"God gave us the vision for the day camp more than a year ago when we heard that the Cassville School District might not have summer school due to the cutbacks in funding," said Jeanna Jones, Summer Day Camp director. "We felt a burden to help meet local families' need for childcare.
"When Cassville went ahead and had summer school we dropped the idea, but God didn't let it leave me," said Jones. "After talking to the staff and a lot of praying, we decided early last fall that this was something we needed to pursue."
Summer Day Camp 2011 will begin on Monday, June 6 and conclude on Thursday, June 30. The camp will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. Snacks and lunch will be provided.
"The mornings will be similar to Bible School," said Jones, "and the afternoons will be structured like clubs. The kids will be able to pick and choose from a variety of activities. We hope to expose children to some new skills."
Some of the activities that are being planned for the day camp include fishing, scrapbooking, crocheting, woodworking, cooking, sewing, sports, painting, drawing, clowning, computer technology, science experiments, leather works, gardening and archery.
In an effort to accommodate working parents, Cassville FBC will offer extended camp hours in the morning and afternoon. Parents can drop children off at 7:30 a.m. Extended hours will also be offered from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. each day.
"There is no charge for the extended hours," said Jones. "This program is free from beginning to end."
Children who attend the extended hours portion of the camp will have the opportunity to play board games or watch movies in the morning. Afternoon extended hours will offer free time at the Family Life Center, water games and other activities.
"I hope that the children who attend the day camp experience the love of Jesus Christ above all else," said Jones. "I hope that this is felt not only by the kids, but by the families as well.
"We know that God called us to impact our communities for Christ," said Jones. "What better way can we do that than by reaching out to families by providing a service that meets a need."
Some family events and activities will be scheduled during the summer camp, said Jones.
"This camp will provide a way for all of us to share our love for God by connecting with those in our community and thus impacting the unchurched world right here in our backyard," said Jones. "We want to reach out and show them that God cares and we care for them."
Cassville FBC members established a prayer base in preparation for the day camp program. Jones and other staff members also researched programs offered by other churches.
"We have not found one that is free," said Jones. "Ours is completely free. For this reason, we had to develop a large volunteer base. We asked our members to pray and see how God wanted them to be on board with the program, and we developed a very good-sized volunteer base."
Summer Day Camp 2011 will be staffed by around 200 volunteers. Jones plans to begin volunteer training next month. A national criminal background check will be obtained for each volunteer.
"We have a wide range of volunteers who have come forward to help with the camp," said Jones. "We have everyone from an 80-year-old who has volunteered to teach crocheting to teenagers.
"We have people who have volunteered an hour a week to some who have volunteered for the whole month," said Jones. "Some are even coming after work hours to help with cleaning. God has done an awesome thing here."
Registration for Summer Day Camp 2011 will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Children must be registered by May 8. Registration forms are available at the Cassville FBC office, the Family Life Center or online at www.fbccassville.org.
For more information, call 847-2965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.