It’s March, y’all. March! Can you believe it? It almost even smelled like summer this weekend. Nothing shakes off the cold of winter like a high of 70 degrees. Enough about the weather though – here we Grow!
Grow brings the flavor of summer camp to local churches and their surrounding communities. Our mission is for each camper to grow deeper roots in their faith (grow spiritually), to grow in their ability to work as a team (grow socially), and to grow in self-confidence as a loved child of God (grow individually). After 80- plus years of offering small-group Christian camping programs in Dahlonega, Glisson Camp & Retreat Center launched a traveling day camp pilot program in 2008 to bring camp ministry to more people in more places throughout the North Georgia Conference. Launched as a standalone ministry in 2013 and now serving 32 sites per summer, Grow takes camp ministry just about anywhere. Archery, nature study, belayed tree climbing (when available) and time in worship outside are all core to the experience. Activities contribute to learning new skills, appreciating God’s creation, building Christian community and experiencing worship in new ways – all to support local congregations in nurturing Christian discipleship.
Grow is designed as experiential faith formation. Campers experience the entire week in living groups of 3 to 10 campers and 2 counselors focused on building Christian community together. Grow counselors plan each day’s activities with the theme of the day and week in mind – from chapel and Bible story time to archery and field games and everything in between. Each summer’s theme is based on professionally developed camp ministry curriculum that is age appropriate, based on scripture, and respectful of creation.
Meet Our Team
Each Grow site is led by college-age site directors and high-school-age counselors. This on-site team is supported by a program director who is a school teacher during the year. Extensive staff training includes Grow programming and the UMC’s Safe Sanctuaries child safety policies. Site directors are also trained on ropes course facilitation and First Aid and CPR by professional vendors. As part of the North Georgia Camp & Retreat Ministries family, Grow is guided by philosophies and practices learned through over 90 years experience dating back to the founding of its sibling ministry, Glisson. Grow’s counselors hale from another NGCRM sibling ministry, the Experiential Leadership Institute, which is a chance for rising 11-12th graders to grow in faith, learn to lead, and make a difference. Participants apply, interview, and are accepted into the two-part leadership program that culminates with serving as counselors at Grow sites (ngumc.org/eli).
Want more information?
Click the link below to download a brochure for this year’s summer camp!Download Brochure
Registration Is Online:
First thing’s first – online registration is live! Registration sites are now loaded and open for parents to register their campers. Accordingly, we’ve added live register links to all of the pop-ups for each site on the map on the Grow website (growdaycamps.org).
So go on and shout it from the rooftops of your churches, y’all: growdaycamps.org! If you or any parents have any questions about online registration, contact Pam (email@example.com or 706-864-6181). I’ll emphasize the key word “online” there.
Paper Registration Option:
Don’t have internet access? No problem! There is paper registration, too!Coming Soon!
Your Help Needed Recruiting ELI Applicants:
You’ll recall a paragraph about recruiting at least one applicant to the Experiential Leadership Institute (ELI) in each church. Put simply: without ELI, there is no Grow. ELI participants are the highly trained high school volunteer day camp counselors Grow depends on for its very existence. Hence, our request for Grow host churches to help spread the word about this program and recruit quality ELI participants.
Beyond having the chance to serve their home church as a day camp counselor for your site (and as many as eight others throughout the summer), these youth will receive top-notch Christian leadership development that has the potential to be life-changing. ELI participants receive leadership training and the opportunity to hone their leadership skills while making a difference in the lives of children at local churches. Grow receives high quality volunteer counselors ministering to campers at every site. It’s a win-win if there ever was one.
The Experiential Leadership Institute is a chance for rising 11-12th graders (graduated seniors also welcome) to grow in faith, develop as leaders, and make a difference. Thanks to ELI program
sponsors, that chance is more affordable than ever in 2015 with a $500 leadership award toward ELI’s standard fee of $645 for all accepted applicants. Our sponsors’ support of this unique program means we can offer ELI’s intense leadership development week and one to nine weeks serving as a day camp counselor with continued mentorship while practicing leadership skills for a total cost of $145 per participant. Applications are being accepted and interview events are upcoming in March and April. Visit ngumc.org/eli for more info and to apply today!