Why be a host site for go camp?

We believe that children who live in poverty need access to the same opportunities as their more privileged peers to grow, learn, and succeed in life. GO Camp provides a safe space for children to grow in their faith,, develop positive relationships, and most importantly be their most authentic selves. .

As we may know summer time can be difficult for families living in poverty. When parents do not have resources to provide child care, many children are left to care for themselves. 

In partnership with a Host Site, a week of GO Camp provides a safe space, food, care, and a chance to experience God in nature  for campers.  A communities  needs are often revealed during a camp session, providing an opportunity for the church to build relationships with the families of the community  through meeting those needs. 

Host Site Requirements

  • Local Coordinator: Each church will need at least one person who is willing to communicate with the CITC Director during the months leading up to camp.

  • Host Church/Partner Church Design Team: Each church hosting/partnering will need to offer up members for a design team. We suggest 2-3 per church, with a maximum of 10 people. The design team will be responsible for equipping teams to go out in the community to recruit campers who truly need this experience, collecting registration forms, as well as recruit volunteers to help during the week of camp. Coordinators should also organize the lunches and snacks for the week of camp, as well as coordinate housing/food for the 6 Camp in the Community staff.

  • Recruitment of Campers: Capacity for each week of CITC is 60 campers, rising kindergarten through 8th grade. Please do not exceed this amount without permission from the CITC Director, but aim for capacity. Recruiting the right campers can be a challenge, and requires help from church members. Part of our mission is to help each church reach out to the community around them, and altho we do allow members to sign up their children, our hope is that the majority of campers are from the surrounding community. In the past, churches have gone door to door and shared information with food/clothing pantries in order to get the word out.

  • Media: Do not promote registration or share the successes of CITC with the media, without first discussing with the CITC Director. Since we hope the camp will be very community focused, we prefer registration information be distributed organically instead of through paid means (radio ads, television spots, newspaper articles). During camp, if you would like to share Camp in the Community with local media, please discuss options with the CITC Direct In order to keep the children safe, we must be careful about what we share with the public.

  • Proof of Liability Insurance: Before camp begins, please contact your insurance provider and request a Certificate of Liability Insurance. You will need to add CITC as an additional insured for the camp period. Most insurance companies will do this at no additional charge, and it is generally a quick process.

  • Meeting Space: The outreach team will arrive on the Sunday evening before camp to unload our supplies set up  up. The meeting space needed will be: a space to have morning worship with the full group, a space with a table for check in/out, 4 covered spaces for small groups, space with tables for lunch, and outdoor play space. The team is used to adapting activities to the available space. If you have concerns about available space, let the CITC Director know

  • Daily Volunteers: During Camp in the Community, some daily volunteers will be needed: One person available for ch in and check-out, one person available for general needs throughout the day, and a lunch/snack team.

  • Junior Counselors: Junior Counselors are youth ages 15+ that are recruited by the host church or partner church(es) to volunteer alongside the camp staff with one of the four groups of campers. These youth will participate in training from the Camp in the Community staff. This gives youth an opportunity to work with well-train young adults, helps them to develop leadership skills, and to be involved in the ministry of the church. Training sessions can be scheduled with the CITC Director. Each church is required to recruit a minimum of 4 and maximum of 12 junior counselors.

  • Lunches/Snacks: A morning snack will need to be provided. It can be as simple as a piece of fruit, fruit cup, or small bag of chips. Summer is a difficult time for children, especially those who are typically on free/reduced lunch. Over the years, it became apparent that many go without breakfast, and that we can easily alleviate their hunger with a morning snack. As for lunch, attached is a sample menu based on what past churches have done.

  • *If your church is in Tennessee, ETHRA can be a valuable resource to you for providing free lunches to children. Please talk with the CITC Director if you would like more information.

  • Access to bathrooms/water: Children and staff will need access to bathrooms during the day; these can either be within the church or a portable option outside the church. Also needed is access to a water fountain or some source of water during the day, as well as access to a water hose for water days. CITC can bring a 5 gallon cooler to set up for water if needed.

  • Pastoral Support: At Holston Conference Camping, we have Ministers in Residence (MIRs) who provide spiritual direction during camp. Part of our goal is to provide community children with a connection to the church. An important part of that is connecting the children with someone who will still be at the church after CITC is gone. If you have a pastor (or more than one pastor) who is willing to take on the role of leading short morning devotions, please let us know. We can provide training and resources for our summer theme: “Rooted in Christ.” CITC would benefit greatly from this type of pastoral support.

  • Housing/Meals: Because CITC does not have a home base with lodging available, housing is needed for the CITC team.   CITC staff has stayed in the homes of church families, in hotels, in adjoining rooms of the church, and in KOAs. The church should work with the CITC Director to make housing arrangements. Meals are needed for the staff beginning Sunday dinner and ending Friday breakfast. Staff enjoy getting to know community members through dinners when possible.

  • Post-Camp Evaluation: After CITC, the church will be sent an evaluation of the overall program. Please distribute the evaluation to any adult who was involved with the program. Return evaluations to whitney@campinthecommunity.org or PO Box 850 Alcoa, TN 37701. Your help is appreciated and provides valuable insight into improving the program.

  • Deposit: Each host location, once approved, will pay a deposit of $500. This is due by January 31, 2019. This deposit is not refundable.

  • Remaining Fee: The remaining balance from each host church is due by April 30th.

  • Cancellation:  When all contracts are signed and a host location is accepted, each location is
    committed to follow through with payment in full, as well as the other tenets of this guide. If
    that is not possible, and a cancellation is necessary, the camp will work diligently to fill the
    week with another paid host location. If we are able to secure a paid replacement, a refund will be given of the total fee minus deposit. If we are able to secure a location willing to host, but unable to afford the fee, we reserve the right to use the funds intended for your site to continue our call to ministry in another community.