Christmas Camp: Treasured Memories Together
What do camp and Christmas have in common? Answers include hot chocolate, staying up late, a warm fire, and sweet snacks. The most important one, however, is togetherness. Camp and Christmas provide a unique opportunity to connect with others away from daily distractions and routines. Yet in both cases, many kids in foster care never get the chance to enjoy these bonding memories. One of our partners noticed the gap and decided to act. Now, hundreds of kids look forward to Christmas Camp at Realife every year. Read how the For Others Collective makes memories of togetherness accessible for every child—and the major reason why this year’s Christmas camp will be extra special.
Christmas Camp for Every Child
Our friends at Realife know how to host an awesome camp experience, fueled by their heart for children and their love of God. Moved by compassion for those who would normally miss out, Camp Director William Bloodworth and his team created a special Christmas Camp experience for children in foster care. Realife offers scholarships to keep it free for campers, and thanks to your generosity, over 1,000 children and youth in foster care took part in 2023.
Each child who attends Christmas Camp gets to unwrap a minimum of three gifts and a stocking with their name on it. All the campers gather on the morning of day two to open Christmas presents, just like many of us would on Christmas morning. The camp lasts for three days and is packed full of classic activities, from archery and swimming to painting and bonfires. With staff fully committed to curating an atmosphere of togetherness and fun, the campers leave with full hearts.
But don’t take our word for it. The kids speak for themselves. Each quote below comes from a child who attended Christmas Camp.
“Christmas Camp was so fun. I got to meet other foster kids that are struggling, and it helped knowing that I am not the only one that is struggling. I am so happy that y’all had this Christmas Camp for us. Thank you for the gifts.”Alexander
“You have made me feel as if I am good enough and worthy. I love you guys. Thank you for the memories.”Mary
“I just wanna say thank you. You have showed me so much love, and I will miss you. Today I’m getting baptized because I want to let God into my life. Thank you for all the love and support.”Jayden
Young lives are changing because of you. Children and youth going through painful circumstances step away for a few days and make deep, meaningful connections with their friends and counselors. Most importantly, they hear about their heavenly Father who knows them and loves them.
An Extra-Special Year
This year’s Christmas Camp will be extra special for a big reason. Realife is also one of For Others’ Stillwaters Affiliates, providing temporary housing for children from unstable backgrounds.
Many camp counselors develop strong bonds with the kids, and conversations stemming from trust may occur. In some cases, a counselor may find out that the home a child will return to is unsafe or otherwise unsuitable. Realife’s unique position allows them to rapidly place children in their on-site housing unit when a swift home removal is granted by the state.
Thanks to the support of the For Others Collective, Realife built a second brand-new housing unit to serve even more at-risk youth. The ribbon cutting will take place on December 28, 2023 — day two of Christmas Camp.
For youth whose lives may be filled with turmoil, a peaceful week of belonging is a precious and rare gift. For many, their greatest camp memory becomes the moment they come face-to-face with the life-changing power of the gospel. Together, with humility and gratitude, we have the privilege of participating in God’s mission of redemption now and for eternity.