Quite a fascinating and intriguing statement made by a 14 year old! Church camp over roller coasters, sunshine, parades and fireworks? How can this be?
At Remnant Fellowship Church truly each day spent at camp is more thrilling than the day before, day after day! Nothing gets old because everyday is led by the Spirit of God- it’s full of life and fun! The Remnant Fellowship summer day camp program established by Gwen Shamblin years ago continues to be a giant highlight for every Remnant child’s year.
Even the lead up to camp is exciting – right around now every child is wondering; who will be in my tribe? Who will my counselors be? What will this years Tee Shirt look like? What will the theme be , will there be a new song that goes with it? How many jam sessions will there be? Each year, for at least 5 weeks, young members of the Remnant Fellowship Church from all around the world descend upon Brentwood, Tennessee, to attend Remnant Fellowship Day Camp; and each year, these children leave proclaiming this was the best summer ever! Most importantly, these children leave closer to God and with a few more best friends, to add onto the 300 they already had! A common saying here in this church is, “We are the most blessed people on the face of the earth” coined originally by one the Remnant leaders Tedd Anger, and we all give a resounding Amen! Especially when it’s time for Day Camp!!
Camp Kick-off starts with the assignment of tribes, or camp groups, divided up by age and gender. There will be music and beach balls – the room will be buzzing with excitement. Our very own David Martin will announce the division of the tribes with the animation in his voice that everyone looks forward to hearing! The tribes are overseen by hundreds of volunteers from the church.The older children – those around High School age – begin to transition to Junior Counselors and continue their camp memories in a different light. Tag-a-longs are children that are not quite of school age, so require parental supervision. There are basic activities for these little ones that include baby pool time and simple crafts…. and of course, nap time!
This year is the 15th year of this annual tradition . Kristine Petralito, a mother whose children have attended camp for 14 years, says, “As a parent, you develop a whole set of memories when you’ve got your baby with you. You become very close to the mothers who have children the same age and you watch these little ones become so close to each other.You know that these kids will grow up to love God together and keep each other strong! This next generation will be who keeps this church going, which was so exciting!” This year, Kristine’s youngest child Maximos, will be a junior counselor – he has been attending since he was a year old. That group of children are now very involved in the Church, using their gifts on the tech team, being groomed by the youth band playing in orchestra and singing in choir! Others who started camp as children and are now fully serving the church and the camp such as original campers Ally Day and Josh Smith.
“When I was a camper, day camp was the highlight of my summer! Camp was always a time I knew my relationship with God would grow stronger, because I was constantly surrounded by friends and counselors who were going to keep me focused! Every activity was always focused back on God and pointed to Him.
I remember when day camp was just a handful of kids, mainly the children of the adults that worked at Weigh Down. Day camp has never been about the parents just dropping their kids off for the day to give them something to do, or to get the parents’ minds off the kids. It’s always been about getting closer to God and growing in love for God first and for each other. Every year camp always got bigger as the church has constantly been in a state of growth! And day camp has always grown in focus and fun. When I look at the kids in camp now, about 15 years since it’s inception, I have a righteous jealousy because I see how much further they are than I was at their age. They have a desire, not just to be around one another because it’s fun, but because they know they are going to be closer and more in love with God by the end of the summer. It makes me want to go back in time and do day camp differently! Day camp is proof that God is a fun God. The friendships that are made during camp are always lasting because they are rooted and focused on the right thing: God. Day camp has been a blessing to me and anyone who has grown up in the Remnant, I can’t wait to see what God does with it in the years to come!
This year, camp kick off will be June 24th from 4-7pm at the Remnant Fellowship Church on Franklin Rd. You will not want to miss this incredibly fun afternoon! Please watch here for some highlights from last years camp!!
Watch highlights from last year’s Day Camp Kick off below!