One Church, Two Camps
Our church runs two summer camps: one for students entering 3rd-4th grade in the fall and another for students entering 5th-6th grade in the fall.
These camps are each run at the same time, but as totally separate camps.
The 3rd-4th grade camp is designed with the MPCC Children’s Ministry team, philosophy and Bibleopolis experience in mind.
The 5th-6th grade camp is designed with the MPCC Student Ministry team, philosophy and experience in mind.
5th-6th Grade Camp Philosophy
We do not see camp as a standalone event. It is one piece of our strategy to help preteens with a life-changing relationship with Jesus. It connects with our weekly services and other special events.
Whether a student has been invited by a friend and is a brand new guest with us or they have been in church since they were an infant, we want to help them get to know the people who make up our church, especially their peers and ministry leaders.
Small Group Leaders
In our ministry, we realize that what a Small Group Leader can do for a few has more potential than what we do for many.
So we build our ministry and all related programs and events around the philosophy of equipping Small Group Leaders who can invest strategically in the lives of a few to encourage authentic faith.
If you want to read more about the five big ideas we want every Small Group Leader to know and practice, you can find them in the book: Lead Small.
Small Groups at Camp and Beyond
With this in mind, small groups at camp are about more than just this one week in the summer.
Our goal is for as many of these groups and campers as possible to build relationships in these groups at camp with a few students and leaders that continue when they participate in our Middle School Ministry weekend service and small groups back at church throughout the rest of the year.
Forming Small Groups
Therefore, when we form small groups at camp, we have a bigger picture and vision in mind.
This leads us to a very focused and simple format for setting up groups.
Each group is made up of:
- 6-8 campers
- campers of the same gender.
- campers entering the same grade.
- 1-2 leaders (min. one who is 21yrs+)
We will be going through and verifying the grade of each camper to make sure they have been placed in the correct camp and are qualified to be with the cabinmate they have requested.
Campers who are actually going into 4th grade will be moved to the 3rd-4th grade camp.
Campers who are not the same grade will be placed in a small group with others who are actually in the same grade they are.
Parents are always notified when there is any issues related to bunkmates.
In the past at Camp Allendale, we have partnered together two small groups to form what were “family groups” or “activity groups” or “teams.” However, due to the COVID protocols that are in place this year, campers will do everything in their small group.
Small Groups are how they will be housed; who they will eat with; who they will sit with for sessions; who they will sit with for campfire; and who they will do all activities with throughout the day.
Opposite Gender Parent/Camper
That also means that in the past, Mom’s who had a son as a camper and Dads who had a daughter as a camper could partner up with their child’s small group for activities. With the new protocols in place, this will not be possible this summer.
If you have a same gender child, you will be in the same small group, unless you request not to.
But if you are opposite genders, you will see each other throughout the day, but you won’t be together for camp activities or meals.
Housing or cabin and cabinmate assignments are the exact same as small groups.
When we set up housing in the cabins, we will keep small groups together. In other words, each cabin will have the same group of students and leaders that are together as a small group for the week.
Most cabins will have campers of only the same grade, except when space issues make that not possible. Then, there will be a mix of 5th and 6th grade campers in that cabin.
We know that you have the opportunity to put down a cabinmate name when you registered for camp. However, we also know that often times you didn’t realize all the info above and/or the person’s name you put down is not actually going to camp after all and/or you changed your mind.
So, we are providing this form to fix all of that.
Enter the name on the form of the camper your child wants to have as a cabinmate and member of their small group – keeping in mind the requirements listed above.