What is it?
In partnership with Second Chances SA, Scripture Union South Australia organise four different camps each year for children or teens with at least one parent in the prison system. These camps teach values through outdoor activities and positive leadership models. Campers learn new skills enabling them to make good life choices for their own future. This is true crime prevention!
SC/SU Camps are the cornerstone of SUSA’s “At Risk” ministries – working with kids in some of the most challenging situations and trying to show the love of God on a very practical and real way.
What’s the value?
The statistics show that children of prisoners (like those on these camps) have a 60 percent chance of ending up in prison themselves unless something or someone intervenes and makes a change. For many, SC/SU camps are the only opportunity for such a change. As rough and chaotic as the camps can be, they’re working to turn lives around for the better – a leader’s influence on these kids is life changing.
How does it work?
Four Camp Programs are held every year – each is run twice, once per semester. The campers spend 1-2 nights away, and are engaged in a variety of activities: walking, beach sports, laser skirmish. team building activities and more. In addition, sometimes the camps will have “days out” – such as a mid year “Day at the Football” outing for the Camp 4 Kids campers.
SC/SU camps are usually small in size, with an exceptionally high leader/camper ratio: at least 1:2 for Kids Camp, and an even higher (when possible) 1:1 for Teen Camps. This allows the Camp Leaders a chance to interact with campers and be a positive influence on kids who often have few good role models – to show the love of God in a personal and practical way.
Our longest running camp is Camp 4 Kids. Aimed at children aged 9-11, this camp usually has 10-15 campers. The success of this camp (combined with the need!) was the catalyst for adding three more camps onto the calendar; A camp for Teen Girls, and two camps for Teen Boys (a younger and an older), working with and mentoring smaller groups of teens aged between 12-15.
Leaders for the camps are volunteers drawn from a variety of churches and backgrounds. Leaders need to have a robust personality, the ability to think on their feet, and a passion for showing the love of God to kids and teens in difficult situations.
Leaders are asked to join one of the four streams of camps, and thus commit to two camps a year. Consistent leadership is important for building relationship with the campers.
The campers are recruited by Second Chances SA – a hand picked collection of kids or teens who are in need of some positive influence. They also raise the finances to allow the campers and camp leaders to take part, as many families simply couldn’t afford to send them on camp.
If you would like to find out more about these camps, visit our partners website. Opportunities exist if you would like to sponsor a child or teenager to attend a camp.
Further information on SC/SU camps can be obtained by contacting our At-Risk coordinator, Lochy Cupit.
Visit our Wired Youth Ministries website for further information about our programs to young people.