Creation Care Camp Success
By Anna Belle Lamar | 2022-07-29 | 2 min read
This summer, we partnered with the local nonprofit, Outdoor Mission Community (OMC), for two Creation Care Camp opportunities. Tennessee Valley Authority awarded OMC grant funding for our two Creation Care Camps which allowed camps to be offered free of charge to families in Haywood County. We had 28 kids participate in our June day camp and 14 in the July overnight camp. Referrals for camps came from Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC, Department of Health and Human Services, The Pigeon Center, school counselors, 30th Judicial Alliance, The Afterschool Program at FUMC, and other community agencies/neighbors in our community.
Campers learned through experiential education activities and play about our pollinators, water- ways, land issues, local bioindicators, composting, sustainable farming practices, and more. Groups like Haywood Waterways Association, KT’s Orchard, Josh Sorrels at Cold Mountain Nursery, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Service, Asheville Greenworks, Grace Episcopal Giving Garden, and Haywood Recreation and Parks led programming for the week. Each camp had a different approach at emphasizing our theme that “everything’s connected,” and all these systems impact each other. It was a privilege witnessing some campers experience things for the first time like fishing, kayaking, hiking the Cataloochee Divide Trail, seeing cows up close, snorkeling, and much more! A love for the outdoors and caring for our surroundings I believe starts with getting outside and having fun - and we had the opportunity to do just that!
Campers built friendships, families connected to community resources & other camp opportunities, and we had so much fun! A huge thank you to the youth in our youth program who served as vol- unteers & mentors and the 50 plus adult volunteers who made camp possible. We also thank the groups not mentioned above - Lake Junaluska, Holy Cow Food Truck, Creation Care Alliance, and our hilarious welcome team (Savanna Shaw, Drake Frost, and Henry Blackburn).
I am grateful to be at a church that values outreach opportunities like these and supports them with our interns, staff, facilities, vans, and volunteers. It is an honor (and really fun) being the church with you!
Anna Belle Lamar
Director of Youth Outreach