Our summer camps take place during the months of July and August, when the children have a holiday from school. The summer camps are divided into two weeks with different aims.
The Camp of the Good Shepherd
The first camp is our main camp where we take (a maximum of) 50 children who have the best records throughout the last school year in our rewarding system. The camps usually take place at a camp facility about an hour and twenty minutes away. It is a camp of our long-time partner, the Heart of Hope Foundation. They have been great partners for us by providing a week of camp for our children free of charge.
A typical daily schedule in our camp is as follows: Leaders wake up in the morning around 7 for a time of planning and praying. The children wake up and have breakfast at 8 am. After breakfast the children spend time cleaning their cabins, knowing that there will be an inspection done during the day with some prizes awarded every night and at the end of the week. Next, we have a Biblical lesson for the children where we share four different lessons from the Bible, trying to teach them many important things for their lives. The children are split into groups by age and the lessons are taught by volunteers and leaders. After lessons, the children have a time of making fun crafts and playing different games. We have lunch and then we play more games or go on hikes. After this free time, everyone gets washed up for dinner and evening fellowship where we have Campers’ Got Talent Show, skits, etc. Camp is so much fun.
Camp season is a very special time for the children coming from hard places. Some of the kids who have attended camp expressed their excitement and thankfulness by saying that being at camp was like being in America, this being their perception of what America or another foreign country is. It is a privilege for the Regen team and our partners at camp to invest in the lives of many kids every day for a whole week. We listen to their stories and struggles, have fun together, and get to know the children better and build stronger relationships with them.
Regen Educational Camp (REC)
Our second summer camp is the Regen Educational Camp (REC), usually taking place in the beginning of September or the last week of August. During this week of camp, we select a smaller number of children from our Homework Clubs with the aim to prepare them for the beginning of school. We have one leader work with 3 children or less to use the time and resources wisely and investing in every child as much as we can. Every morning we have educational sessions working with the kids on Romanian (reading and writing), Mathematics and another various subjects (English, geography, etc). We also try to challenge the children’s critical thinking by having them participate in different logical games or crafts.
Our main desire is to see children transformed inside out and to be given opportunities to learn more. We believe that if a child grows up in a very bad environment, they often become corrupted by that. On top of the fact that we are all sinners by nature, one's family context can make things worse. Therefore, we believe that the Gospel has the power of changing moral values in the lives of people. We provide education and many other types of help, but we know that the main change and the most dramatic change takes place when the changing of a person begins on the inside – in the heart of that person.