A core value of Camp Deerpark is that it always be accessible and affordable. To that end, fees charged for camp experiences are below cost. Despite the low cost, there are campers each year who are unable to afford to attend without specific scholarship assistance. We hope that no child would be turned away from the inability to pay.
Donations to the fund are carefully stewarded to provide for those in greatest need, allowing them to join in Christian community, learn peacemaking, experience creation, and grow in personal responsibility.
If this type of gift speaks to your heart, please note “scholarship” in the gift use line on the donation form.
Note: gifts to Operations help support the true cost of camp for all campers.
The following story of grace was told by Summer Program Director, Celmali Jaime.
Two campers sat on the porch. Their bags were packed and heads hung low. They were being sent home early. No, not because of a fight. Not because they were sick or ill-behaved. Unfortunately, their mom couldn’t afford their stay. She had went about getting them to Camp in a deceitful way and so, the Summer Camp Administrative Staff (I included) came to the conclusion that the boys must be sent home. With lingering eyes, they waited for their ride home. “This stinks,” they must have thought… I too, thought the same…
But then, something happened.
Just as a car pulled up Brandt Road, Junior Counselor, Carson, stepped onto the porch. Ok, maybe it was more of a leap. “Celmali, is there any way they can stay?” he asked me. I could sense desperation in his eyes. The 16 year-old offered his entire stipend, a meager $75, to have the decision reversed. It was a direct challenge to the already-made decision, but I liked it. The challenge came from the right place. His heart. “Let me talk to Ken.” I said.
His stipend was small indeed, but he had asked the million-dollar question. Was $75 enough to make us see past a deceitful, but desperate mom’s actions? Yes. It was more than enough for us to offer some grace. After all, isn’t grace offered to us all daily? The smiles on the campers’ faces were priceless as they lugged their bags back indoors. By the end of the night, the rest of the staff members had followed Carson’s lead, and enough money was pulled together to cover the cost for both children. We were floored. It was a modern day example of Christ redeeming us… of course, with an urban twist. Carson had seen the value in keeping two kids at summer camp, and was willing to sacrifice all for it.