36 campers, 28 hours on a coach bus, extreme heat and humidity, bunking in a dorm-like cabin with 15 other women…why wouldn’t I look forward to doing this again and again and again? This isn’t exactly my idea of a dream vacation, yet for 4 years now spending a week with kampers from SOAR Tutoring and Eagle Sports Club at Kids Across America Kamp is one of my favorite weeks of the year.
KAA’s vision and mission sums up why it is worth the trip. VISION: Transforming urban youth to impact their communities for Christ. MISSION: To build Christian leaders by encouraging, equipping, and empowering urban youth and their mentors through camping and education.
KAA not only focuses on the needs of the kampers (yes, I know how to spell…it’s a KAA thing!) and provides a rich and relevant Christ-centered focus in the midst of tubing, wacky games and parties, the high-ropes course and just about every sports activity you could name, it also recognizes the need to nourish the leaders (Kaleos) who bring the kampers. As another Kaleo put it, “My New Year doesn’t start in January. It begins when I get to KAA.” I would have to agree. There is a refreshing that begins once we enter kamp. They understand their mission, ‘their Call’, and do not stray from it…and that’s what makes KAA worth it. And we get to bring that home with us.
This year I also had the added bonus of seeing Maggie. She left May 20th to be a counselor in KAA1 for 9-10 year old girls, lifeguarding and taking kampers out tubing on Tablerock Lake (my favorite inland body of water). We shared Week 3 together and spent her few off minutes catching up during Porch Talks, sipping freeze pops, or chanting the never-ending dining hall cheers. What a joy to see her care for and pour into her kampers! She loves the mission and vision of KAA and would like to continue working with the Detroit kampers over the next year.
Can’t wait until June 15th, 2013!