The 2015 Summer Camp Theme is Here!
After waiting many months, we are excited to tell you that our theme for the summer of 2015 is “Time Travelers”.
The theme is based upon Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
The summer will be a fun combination of learning about historical events and imagining possible futures. We will take a ride through time to discover the way that God has been a part of every chapter of history, and it will give us a chance to have some Camp Phillip style creative fun.
Our camp theme shows up in a lot of ways during the summer. We write an original theme song each year, and we spend time creating costumes and characters, games and skits. The daily large-group and small-group Bible studies are centered on the theme as well. We are always coming up with new ways to integrate the theme into meal-time, crafts, archery, the challenge course, and all of our other programs.
Each summer at camp is special for lots of reasons. There is a unique theme. Each team of summer staff has different strengths. The weather changes and the campers each contribute some of their own personality to the adventure as well.
We love using creativity and enthusiasm to make each summer a spectacular experience.
We can’t wait to see Jesus in action throughout history this summer. But even more importantly, we can’t wait to give you and your children an experience to remember and a chance for growth.
Online registration is here, or you can go here to print off a registration form.
Junior Staff is one of the most transformational parts of our ministry. Many of you can attest to the valuable role that being a part of this program played in your life, or in the lives of your children.
But, if our Junior Staff program is unknown to you because your children are not old enough for it yet, then there is an amazing surprise waiting for you as your child finishes freshman year of high school.
Attending summer camp is an enriching and valuable experience. It can teach campers to be responsible for a few days away from their parents’ guidance. It can help them develop skills to meet new people and try new activities. At Camp Phillip, they will spend time following the leadership of some great mentors, and be given countless opportunities to put their faith into practice socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Those are some of the reasons that people love sending their children to be campers at Camp Phillip. But I hope you are still reading, because the Junior Staff program takes that great experience to the next level.
Each year, Junior Staff members fill out an application in winter. Then they come to camp for six days in June for training. This training week is full of opportunities for learning and growth. They spend time on our challenge course, and in sessions about caring for campers. We pack a lot of the fun of going to camp into this time as well, so they get the best of both worlds. Training week is also a time where these high school students make some of the best friends they will ever make and have fun in a way that is only possible with a large group of enthusiastic Christian teens.
After training week, they are assigned volunteer opportunities based on their interests, abilities and availability. Some junior staff can only volunteer a very limited amount, and some of our veteran members set aside more of their summers and serve in a wide variety of roles.
A Junior Staff member may serve as an assistant counselor in a cabin of campers, help with our kindergarten-2nd grade Pee Wees, or work in the kitchen. They travel with our teams to lead Day Camp at congregations. They help with our Jesus Cares Camp, and our Grandparent/Grandchild Camp. This group of about a hundred teens makes camp possible in so many ways.
We have seen God do great things in the lives of hundreds of teens throughout the years through the mentorship and accountability that the program provides. How does that happen? While they serve they continue to grow great relationships. They have individual and group goals to work towards. They are evaluated on their service so that they can improve their effectiveness as a team member. And they bond with the team they serve with that week through unique activities and growth opportunities. Discipleship, fellowship, worship, evangelism, and stewardship are all an active part of this great program. Thanks be to God!
Applications for Junior Staff are here. If this is your first time doing junior staff, make sure you fill out this form before March 31st. Spots at training week are limited and you don’t want to miss out.
Each of our three annual teen retreats are great. A teen retreat at Camp Phillip includes a lot of the wonderful components: high energy, outdoor games, indoor games, Bible studies, campfires, good food, friend-making, and a worship service. These weekends, time and time again, stand out as highlights of the year. So we must be doing something right!
But we also try to do something different to make the retreats stand out. We add in a thematic activity, like our coffee-shop conversation-rotation in 2014, (including a delicious hot chocolate bar) or a service project. We have carved pumpkins, facilitated a massive food-fight (using only expired food of course), and played capture the flag in the woods with marshmallow guns. Each retreat is truly one-of-a-kind.
In January we had a very special teen retreat. One way that we made this retreat unique was that we had the teens develop a video on the topic of the weekend. The theme was Sticky Labels, and we spent time during the weekend discussing the way that labels stick to us, and how harmful it can be when those labels are lies from the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh.
To culminate the Bible studies, the teens worked together to create this video to teach others how important it is to drop the labels of the world and rely on the labels that God has put on us. You can check out the video here:
It’s always fun to see the effects of a bunch of Christian teens gathered together in the Lord’s name. I pray that God’s love for us spreads through them and Camp Phillip, and that more people can learn to see their value as it is based on Christ’s sacrifice.
I love to hear people engaging in friendly arguments about who has been coming to Camp Phillip the longest. Usually in these conversations the trump card is something like “My parents were adult volunteers here when I was still in the womb!” But if there is no one in the conversation who has been around that long, then you will probably hear someone say, “I have been coming since I was a Pee Wee.”
Now I realize outside of Camp Phillip circles being a Pee Wee either has something to do with a playhouse or a youth football team. But at Camp Phillip, Pee Wee campers are our smallest campers. They are children who have finished Kindergarten through 2nd grade and they come to camp for a half-week with their families, and we have all sorts of great activities for them to do during the day.
Pee Wee Camps are great fun for their families as well. The parents enjoy having a balance of time to relax while we run programs for the kids, and some family time in the evenings with everyone at song period, evening game and campfire. A couple years ago we added in some optional activities for parents like Bible studies, archery and ropes course. But I think most parents would still say it’s relaxing.
There are two things that are my personal favorite parts of Pee Wee Camp. One of them is seeing the families connect. On the first night, we have a bunch of individual families arrive, set up camp, or move into their cabin, and they are there to make sure their kids have a great experience. But, by the time the closing service is happening three days later, they are saying goodbye or see you next year to people that have become real friends. That bonding might have happened while creating a Pee Wee Parent Cheer for campfire, or by talking through a life issue at Bible study, or just by spending a few days as neighbors. It is such a great thing to see the way God works through Christian fellowship.
The second thing that I just love to see is the bond that forms between campers and staff. The Pee Wee staff members pour out their energy into every moment of the day to make sure the Pee Wees get a mountain-top experience. The staff might lose their voices by the end of the camp from all the singing and celebrating, and the campers might need a good long nap at the end of the camp. It is all worth it because there is a special kind of joy that comes from being able to say, “She was my Pee Wee leader,” or “He was my Pee Wee camper.”
To sign up for a Pee Wee Camp, check your calendar and compare it with ours to book a cabin or a campsite. Then give us a call 920-787-3202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for the camp itself, you can go here to print off a form, or here to register online.
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W9944 Buttercup Ave.
Wautoma, Wisconsin 54982