Last summer, we had 390 campers attend Highland Summer Camps; this year that total has risen to about 465. That increase of 75 campers makes it our highest summer camp attendance in 10 years! Friends of Highland are excited to see more young people experiencing camp at Highland, but may ask, “Why the increase?” Several factors may have contributed:
The addition of The Peak for campers ages 13-15 gave us back the week of camp we lost when we made the decision to no longer offer soccer camp. While smaller than most weeks, 32 campers attended The Peak and found it to be a spiritual highlight. The unique features of this new camp, particularly the interest groups, were a huge hit as well.
Partnerships with area churches are making an impact on attendance. Ridgeway Mennonite Church reached out to children involved with their after school program. Members of Ridgeway took an offering to help cover tuition, and 13 children attended camp for the first time.
The positive reputation of Highland Summer Camp staff continues to make a difference. Dean Williams, summer camp director, hires carefully and with high expectations; he understands that hiring is the most important aspect of his job. The resulting staff teams in recent years have been camper-focused, parent-friendly, godly role models. Parent evaluations are consistently showing high marks for counseling staff, as well as food and program.
Whatever the reasons, we at Highland are grateful to have the opportunity to minister to more children and families. For each young person that attends, we know a caregiver has offered their trust and expectations, and there is a significant opportunity to share Christ’s love!