Wednesday afternoon I had the opportunity to visit the Royal Family Kids Camp (RFKC) in Lake Geneva, WI. The purpose of the camp is to create hope and a week of positive memories for abused kids living in foster care.
RFKC is a non-profit organization founded in 1985. Each summer it serves nearly 7,000 campers around the U.S. and 7 other countries. The local camp in Lake Geneva is lead by Willow Creekers, Bart & Karen Francour. Volunteers from Willow Creek Community Church and other area churches serve in positions as camp counselors, social workers, nurses, drama & music team members, recreational activity & craft leaders, photographers, and grandpa/grandma & aunt/uncle role leaders.
I was struck by how intentional the planning is. The staff is well trained, and all the activities and structure are designed to create an atmosphere of hope and love, and to have the children discover their worth in Christ. As the children arrive at the camp they are welcomed by name, one child at a time, as they walk off the bus. They meet their counselor that will build into them all week long. Each counselor is responsible for two of the kids, so they get lots of personalized attention. A gazebo is beautifully decorated for an elegant tea party (a cookie party for the boys) where small groups of kids enjoy dressing up, learning about manners, and enjoying special treats. On Wednesday, the staff throws a huge birthday party for all the campers complete with cake and presents. Other activities include swimming, boating, crafts, woodworking, painting, and creating leather goods. Twice a day the kids participate in singing, bible stories, and drama. It is an awesome opportunity for them to learn God's word and hide His truths in their hearts.
They say that the last day is a difficult day for many of the children. They often cling to their counselors, not wanting to go back to the uncertainty and pain they face in the every day life. But for many, their experience of unconditional love they have found at camp gives them the hope and confidence to change the trajectory of their lives.
Is God calling YOU to serve with RFKC? If you have a heart for hurting children, I ask you to prayerfully consider getting involved. You can learn more by visiting the national web site at http://www.rfkc.org/, or by contacting Bart & Karen Francour at email@example.com.