He stands in the hot sun. Photographer Jon is waiting for the perfect action shot– a little camper swinging from the trapeze and splashing into the pond. Pure thrill and joy caught on camera. A picture that is then lovingly placed in the camper’s photo album. A memory. A snapshot of a time and place that was magical. Like a gift, something to be savored over and over.
Another photo, this one taken of Allie, is a reflection in the mirror as she imagines herself as a fashion designer. She may glance at that same picture hundreds of times in the coming years, remembering the kind words her counselor gave her: “God sees the beauty that lies inside you. Yes, you look beautiful in this gown, but God sees beauty in you even if you wear rags.”
Miss Suzanne clicks her camera as the sound of hammers on nails clang all around her. Captured is a picture of young Mary, face and hands covered in blue paint. She grins next to Mr. Terry, his cheeks displaying her small hand prints in the same bright blue paint. Without a doubt, Mary will proudly show her silly moment to others when she gets home, and she will laugh as she recalls Mr. Terry’s willingness to play along.
The power of these snapshots cannot be emphasized enough. They allow these children to repeatedly recall the very real people who love them at camp and the God we all serve.
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Onward & Upward is our weekend-long retreats for 13-15 year olds. The retreats use a curriculum focusing on character traits of godly men and women. We began this semi-annual program in 2004 with 39 teenagers and 46 volunteers.
SUMMIT is our weekend-long retreats for 16-18 year olds. The curriculum focuses on skills that will help them function better as adults. Examples include managing bank accounts, completing job applications, & mock interviews. We began this semi-annual program in 2007 with 12 teens and 16 volunteers.
RISE is a weekend-long retreat offered in April for teen boys and November for teen girls, ages 12-18. OFC will continue to use a 2:1 teen to counselor ratio at RISE, and the curriculum and activities are designed to help teens build self-esteem and navigate gender-specific issues.
Our Father's Children exists to provide HOPE to children of abuse and neglect in Texas, ages 16-18, in camp settings, weekend retreats, and in mentoring clubs. We recruit volunteers from a variety of cities, churches and organizations who have a heart for offering these kids hope in Jesus Christ. Whether as a volunteer or donor (or both), we would love to have you join us in providing hope to these kids!