The COVID-19 pandemic struck camps especially hard, and Alabama WMU’s WorldSong Missions Adventure Camp in Cook Springs is no exception.
Despite hopes that camps could still happen, state health department guidelines for camps were too big a hurdle, said Candace McIntosh, executive director of Alabama WMU.
“It was the best decision to ensure the safety of our campers and staff,” McIntosh wrote in a statement on the WorldSong website. “Missions Adventure Camp is fully focused on our campers. Our desire is that they have a safe, quality camping experience that draws them into a closer relationship with the Lord and opens their hearts to God’s heart for a lost world. The threat of the coronavirus and the Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines required of camps [made] it difficult for us to offer this opportunity.”
But eager to offer a summer camp experience, WorldSong summer camp director Kaley Stephens and the 2020 summer camp staff will host a virtual experience called “WorldSong Together” July 13-16.
Stephens said WorldSong Together will be an online “community-driven camp experience,” during which campers will participate in online conversations with other “cabin” members, along with traditional camp activities like arts and crafts, dance, music, missions and Bible study.
“Each camper will be placed in small cabin groups based on grade, and led by two cabin leaders, just like a normal week of camp,” Stephens said. “These cabin leaders have gone through specialized training and have become skilled at creating online community over the past three months.”
‘Grateful for technology’
“Campers will spend the whole week with the same cabin, making new friends, participating in Bible studies, culture camp activities and night hangouts. In addition to these breakout sessions, there will be camp-wide gatherings as well,” Stephens said.
“While we may not be able to see our campers in person, we are grateful for the gift of technology and the opportunity we have to provide our campers with this unique camp connection,” Stephens added.
How to register
Registration for WorldSong Together is open now through June 30. Registered campers will receive camp materials, including a camp t-shirt, devotional book and other surprises, by mail to allow them to participate fully in activities. The cost for WorldSong Together is $75 for the first child and $25 for each additional child.
For more information and to register, visit www.worldsongretreat.org/together.