Faith-based camps offer campers from Christian or Jewish backgrounds the best of both worlds - the chance to enjoy all the activities found at traditional camps, but with time spent incorporating their faith. There are generally two types of faith camp. Some are 'faith-lite' (for example YMCA camps) where the focus is fully on the giving the kids a great summer experience and not on religion. On other camps, faith will play a strong central role that serves to unite the camp's community, with services and faith studies comprising a big part of day-to-day life on the camp.
Gotta have faith?
For many faith camps having a strong belief isn't an essential requirement to work there, but being open minded, respectful and willing to learn about the lives and faith of others is. On camps where faith forms the background philosophy of the camp and where many staff will not have a particular faith, staff may be expected to attend services in order to play a full role in camp life.
Of course on some faith camps the ability for staff to provide instruction and take part in running services is important, and so staff with a strong knowledge of their faith are in high-demand.
Whether faith forms a strong part of your daily life or not, you'll find these camps are united by their faith and as a result close bonds are formed between staff and campers providing the basis for a fantastic summer.
Once such camp is Camp Ladore in Pennsylvania. Owned and operated by the Salvation Army since 1967, weeklong camp experiences are offered for children between the ages of 7 and 12, with specialized wilderness programs for 13 to 17 year olds. The campers are provided with a wide range of activities such as arts and crafts, basketball, soccer, volleyball, fishing, music instruction and bible study…just to name a few!
Camp Ladore takes in up to 400 campers a week! And has a ratio of one counsellor to five campers, ensuring that all the campers are well looked after during their time there.