One of our favorite weeks is upon us. No, not because camp has closed and we’re empty for another season, but just the opposite. DreamKamp has begun. DreamKamp is our week when we invite 125 local 5th and 6th graders for a free week at camp. For 23 years, Camp La Junta has hosted a Christian Leadership Camp for the community, at no cost. The goal of DreamKamp is to provide a once in a lifetime experience that will change lives and strengthen our community.
DreamKamp is an exciting change of pace from our normal sessions. The kids are all completely scholarshipped and wide-eyed with anticipation to try activities they’ve never before dreamed about attempting. It’s also a coed program which brings a whole new attitude to evening programs and campfires.
DreamKamp was established in 1997 in conjunction with a local non-profit, Kerrville’s Young Mens Business League – or YMBL , to provide a camp opportunity to deserving area young people who might not otherwise have the chance to attend camp in a private camp setting at a Kerr County summer camp. When YMBL dissolved, Camp La Junta teamed with the Kerrville Area Board of Realtors who provide funding which offsets the cost of food service. We cover the rest. We continue to spearhead a process that assures that young people are selected for their leadership potential.
While at camp. DreamKampers take part in everything from horseback riding, ropes course, riflery, archery and canoeing to leadership development and campfires. Cornerstones of the DreamKamp experience are the underlying sense of teamwork and cooperation built into each activity and the weekly program, and the Christian focus which begins and ends each day. After first working through teamwork, trust and group challenges on the low ropes elements, all campers have the choice to try the 40 foot Climbing Wall and 100 foot water slide.
A young DreamKamper puts it well, “I enjoyed everything about DreamKamp. I got to do stuff I never thought I would do. I never thought I would be climbing a rock wall and reaching the top twice. Being able to come to DreamKamp was the best thing ever, not just because I had fun, but because I got to experience new stuff and I learned more about the Lord. I learned how to communicate with people to reach goals and make friends.”
So why do we make DreamKamp a priority each year? We have always wanted to share our passion for Christ and build up our community’s leaders from the ground up. In order to build young leaders, we feel that a strong foundation of faith makes is last. An important part of the program is our morning Bible studies and the late night camp fire with music and a guest speaker from the community. DreamKamp is Camp La Junta’s way of giving back to our community. What a great place our community can become with 125 energized middle schoolers headed onto campus each August!
Life is Good. Camp is Better. Even after the Summer is supposed to end.