use multiple ways to contact and recruit staffers. Start by
sending a letter announcing camp and that there are spots open for staff. You can then follow up
with an email which could then be followed by contact through Facebook or Twitter almost any
social media site you can think of. Always make sure you give an invitation in person. A
personal approach makes more of an impact and is always the best choice.
4) Spread the News
During church services or events make sure someone talks about Camp Hope. Have a person
to speak out and briefly talk about camp and invite all youth while you do this. This is a good
way to get the attention of both potential staff and potential campers.

The Application Process
 Applications- People who intend to lead Camp Hope like the Camp Managers, pastors,
or just adult members of the congregation need to create an application that will be given
to all potential staff.
 Interviews- Everyone who turns in an application should follow up with an interview.
Conduct all interviews face to face, but time conflicts or distance might make an
interview over webcam/Skype or over the phone the only option. Have the youth minister
or youth pastor interview each applicant with help from the Camp Managers or another
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adult who plans to be involved in camp or has had experience with Camp Hope in the
past. The interview should revolve around questions from the application or about faith.
Staff Expectations
Staff expectations can vary from camp to camp but here are a few expectations that could
be used for a Small Group Leader…
1) Hours- Staff are expected to arrive at 8:45am and leave at 4:00pm. Before Camp staff should
show up at 7:20am and serve until 9:30am. After Camp staff serve from 3:45pm and leave
and 6:15pm.
2) Sick Days- Sick days are granted to staff without pay. The consecutive sick days could result
in termination. Special circumstances will be reviewed by Camp Hope leadership.
3) Staff Meetings- Attendance at morning staff meetings are mandatory for both paid staff and
support staff. Support staff meetings are right after lunch and are mandatory before they are
released for their break. And only paid staff are required to attend the meetings after Omega
worship.
4) Dress Code-
I) Staff should wear clean, comfortable clothing, which allow for full participation in
activities.
II) The Camp Hope staff shirts will be worn each Monday and Friday as well as at worship on
Sundays.
III) Shoes must be worn at all times (No flip flops or sandals allowed). Except during splash
day.
IV) Any shorts worn must reach farther than the staff’s or support staff’s arm length.
5) Disciplinary Action- Staff are expected to be responsible for caring for campers, peers, and
themselves. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action or termination.
6) Phones- Personal phone calls should only be made or answered during break. If the church
gets a call for you a message will be taken and given to you at the end of the camp day.
7) Social Media- Parents of campers have access to social media so use appropriate language
and only post appropriate photographs.

Staff Job Profiles

Small Group Leader
Small Group Leaders (SGL’s) are the heart of the Christian camping experience. The entire
ministry is designed to facilitate the relationship between the SGL and the camper. SGLs are
part of the paid staff. Each SGL is in charge of his or her own small group. They are
responsible for leading and doing certain activities with during the camp day. They are also
responsible to look after and oversee the support staff that are assigned to them.
Staff & Campers
13

Rotation Directors
There are four rotations and four directors one for each. There is Snack/Kitchen Director,
Games Director, Crafts Director, and the Expressive Arts Director. Each has their own
responsibility for their part of the camp day. The rotations are interactive and creative means
for teaching the lesson in the Bible story. They are paid staff members and are each in charge
of running their rotation. Any materials they need will be given to them and they are in charge
of teaching what will happen in their rotation for each day. They are also in charge of
managing their own support staff.
Disciple Camp Director
Campers who are in the fifth and sixth grade have a special place at camp as disciple campers.
They share one rotation every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with each age of campers to
serve and help out during that rotation. Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for service
projects. The disciple camp director is in charge of organizing each service project and
teaching the disciple campers about leadership and service.
Support Staff
One or two support staff is assigned to each small group leader at the beginning of camp. Two
or three of them are assigned to each director as well. Support staff are kids who have completed
the sixth grade and their purpose is to learn under their paid staffer to prepare themselves to
serve as staff. They are unpaid and assist in any situation that a group leader or director may
require an extra pair of eyes or needs assistance.

Campers
Campers are what make up the Camp Hope community. Bringing in both joys and pains.
Every camper is different and might need to be treated a certain way. This section will
help give more insight on the campers at Camp Hope
Meeting the Needs of Certain Ages of Campers

The Need of 5 Year Olds
 These Campers are full of energy. Allow time for active play where full energy and
exercise are required to let them burn some of that extra energy off.
 Play allot outdoors
 Practice games before actually playing them
 These children love for you to watch what they can do so offer positive feedback.
 5 year olds have a “do it myself” attitude and have only a few minute attention span so
make the stories interactive and keep it compelling.
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 They will go to almost any length to gain individual attention. Not giving it to them can
result in negative behavior so make sure you show them fast that only positive behavior
will receive attention.
 Watch your sarcasm because it can be extremely destructive with these kids.
 When discipline is needed include affection and forgiveness. Let them know that what
they did was wrong then follow up telling them how you forgive them and end on a
positive note.
6 & 7 Year olds
 These children are constantly moving and can get frustrated if they are made to sit still
for too long.
 They learn best through experience and are adventurous.
 Allow campers to make choices about activities they now understand school style
learning at the point.
 First and Second graders are just now beginning to read and will have trouble readying
out loud so do the reading yourself.
 Encourage these kids to do their best, but not to be concerned about perfection.
 Avoid anything that could make them feel embarrassed or foolish.
 They have trouble taking turns so you will need to repeat most activities more than once
so they all get a turn.
 Act out the stories with allot of dialogue or with allot of action.
 Emphasis on nothing separating us from God.


8 & 9 Year Olds
 Children this age enjoy organized games and get involved in larger group activities.
 Use interactive learning techniques.
 Allow them to work in small groups and then share the outcome with the whole group.
 Trust can be damaged easily so keep fairness in mind at all times.
 It’s important for this age group to have more responsibilities and setting them up for
challenges.
 Most can discuss their feelings with their peers.
 Have difficult time accepting evaluation from authority figures.
 Conflict situations call for adult intervention. Competitiveness can lead to conflict to
avoid competition.
 Desperately require approval from peers and adults.
10 & 11 Year Olds
 Hard to describe because they enter adolescence at different times.
 Each one is completely unique and is maturing socially, physically, emotionally, and
spiritually.
Staff & Campers
15
 Be sensitive to differences.
 They are full of energy but run out quickly so while they are ready for new things they
require more rest.
 Remind them of deadlines.
 Remain calm and model maturity cause emotions can be a rollercoaster with this age of
camper.
 Boys will often act out and misbehave while girls can start to be gossipy and cliquish.
 Pre occupied with themselves and feel like everyone should be occupied with them too.
 Peer groups influence their thinking heavily.

How People Learn
There are multiple learning styles and different people may learn better in different ways, so be
aware of how each camper learns the best.
 Verbal- Some people learn better verbally. Everything you do in reading, writing, speaking,
or listening uses this style.
 Logical- Cognitive skills that include problem solving or creating meaning and order.
Sequential way of thinking
 Visual- Engaging everything we see. It is perfected using intelligence to connect meaning
through observation.
 Body/Active- Incorporates all physical movement as it relates to learning it.


Index
17
Index
10 & 11 Year Olds, 15
5 Year Olds, 14
6 & 7 Year olds, 14
8 & 9 Year Olds, 15
Alpha, 4, 6, 7
Applications, 11
Camp Store, 4
Campers, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14
Campers, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14
Community, 4
Crafts, 4, 13
Crafts Director, 4, 13
Disciple Camp Director, 5, 13
Dress Code, 12
Expressive Arts, 4, 13
Expressive Arts Director, 4, 13
Games, 4, 13
Interviews, 11
Lunch, 4
Manna, 4, 7
meetings, 12
Omega, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12
Phones, 12
Rotation Directors, 13
Sabbath, 4
Sick Days, 12
Small Group Leader, 4, 5, 7, 12
Snacks, 4
Snacks/ Kitchen Director, 4
Social Media, 12
Staff, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13
Staff Expectations, 12
Staff Job Profiles, iii, 12
support staff, 6, 12, 13
Support staff, 4, 12, 13
Training, 3
Tribe, 4, 8
Worship Director, 4