Swamp Summer Camp Staff Training Program

OUR PURPOSE
Swamp Corps is the generative arm of Swamp Camp Services, Inc., the year-round retreat, conference and overnight camp facility affectionately known as The Swamp. Swamp Corps’ overarching purpose is to replicate The Swamp's camp culture by training Host Communities around the world how to conduct summer camps for 9 to 18-year-old children. Our objectives are:

  • To establish a perennial camp endorsed and supported by the Host Community
  • To extend service-learning and leadership training opportunities to students 14+ years of age
  • To offer host community participants an overnight camp training process designed to teach and instill Biblical-based character in a memorable, fun-filled fashion.
Once an invitation is accepted, Swamp Corps will dedicate resources such as training, planning, experienced campers, competent counselors, and seasoned leadership for three (3) successive years each with increasing level of ownership by the Host Community. The ultimate goal is to inculcate The Swamp camp culture and to see it sustained on a perennial basis by the Host Community. We are committed to that end...with arms and hearts wide open.


OUR VISION
The Swamp Camp Culture is available within 300 miles (482 km) of any person on the planet such that each person—especially children—can reap the benefits of its safe, fun and life-influencing qualities.



OUR MISSION
We are a group of genuine child-enthusiasts existing to train a Host Community how to plan, organize, and lead camp experiences in a way that:
  • Creates a safe environment mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually
  • Promises extreme fun and life-long memories
  • Trains future servant-leaders and Host Community camp leaders
  • Fosters long-term, mutually beneficial relationships
  • Respects diversity and bridges cultural differences
  • Champions instruction and expectations for good-citizen character and behavior
  • Instills the pillars of a peaceful planet as modeled in the Bible: service, gratitude, humility, encouragement and forgiveness
So that The Swamp camp culture will inculcate and perpetuate in the Host community for generations to come.



OUR VALUES
Truly, these concepts epitomize the heart of camp and the essence of The Swamp camp culture.

Safety
Everyone (parents, volunteers, counselors, and campers) has to feel mentally, physically, and emotionally safe in order for the spiritual self to be realized. Set an environment of respect; deal with bullies of all kinds, and create a culture of love. (Imagine an atmosphere where last names weren’t important; thus you were known for who you are and not all the ties to your parents, brother, sister, money, position, etc.) Thus our motto: “Besides your home, the safest place on the planet.”

Respect
Everyone from the directors to the volunteers to the campers to the head dishwasher has to feel valued; each has the right to feel like somebody.  The culture of the camp is to make everyone feel like they are important.

Roles
Everyone needs to know their role, being defined and understood by all parties. If so, then each person will know if he is fulfilling it or not. Each can feel the success of fulfilling it and personal accountability if not.

Food
The food needs to be good.  People—especially kids—will remember the food one way or another…and talk about it.

Fun
Everyone needs to have FUN! If it is not fun, no one will want to come back.  The cooks, nurses, campers, counselors all need to have a great time. Allow camp to host a wide age range, like 9-18 for summer camp. You will be amazed at the results and live the words of Dr. Seuss, "Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

Leadership
The rules need to be clear and few with someone who is in charge to enforce them.  They must be enforced or everything will spin out of control and no one will have much fun.

Spirituality
Have a spiritual camp not a religious camp.  There is a huge difference between the two. Trust God to work on the young hearts that are open.  If great sermons and convicting preachers always converted people, all of our kids would be disciples. Trust the process and the Spirit.

YHVH
God, Jehovah, has to be made real.  We need to forget trying to indoctrinate kids into the church; let God reveal himself through the stars, the people, the Bible, nature, relationships, and through the spiritual culture that is created; the rest will follow.

Diversity
Celebrate differences!  Whether you are an athlete, scholar, musician, or domino expert, your color, talents, interests, and quirks are accepted and celebrated…each tremendously adds to the cultural tapestry; then the words of Desmond Tutu come alive, “Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people.”

Investment
Pour all the resources you have into making a perennial camp…one that allows for generations to experience. If you give half your resources, you will get 50% of the results. If you only focus on one year, you may forego the next decade.
Making Memories. Creating Character.