Can We Come Back Next Year?
The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ Many children have returned for 7, 8, even 9 summers! Even though there are an estimated 6000 Vermont children who have experienced their parent’s incarceration, we believe that our campers benefit by returning year after year. The relationships they build at camp grow and deepen each year. These positive relationships are the most effective contribution we can offer as a path out of generational incarceration.
What happens when a child grows beyond the 8 to 11 age limit?
Every year, we invite our campers who have turned twelve years old, to attend a week of camp that is appropriate for their age. The only requirement is that they have previously attended at least one year of Camp Agape. They will attend Bethany Birches Camp while other campers their age are attending the camp. Our campers will be in a cabin group made up of Camp Agape campers, but will also participate in camp activities with the full camp. At Bethany Birches, the cabin groups prepare their own meals at the campfire, and spend a lot of time with each other. They also have many opportunities to choose the activities they each want to do in the full camping program that Bethany Birches offers. We are fortunate to have some very experienced counselors who have enjoyed working with our older campers each year.
What will happen when a child reaches 15?
They can choose to continue as a Camp Agape camper in Bethany Birches’ high school program. They can also choose to enter the Leadership Development program at Bethany Birches. They would be assigned to a week of Crew , which is half work and half camp fun, and then they might be offered an Internship with the younger campers. We are excited to now have some Junior Counselors who were once Camp Agape campers.
What happens if a child has to be sent home before the end of camp?
We assure the child that a place has been reserved for him/her for next year. One little boy, as he was being driven home when the children were enjoying a water carnival and sliding down a hill on plastic sheets coated with suds, asked “Can we do that the first day next year?” His mother quickly signed him up for the next year.