Tie Dye + Hope
Tie dying shirts is an activity center that is a camp tradition. Over the years, and after many ruined clothes, we have improved the process to an art. The children don smocks and gloves for the task. They twist the shirts with rubber bands in any design they want. They use squirt bottles to apply the color precisely.
There are still campers who get frustrated or find this difficult. One girl camper was getting frustrated when one color went into a section of the shirt that she didn’t want. The counselor immediately reassured her that is was okay. That the colors would blend. She showed her another way to apply the dye so it would only go where the girl wanted. She told her camper that the shirt was going to look beautiful anyway, and she was going to love it.
As I watched, I thought about how much her shirt was like camp. There is no way to let life happen to these kids the exact way we would like. There is no way to undo the damage they have experienced. However, we can try to create something beautiful with carefully applied love.
And just maybe, when these children grow up, and the rubber bands of CPS, foster care, and abuse are removed, there will be beauty and there will be hope.
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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 6-18, in camp settings and weekend retreats. 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!