Disadvantaged children want to go to camp as well as those who can afford to go to camp. Barry LeNoir, the camp director at Camp Bethel, said “We have never turned a camper down.” Last year alone they funded 111 “campships” the terminology used for the spots reserved for the disadvantaged children. Each for the past 6 years they have seen the numbers steadily rise. With the current economic conditions they beleive the trend will continue. The cost per camper is $240 for a week and Camp Bethel is one of the most affordable and fun camps around.
On Friday, Febraury 27, they will host a “Sow the Seeds” dinner for a minimum of $40 per plate (and they usually get more and hope for it!) to fund the campships for the coming summer. Sew the Seeds comes from the following parable spoken by Jesus in Matthew 13, “A farmer went out to sow his seed…. still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” and from the letter of Paul to the Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 9:6 …”and who ever sows generously will be rewarded generously.”
Campership campers generally come church referred or Socials Services in Roanoke and Botetourt Counties or DePaul Children’s Services. From their experiences at the camp over the years these children have grown up to become pastors and church workers in adult hood. Moreover it can be a safe haven from the pressures at home.
Up to 150 diners can come to the Sow the Seeds Fundraiser in the Ark dining hall where a new internationally known cook has become the chef. Reservations have to be made by February 20. For more information, contact Camp Bethel at 992-2940