CampsAbroad is the mission arm of THE WILDS Christian Association, Inc. in North Carolina, USA. We are an official ministry of THE WILDS that focuses on camping outside the United States.
Why was CampsAbroad established?
Since THE WILDS founding in 1969, a number of missionaries and national pastors have asked for assistance in developing a camp program and philosophy. In 2000, as the requests continued to come, THE WILDS Board of Directors established CampsAbroad as a way to meet some of these needs. Specifically, our goal is to help local churches around the world evangelize the lost and build up believers through biblical, Christian camping.
Whom do we assist?
We are not limited to any particular area of the world, but, as time and resources allow, we seek involvement where we can most effectively help advance the cause of Christ.
Here are some of the areas that are very important to us:
- Sound doctrine in faith and practice
- A commitment to the sufficiency of Scripture
- Local churches desiring to use camping to enhance their ministries
- A faithful missionary or national who is burdened for the ministry of camping
- A teachable spirit
What does CampsAbroad do?
CampsAbroad consults with established camps and helps start new ones. In both cases we assist; we do not take ownership or establish any formal ties with a camp. We specifically provide help in the following areas:
Philosophy – The "Whys" of Camping
Because we believe that there should be a Bible principle behind everything that is done in our ministries, THE WILDS has sought to develop a biblical philosophy of camping that focuses on doing everything to the glory of God. Methods of camping may look different from country to country, but the biblical principles are unchanging. We seek to guide the leadership as they think through every aspect of camp biblically.
People – The "Who" of Camping
Without the right people, the philosophy of camp will not be carried out. CampsAbroad works with the leadership to choose carefully and then train the people in a right philosophy of camping. We specialize in counselor training sessions but are also able to advise about such areas as camp government, structure, job descriptions, etc.
Program – The "What" of Camping
Program is a very visible aspect of camp as it includes everything that the campers are involved in during camp. From game ideas to schedules, we are able to offer many program ideas and suggestions that have been tested and tried at THE WILDS and other camps around the world. In some cases we can provide limited program equipment. Most importantly, we help camps develop a program that centers around the Word of God.
Place – The "Where" of Camping
CampsAbroad is not involved in any direct financial assistance for the development of camp property, but we are able to use the experience of THE WILDS staff to guide and advise in the development of camp facilities.
How does CampsAbroad help in these areas?
Each situation will be different, but the following are some ways that we can provide assistance for international camps.
- Give step-by-step procedures for the development of a new camp
- Provide in-depth staff training for camp leaders and workers
- Send a staff member from THE WILDS to direct a camp for one or more weeks
- Train a local camp director onsite, preferably a resident of that country
- Host camp leaders at THE WILDS
- Provide materials for camper devotionals
- Provide game ideas and equipment
- Advise about property development
- Advise about camp problems and decisions through continued correspondence
- Consult with established camps on government issues, philosophy development, constitution development and fund-raising
In all of this, our long-term focus is to train leaders in a biblical philosophy and in the "how to" of camp. Ultimately, our goal is to help equip a qualified director to run the camp free of outside assistance. All basic CampsAbroad assistance is provided free of charge to the camp ministries we seek to help and strengthen as the Lord supplies our needs.
What does CampsAbroad not do?
- We cannot be involved long-term in the ongoing operation of any camp
- We do not want control of any camp
- We do not financially support any camp
- We do not ask to be given credit for services provided
- We are not seeking to make American camps in other countries