Did you know that 75% of people in prison have been in Foster Care and over 80% of those on death row were in the Foster Care System? Additionally, 50% of the girls in Foster Care are pregnant by their 19th birthday. There is a continuous cycle of change and upheaval in the lives and relationships surrounding foster children, which has a lasting negative impact on them. However, through Royal Family KIDS camps and mentoring, we have the opportunity to break that cycle. In fact, their mission of the camp staff and volunteers is to treat the kids like royalty while planting the seeds of change one moment at a time to make a difference in their lives.
Over two separate weeks this summer, 63 foster children ages 6 to 12 from Larimer and Weld Counties received the royal treatment at a Royal Family KIDS camp hosted by Timberline Church Fort Collins and Timberline Church Windsor. Over two years of preparation went into these first two camps as 120 adult volunteers were trained and prepared to donate 10,000 hours of time into the camps and the lives of these precious children.
When they arrived at camp, each child was given two designated volunteers to be a resource for them throughout the week. Then during the week, there were birthday parties, carnivals, concerts, a talent show, activities galore, and even a grandma and grandpa on hand to show what a healthy family structure looks like. Each child was also given a Bible and the opportunity to explore his/her faith with a camp counselor to provide a resource to call upon when they come upon future forks in the road.
After a week of non-stop activity full of ups and downs, the volunteers met to share and process the inevitable kaleidoscope of emotion. Many shared stories of children who made their first friend while at camp while others wished the Guides could be their dad. Many mentioned the countless selfless acts and non-stop love that was poured out all week. The Fort Collins camp had the additional aspect of many Timberline Student Ministries “Junior Guides” who became role models, brothers, and sisters to the Campers. Most importantly, one volunteer said, “I was amazed at the difference in the kids between Monday and Friday. We planted seeds and started seeing them grow a plant.”
What’s ahead for next year? More camps to touch the lives of more children. And plans are underway to incorporate a mentorship component so the children can continue to receive support once they age out of camp eligibility. Of course, in order to continue to provide the royal treatment, there is a need for volunteers to supply the time as well as community financial donations to cover the costs.
Together we can help these kids transition from becoming a statistic to being a healthy member of our loving community. Find out more or donate at http://www.fortcollins.royalfamilykids.org or http://www.windsor.royalfamilykids.org.
Want a simple way to impact the lives of foster kids in Larimer County?
Royal Family Kids is the nation’s leading network of camps and mentor clubs for children of abuse, abandonment and neglect. Timberline Church is preparing to host a camp for Royal Family Kids of Larimer County at the end of June. Our high school students will lead the charge in fundraising and assisting in mentoring these children while they are at camp. But our students need your help to accomplish this mission.
It costs $400 per kid for one camp session. This covers five days of room, board and camp activities. All kids, since they are in the foster system, go for free, or else they don’t go. That means fundraising is key at this stage of the process.
Here’s how YOU can help:
The student ministry will host a car wash mid-June at the Timberline-Fort Collins campus to help raise funds for the camp. Times are as follows:
- Saturday, June 18th: 4:30-7pm
- Sunday, June 19th: 9am-1pm
Timberline Student Ministry asks for a suggested donation of $8.
Royal Family Kids and Timberline Student Ministries would love to see every foster child, age 6-12, in Larimer County experience this life-changing camp. There is likely no easier way to impact our community than by getting your car washed. So, be sure and mark your calendar for the weekend of June 18th& 19th.
During last year’s Orphan Care Weekend, Guest speaker Wayne Tesch, founder of Royal Family KIDS Camp, cast a vision to confront abused, neglected and abandoned kids in the foster care system. These church camps are designed for children ages six to twelve in the foster care system. Each summer, the love of Jesus and God’s word is demonstrated and shared in over 200 camps nationwide, providing a fun packed week of memories that last a lifetime!
In June of 2016, Timberline Church will launch its first two camps with the Fort Collins campus reaching kids in Larimer County and the Windsor campus reaching Weld County.
Here’s brief update on what’s been accomplished so far:
- 11 leaders attended a week-long mandatory directors’ training camp
- A weekly prayer team was established to pray for specific needs
- Volunteer directors and assistant directors have been established for both campuses from the group of trainees
- Key volunteer roles are actively being filled
- Administrative support, accounting and budget process established
- Developed partnerships with officials from Larimer and Weld county DHS
- Camp location has been secured for the two camps in June 2016
- Websites up and running with information, volunteer applications, and a path for financial giving
How can you get involved?
- Visit the websites at http://fortcollins.royalfamilykids.org/ or http://windsor.royalfamilykids.org/ to learn more.
- Donate financially. The cost of a camp scholarship is $400 per child to cover meals and lodging (with a projected 30 kids per camp). Other costs per camper include memory bags, activity center craft projects, and special events.
- Pray for the camps and the children who will be attending next summer
- Volunteer either online or in person at the table in the mall during Orphan Care Weekend November 7 and 8th. They are looking for licensed, accredited social workers and teachers specifically right now and won’t begin recruiting camp counselors until after the holidays.
God’s word is full of passages that tell us how much He loves and wants his church to care for the fatherless and champion justice for them. Psalm 68:5 says, “He is a father to the fatherless.” James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” Royal Family KIDS Camp does this and Timberline Church is excited to be a part of making a difference that lasts for eternity one week at a time.
The ultimate vision is that in the years to come, every foster child in Northern Colorado will experience a Royal Family Kids camp…numerous times.
As part of the Orphan Care Spotlight weekend, Timberline Church was blessed to hear from Wayne Tesch, co-founder of Royal Family Kids, as he challenged the church to come alongside abused, neglected, and abandoned children with a message of hope.
The Royal Family Kids ministry purpose is to mobilize the church community to confront child abuse and to create life-changing moments for children of abuse. Their vision is that every foster child, aged 6 to 12, will experience a life-changing club, camp, and mentor. (By the way, Royal Family Kids Camp is coming to Northern Colorado in the summer of 2016!)
Want to find out more about what a Royal Family Kids Camp is like? You are invited to see the “CAMP” movie on Friday, November 14, 2014 in the South Auditorium of Timberline Church. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. and the cost is FREE (popcorn included).