CAMP BLESSING’S NEXT STEP
This summer we implemented our new Next Step Program. The Camp Blessing Next Step Program is a joint effort between PHRED’S PLLACE and Camp Blessing, TX. Our goal is to allow many of Camp Blessing’s long term campers the opportunity to serve others alongside the Camp Blessing staff in the very place that they had been loved, accepted and had fun at for years. In 2018 we took 5 PHRED’s PLLACE Kids in Motion participants who were high school graduates and had a desire to serve others. They lived in “Cowboy Casa” a group home situation with a job coach, 2 staff members and a volunteer. They were required to live independently and taught to live responsibly. All of our participants studied and obtained their food-handling certificate and participated in a daily bible study program.
To say the least, this summer was amazing! The Next Step program was even more successful than we could of asked for. Our participants arrived at camp on Sunday afternoon, put on their aprons and nametags with pride and got right to work preparing the Staff Sunday Dinner. They worked incredibly hard preparing the dining hall, serving the meal, doing dishes and cleaning up after the meal. They continued preparing the dining hall, serving and cleaning up on Monday and Tuesday till our incredible Barnstormers took over. They made, packaged and handed out their own special cookies to all volunteers and parents of campers to thank and welcome them on arrival days. They were truly the best at Welcoming Everyone to Camp Blessing.
We learned that this program is so needed, our participants felt so encouraged by the Camp Blessing staff, volunteers and parents. They felt a true sense of community and purpose. They made incredible friendships, memories and learned skills that will help them as they transition to adulthood.
We look forward to our Next Step participants serving at future Camp Blessing events like their retreats, galas and golf tournaments. We are making plans to expand our program and capacity for more participants.