I have a ten year old with Down syndrome and a typical 18 year old. My boys have been going to Camp Blessing for the last four years and I am never sure you really benefits the most out of this experience.
My 18 year old always comes back so full of God and recognizing what is really important in the world. By serving others with special needs, he feels like Christ is always working through him and learning something about himself through the different teens he is helping.
My 10 year old, well to say that he takes full advantage of the non stop activities that Camp Blessing has to offer, is a mild understatement. He has been able to experience thing that he would never be able to if it were not for Camp Blessing and the wonderful volunteers.
I was nervous sending them the first year, but honestly say that this was the best decision I have ever made on their behalfs!
My kids both served as counselors at Camp Blessing last year. They went to serve others but they were the ones who came away blessed. They were truly transformed in that one week where they learned the true blessing in being the hands and feet of Christ. They developed real, lifelong relationships with their campers and can't wait to go back next year! Thank you Camp Blessing!
My son is diagnosed with a genetic disorder, autism, an intellectual disability, plus a few others. He is high functioning but not enough to be independent. Camp Blessing offers each camper a dedicated buddy who helps translate the world plus they make sure each camper has fun, makes friends, and learns the good news about Jesus Christ. My son is a rock star for a week; the best week of the year for him.
I'm writing to highly recommend Camp Blessing Texas as the very best camp experience for special needs children and adults, as well as an organization that is worthy of your financial gift, time, or talent.
I'm a 'camper Mom' and my son James lives with autism and epilepsy. For the last 18 years I have raised him through divorce, then the death of his father, which caused me to focus completely on my son, other family members, and my work.
In 2006, the first year Camp began, James was one of the original campers. He has been a camper each summer since then and just finished his 11th consecutive camp a few weeks ago in 2016. I know the founders and the directors personally and love and respect them. We are like a family and if you allow your child or adult to experience Camp, I'm sure you will feel the same way. They run the Camp with integrity, extreme FUN, love and acceptance, all the while keeping safety in mind. Over the years I have also become a volunteer myself.
My son's favorite things to do at camp are swimming, horseback riding, arts and crafts, canoeing, archery, fishing, 'messy games,' themed dance nights, and the talent show. There's more too! I am impressed at how Camp is run. There is a hand-picked volunteer that's assigned to each camper and is within arms reach of your camper at all times. This is very rare, as most camps have one counselor to a group of campers. That 'buddy' is constantly with your camper. They form a bond, and we have been blessed to stay in touch with some of James' buddies long after Camp is over.
James talks about Camp all through the year, and it's the only time I can get a few days of vacation. During James' third year at Camp, I had not had a vacation (even one day) in 15 years. During that third year, I decided that he was doing so well at Camp that maybe I could go away for four days. Yes, I was apprehensive at first because I had not ever been away from him, but my older son and I flew to Portland, OR to visit my daughter and son-in-law.
It was an incredible experience to be away on respite and have the assurance that James was having a great time and being watched so lovingly.
You'll never have to worry about your child's meds and or special diet, as a phenomenal medical and kitchen team have a proven method of making sure all meds are distributed correctly and no forbidden foods are given to your child. Initially, I wasn't sure how that would be handled because sometimes, as a parent, I think that no one can take care of James like I can. After 11 years of Camp, I can assure you that the utmost care is taken with your child's meds and special diets. My son is also Gluten free and casein-free (GFCF) and I am more than pleased at the detailed attention given to this. I'm completely at ease.
After leasing camp facilities for 11 years, we have just purchased a facility and acreage in Brenham and are in a capital campaign to make it into the Camp that the campers and families have come to expect. Next year in 2017 we will have camp there instead of renting facilities, and need everyone's help to achieve this.
Last but not least, Camp Blessing Texas has a yearly Christian theme and staff and volunteers are godly men and women, teens, and young adults that serve willingly with an open heart. When you become a camper family, donor, board member, volunteer, or serve in any other capacity, you'll be doing one of the greatest acts of service for special needs individuals and families that you can imagine.
When your camper comes home with the special photo album and the Camp DVD (from just the week that was attended), you'll experience almost first-hand what it's like to 'be' at Camp.
The Camp Blessing staff all love God and treat your camper like they are the most special individual that God has ever created. That's because— they are.
Camp Blessing is an amazing place. My sons with special needs have been to camp there two years in a row and it is almost impossible to accurately convey in words how amazing this place is. They do everything us parents do aa far as caretaking and not only give the kids an amazing camp experience but give the parents reslite. The counselors are blessed as well. My boys just got home and want to go back.
A little bit of Heaven on Earth.
I have now been involved with Camp Blessing Texas (CBTX) for 9 summers now; 5 years as a SOTK ( Servant of The King) and 4 years on Staff. I can say this camp does not just change the lives of the campers who keep coming back every year; it also makes an impact on the volunteers and the staff. So many people have walked away changed, myself included. Too be honest it is hard to explain or put into words that convey everything that Camp Blessing Texas is to the people who have walked through our gates without experiencing it for yourself.
How do you convey the emotions you experience and see when...
You sit on a horse behind a little boy or girl who is wheelchair bound and gets to ride for the first time.
To ask a camper who has been blind all his life to trust you because he wants to climb a rock walk but gets scared half way up.
To be sitting 40 feet up on a platform talking to a camper and telling them that the zip line wire is so strong that it can hold several elephants without breaking, to ask them if they want to fly.
To go on a adventure to the mysterious island, to be spy kids, to have treasure hunts, and sit in the dirt and dig holes for hours.
To set up a booty bag for the zip line for a camper who has never walked so they can feel how it is to fly, to be free.
To see campers get excited and go all out for our dance parties and talent shows.
Helping a camper shoot a bow and arrow, or fish. (Record is 14 fish, no joke)
To hold a little girl in your arms because she is sobbing uncontrollably, because she doesn't feel loved, and has no friends because all the kids think she is weird. To stroke her hair and tell her repeatedly that you love her so much till she calms down. To wipe away her tears and try to hold back your own because your heart is breaking for hers.
To see campers, counselors, and even staff, cling to a cross and thank God for an amazing week where they were loved and accepted and wish they could stay at camp forever. To lift each other up and pray a blessing on each other.
How do you put all those emotions into words...I could use words like love, joy, broken, restored...etc. Yet, they feel so generic. I guess the best way to put CBTX into words for someone who has never experienced it before would be 'A little bit of Heaven on Earth'.
Right now CBTX has a campaign called 'Build a Blessing' where they are trying to raise the money needed to build their own camp. Can you believe they have been a mobile camp for 10 years now!! Everything I said above and much more has happened on so many different camp sites, were we have had to adapt to their grounds and that can be a little challenging with wheelchairs and other equipment needed by our campers. The good news is God has blessed them with property, now they just need to build.
I have supported Camp Blessing Texas financially, prayerfully, and physically. I hope you will choose to help them build a Blessing so many more campers and volunteers will be able to experience Camp Blessing.
To learn more about Camp Blessing Texas you can visit their site here: http://campblessing.org/
Review from #MyGivingStory
As a parent of two special needs children,I know it is scary to even consider sending your kids that have such a unique and structured scheduled to an overnight camp, let alone a 4 nights camp! It feels like a swimmer jumping into the deep end of the pool for the very first time. Scary - but the plunge needs to be taken. It is an important step that all parents of children with disabilities need to do no matter how reluctant they are to do it. One day, we (the parents) will no longer be around. Away camps help build the independence our children require in order to help fulfill their development into adulthood. Thus, when our family discovered Camp Blessing, through word of mouth of many satisfied clients, we knew we had to try it for our two children. The online registration asked many detailed questions that later our childrens' one on one counselor had access to read to learn every unique detail about our kids prior to them coming to Camp Blessing. The registration process gave me a piece of mind knowing I can list everything from medication requirements to what to avoid such as fear of a loud noise, etc. When camp day finally came, wow was it exciting!!! My girls ran down a tunnel of cheering camp counselors! Other volunteers delivered their luggage to their cabin. My husband and I were then free to speak to one of the four nurses on staff to insure medication was distributed appropriately over the course of 5 days. On day 5, we picked up our two girls. Their faces showed how much fun they had at camp. Their one on one counselor shared so many adventures our girls had at Camp Blessing! The giant swing, ziplining, fishing, canoeing, swimming pool swimtime and singing songs! Fun theme nights --- messy games, dance party, talent show. Praying over the cross in cabin groups and giving praise to our Lord and Savior. Camp Blessing has been THE BEST life experience my girls have ever had. I can honestly say this because they both CRY and do not want to leave on day 5! They both beg to stay longer at Camp Blessing. We have taken our girls on fun vacations like Atlantis and Disneyworld. They have never cried to leave these vacation destinations. They never cry to leave anywhere - a park, a birthday party, a fun waterpark. They ONLY have ever cried to leave Camp Blessing. They both love the counselors, and the Elders (directors) that much. We call Camp Blessing the girls' "Disneyworld." It is their happiest place on Earth. Take the plunge into deep end and put your faith into the love and devotion Camp Blessing bestows upon our children and adults with disabilities. You will not regret it and your loved one will thank you later for it.
Camp Blessing is like no other place on earth. God does amazing things in the lives of campers and families through Camp Blessing. I am a youth pastor and I take teenagers every year to help work at Camp Blessing. It is amazing to see the way that God uses teenagers. I highly recommend Camp Blessing to other ministries - it is a life changing week. Being with campers 24x7 for an entire week is amazing. Campers are incredible and we are so fortunate to get to spend the week with them!
Camp Blessing Tx is such a blessing to our family. Our daughter has been attending for 6 years! She absolutely loves it!!! There is nothing like the anticipation of getting ready for camp. What costumes to select for the socials
At night & what part does she play for the talent show. She loves worshipping
Jesus in all the positive activities at camp & adores her chaperone for the week!
The cross carry & Bible stories are done in such a way that everyone has such a positive memory of it forever. All the volunteers have such a loving & gracious heart that I know she will be lovingly nourished all week.
Camp Blessing Tx is a place where our special needs sons & daughters are accepted & loved for who they are! Us Parents know we have been blessed with exceptional individuals & so does Camp Blessing Tx.