Wrapping Up Summer 2015

Camp Grace, Relating Publicly, Travel

I can hardly believe that over two weeks ago we said goodbye to our last campers at Camp Grace New York. I had a great month helping to serve nearly 100 kids on 150 acres overlooking the Hudson Valley. The property and view were amazing, and the staff and kids there were even more incredible

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Many of the kids we served in New York were from Operation Exodus and had been to camp before. I love watching returning campers because they are so excited about coming back. It is obviously one of their favorite weeks of the year. We were also able to serve a new ministry partner called Born Again Disciples. I also love to see new campers experience camp for the first time. The two weeks of camp were full and exciting.

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As much as I enjoyed doing camp again, it was not always smooth sailing. I was absolutely exhausted from eight weeks of camp in Georgia and even got sick for a short period. The Lord definitely taught me about leaning on Him and pushed me to really die to self during exhaustion and weakness in order to serve. It was challenging, but seeing the fruit of everyone’s hard work was worth each second I struggled. Praise God for growing me in every circumstance!

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We saw 27 first time salvations within two weeks! The majority of the 100 campers who attended accepted Christ last year and experienced more spiritual growth during camp this year. Seeing the joy and knowledge gained within just six days was incredibly rewarding.

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I was also fortunate to visit NYC three times during my stay. I had not been in four years, so I enjoyed walking around and seeing new parts of the city I never experienced. Several of the staff had never been to the city, so I had a lot of fun being able to share their first experience with them.

Spending time in the city and working with summer staff who are from the area really helped me realize how much camp is needed for the kids. So many of them need to get out of the city to have a change of setting and a gain new perspective. They face many temptations and hard circumstances in such an overwhelming, busy setting, and having a place to escape to and grow in is huge for them.

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Roadtripping up with my #MediaTeam was a blast, and the boys did an incredible job capturing camp in just two weeks. You should definitely check out the CGNY Facebook and watch the video at the bottom to see some of their hard work! I’m so thankful for them.

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Since my return almost two weeks ago, I have been easing into my duties for the off-season while also recovering from the 14 weeks of summer camp hours. I still have a lot of support raising to do on top of my fundraising, social media and design duties. If you would like to join my support team, click HERE. I could not be a part of this ministry without you!

Thank you for your prayers and support! I am so excited to see what God does next at camp.

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June Update

Camp Grace, God
Forty-one. The number of days since I started working at Camp Grace full-time. They have easily been the 41 busiest days of my life, but also some of the most incredible. This morning I spent a few hours just being with Jesus and meditating over the past six weeks so I could gather my thoughts for this update. There was much needed filling up after weeks of pouring out.
 I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have at camp. I love my job. I love watching kids with heartbreaking stories join a family with eternal hope. Witnessing heart changes makes 16 hour work days worth each second. I’m tired, and Galatians 6:9 has been a reoccurring theme for the summer. Although I am called to work hard, I also know that there is a time for everything, especially rest.
 I have felt overwhelmed lately with the amount of roles I have at camp. Publicist. Designer. CIT director. Social media strategist. Supporter of leadership staff. Camera(wo)man. Head of the #MediaTeam. I would be lying if I said I never grow weary. However, I am reminded that I am nothing without Christ, and my true identity is in Him. When I fall short in my jobs (which I often do), I’m reminded that I’m free to fail because I’m defined by Christ’s actions, not my performance.
Some days I am still discouraged, but God is faithful to remind me what a gift it is to serve here. My favorite reminder was given to me on Friday. I had just finished shooting an interview with an urban partner, when my boss, Carrie called me over to the high zip line.
“Michael is about to conquer his fear. I want you to film it.”
I sat on a platform for 30 minutes while several of us encouraged him to jump from the top of the tower. It was not pleasant. The heat index here has been around roughly 110 degrees, so sitting with my camera aimed up was uncomfortable. Lucas, our camp director, sat on top of the zip talking to Michael. Things got quiet. Carrie looked at me and I realized that the child was praying a very important prayer on top of the tower. After he was done, he jumped, and I gained a brother in Christ as we all sweated at the high zip. I was also able to interview him right after, and it was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve ever had behind a camera.
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I wish I had time to type all of the stories of life change that we witness each day. It’s surreal and an honor to help be the eyes of Camp Grace that show the public what we do. Thank you for your support!
  • Please pray for the hearts of the hundreds of children who will come through camp in the next month.
  • Pray for this next week, as we will host over 90 foster children. Pray for the staff that they will show grace and love amidst brokenness.
  • Pray for the strength and energy of all of staff as we enter the second, more difficult half of the summer. Pray that we will always remember the ‘WHY’ of camp and that we do everything for Christ’s glory.

SUPPORT KATIE AT CAMP 

On My Way

Camp Grace, God

Long time no write! I’m doing a little rebranding on this blog, but in the very best way. I will now use it to post updates about the incredible new journey I’m about to embark upon.

Firstly, if we do not know each other, I’m Katie, a senior PR and religion major at UGA. Seventeen months ago, my life changed when I arrived at Camp Grace for the first time. I was nervous, I didn’t know anybody, and it was a fluke that I had heard about this camp and gotten the job. However, I was excited to start my work as a missionary to 100s of underprivileged children in Georgia. Funny how God works when you’re willing to take a step out of your comfort zone. blog 3 I’m excited to announce that after graduating in May, I will be taking another step out of my comfort zone and step into the position of communications director at the same camp I quickly fell in love with in the summer of 2013. In case you are unfamiliar with Camp Grace, it is a nonprofit that partners with urban ministries to share God’s love with kids using a top-notch camp experience. We focus on sharing the Gospel with these kids while giving them an opportunity to ‘be kids.’

For many kids, camp is their only opportunity to get out of the city and explore God’s creation. You can also look at this past post of mine that talks about camp and my work there, or check out the website. I’m grateful that I will be applying what I’ve learned in PR within an organization that I’m crazy about. I’ll be updating social media (plug: follow, follow, follow) working with our donor base, raising awareness, and designing graphics and publications. All I can do is praise God for His sovereignty, for only he knew when I chose my major three years ago that camp would have a need for marketing and communications personnel as I finished school. Talk about perfect timing. blog 1 While I’m unbelievably excited about this opportunity, working at camp is hard. I must have people to come beside me and support me in several ways, including:

  • Prayer and Encouragement
    • Prayer that God will give me wisdom in this job, that He will continue to teach me, and that everything I do will be for His Glory
    • Prayer that Camp Grace will constantly point children and supporters to Christ
    • Sharing encouragement through scripture and how God has been working in your life
  • Resources
    • Give towards my monthly salary of 2,500
  • Social Media
    • Like Camp Grace on Facebook and help me display what God’s doing at camp by sharing and liking posts (Facebook)
    • Follow camp on Twitter and Instagram (@TheCampGrace)

***(SN: Although It may seem trivial, social media is crucial and a huge part of my job. The more you invite people to like or follow us, share our posts or even like or leave comments, the more awareness we raise and the more support we get from donors. This is so important!)

If you are interested in supporting me in any way, please let me know send me your contact info at Katie@thecampgrace.com so I can add you to my e-newsletter. If you are interested in supporting me monetarily, all donations made are tax-deductible and can be mailed to 2559 Walker Chapel Rd. Roberta, GA, 31078. On the memo line of your check, please designate “Katie King salary support.” If you would like to give online, donations may be made at http://www.thecampgrace.com/donate with a notation for “Katie King salary support.” While monthly donations are preferred, any gift will be greatly appreciated. blog 2 Thank you for reading this lengthy post and for your support. I will be updating this blog regularly about how God is at work in me and at camp. – K blog 4

The Camp Grace Experience.

God, Relating Publicly

The past six weeks have been crazy. They flew by so quickly, but I have memories of long days full of hours of taking pictures and updating websites, social networks, drives, etc. I have to say, these memories are also of the best summer job I’ve ever had.

Camp has impacted my life in more ways than I will ever know. This was my first paid PR job, and I must say, I LOVED it. I feel like my job was God’s way of confirming that I chose the right career to pursue. I loved spreading the word about camp. I loved seeing the numbers rise on our Facebook page. I loved starting the camp blog and updating it for hundreds to read each week.  I loved taking pictures and choosing which ones to use for publicity. Most of all, I loved seeing many kids’ lives being changed because of camp, and knowing that I’m helping people on the outside realize that lives are being changed is a beautiful feeling.

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I will never forget the kid’s smiling faces when they reached the top of the rock wall, or passed the swim test, or rode a horse without help. I will never forget camp wide cheers, my coworker’s hilarious  skits, or huge group games. I will never, EVER forget my first Thursday night CrossTalk in the amphitheater with the sun setting over the lake. That night was the first night I watched through tear-filled eyes as fifty campers opened their hearts to God for the first time. That alone made the exhausting work week worth every second.

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Now camp is over, but I still get the opportunity to live on campus and do marketing work for a little while longer. Summer camp may be over for 2013, but that means its time to raise support for 2014. I’ll be working with camp as long as they need me, and I cannot wait to see how camp will continue to grow in the next year!

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  – K

Baby You’re a Fiiiirework.

Just Life and Stuff, Relating Publicly

I was a little sad this year because yesterday was the first July Fourth in about five years that I haven’t spent the day with my best friend’s family at their lake house. While I missed swimming/boating/pigging out with my friends and second family, spending the Fourth at camp was pretty amazing. Somebody had bought a few hundred dollars worth of fireworks for us to shoot over the lake.Image

They were absolutely stunning. The teen girls at camp were screaming and loving it. Actually, I was screaming and loving it too, along with my fellow staff members.

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Today is our last full day of summer camp. I’m sad to see the kids go, but I cannot wait to celebrate a successful summer with the staff this weekend. I’d say it’s been a pretty great six weeks of camp.

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As of Friday at 4:00 PM, I’ve been in existence for two decades. I still feel about four years younger, so I guess it’s the mindset that counts.

To be honest, the last week of work was rough. I had a stomach bug, both of my chacos broke, I had a massive headache, we lost all power for eight hours at camp, and I had the most embarrassing moment of my life. However, I am deciding to view the beginning of my third decade as a fresh start. July is going to be more laid back for me (hopefully) and I get to travel and get ready to move into my new house.

Although work has been pretty taxing lately, I still see that God is good and He is at work. I can see lives being changed because of camp, and if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. The next step of my job is to reach out to donors and potential supporters through publications, and I’m looking forward to this new PR side of my position.

On another note, my family got a new PUPPY! Her name is Nala and she is a baby yellow lab. I am madly in love.

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Also, one very excellent part of my birthday was my beautiful, scrumptious, perfect, delicious, fabulous CAKE.

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This masterpiece (was) a gift from my best friend from camp and my sweet bosses. It was a red velvet cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, one of my all time favorite restaurants on the planet. I can honestly say that this sucker was the best birthday cake I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve had a lot of cake.

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I want to upload some more pictures for this post, but honestly, I’m just too pooped at the moment. My flickr page is updated though!

– K

God, Just Life and Stuff, Relating Publicly