Camp Agape is a unique and innovative summer camp program designed specifically for children who have suffered the loss of a loved one. The service is available to children between 7 and 12 years of age who are grieving and need support. Camp Agape also assists children of service members who have died in the line of duty.
The faith-based service offers all the fun of a typical summer camp, along with group-therapy activities to assist children with the bereavement process. These activities incorporate the use of art, music, games and play therapies with the goal of providing true hope for a child's future. Due to your generous donations, children can attend Camp Agape at no cost to their families.
Impact StatementCamp Agape provides grief support to children through an annual camp that has been held for four days each summer since 2002. More than 600 children between the ages of 7-12 have attended Camp Agape at no charge to their families.
In 2016, 34 children attended Camp Agape, growing to 43 children in 2017. The 2018 camp is scheduled for July 16-19 at Camp Buckner Retreat Center in the Texas Hill Country. Fifty-two children are projected to attend.
In November 2017, Camp Agape held its first annual family retreat for grief recovery. Camp Agape's unique program gives children and families needed tools for grieving productively and successfully, individually and as a family unit.
Camp Agape's summer program and family retreats are operated 100 percent by volunteers.
Needs StatementFinancial Donations: $500 provides a full scholarship to one child; $100 provides art supplies and agape gifts to one camper; $50 provides food and snacks to one camper for the duration of camp; $25 provides a Bible and daily devotion for children to take home.
Canopy Tent (10' x 10')
Footballs, Frisbees, Basketballs
Cold Glue Guns
150 Water Bottles; can include a company logo
52 Caps; can include a company logo
Daily Devotion Books
Of all the blessings my children received at camp, the most helpful was HOPE. My daughter shared she learned that just because something horrible has happened, it doesn't mean she should live the rest of her life in fear of more tragedy. This greatly impacted her perspective on her life. The therapy my children received was intense and it did a world of good. My children learned coping skills that they were able to apply to their lives. The tools they brought home were so helpful." - Parent of children who attended Camp Agape
"My son and daughter were blessed beyond measure this summer at Camp Agape. I can testify that Camp Agape was a life changing experience for both of my children. What a difference a few days can make! My kids felt so close to God and were filled with hope and peace." - Parent of Camp Agape campers
"We are grateful that you not only made camp fun, but you made it a safe place for the children to be. You were careful with their emotional vulnerability as well as their physical security. We are basking in the joy of all the positive comments from the children who participated in Camp Agape for the Gold Star Family members." - Gold Star Organization
"My camper lost her oldest brother to suicide. I'll never forget her words (the first night of camp). She said, 'I never got to say goodbye.' And a few minutes later, 'I will never know why he did that.' The next day she wrote on a balloon during a forgiveness activity and released that heavy burden as she let the balloon go. I wept as I saw the words, 'I forgive you for what you did, brother' float up into the sky on that yellow balloon. (Buddy to an 8-yr-old camper who lost her brother to suicide)
"The impact of Camp Agape in my life began the summer of 2011, just six months after my life was completely derailed. I was a junior at the University of Texas studying for my midterms when I received the phone call which forever changed my life. It was my father telling me that my perfectly healthy mother, who was also my best friend, 'was gone… she has gone to Heaven.' Shock and numbness filled my body, but my soul was filled with the Holy Spirit. In my life, the scripture Psalm 34:18 which says 'The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit' has proven itself to be true. I came to Camp Agape as a buddy that summer and I, just like my camper, was a child crushed in spirit. I healed alongside the campers and other volunteers and began to feel the spiritual healing inside my own heart. Camp Agape teaches that in our times of weakness, God lifts us up and carries us through both our difficult and happy times. We remember and honor our loved ones all while glorifying God. I love that Camp Agape allows these precious children to come meet others with similar losses so they no longer feel alone in their grief, and it truly gives them hope for their future. Galatians 6:2 tells us to 'bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ,' and this is the spirit we evoke at Camp Agape." - Christen, Camp Agape Executive Director
"I learned about Camp Agape and its mission to help grieving children in 2012, and I've been involved ever since. I feel honored to stand along other wonderful people and leaders who volunteer to make Camp Agape happen every year. I was a little hesitant to come to camp my first year. Would I know the right thing to say to this grieving child? I soon began to realize that with God's hands on our shoulders and the child's, we are just there to offer a comfortable, safe environment to help the child with their loss. No one handles grief the same way, but when the children are here and they get to talk, see, hear and feel other children going through the same feelings that they are, they begin to start processing some of their emotions. It truly is a remarkable transformation from the first day of camp to the last. Although I wish there were no grieving children in the world, I'm thankful for Camp Agape and its ministry to help heal little hurting hearts." - Amanda, Buddy and Camp Agape Secreatary
"God works in mysterious ways. If you open your heart to Him, He will gladly enter. Tears came down my cheek as the Holy Spirit entered my temple during worship on the first day. As soon as I had opened my eyes, I noticed the same had happened on a young boy's face. He was my little buddy at Camp Agape. His older brother had taken his life just four weeks before camp started. Two weeks prior, his uncle did the same. He'd lost his sister to cancer; so much for a young boy to handle, so much weight on his shoulders. Camp Agape helps relieve that stress and anxiety through a support system of volunteers and other children with similar experiences." - Keegan, Buddy
"When a longtime friend of mine told me about Camp Agape I didn't hesitate signing on as a buddy. I believe that the camping environment takes us out of the norm and puts us in a place to find peace and rest that cannot be found outside of camp. I've served for two summers as a buddy and both times have been impacted by the experience just as much is the campers. No matter how old you are we all struggle with how to process and deal with grief and the loss of a loved one. Camp Agape provides an environment where you can feel safe and be vulnerable with your feelings and allow God an opportunity to speak to your heart and heal the hurting. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to be a buddy to these young kids who have experienced tremendous loss and see them recognize the pain, and learn how to process it. Most of the buddies who volunteer with Camp Agape have experienced a loss of a loved one, and for their camper to see their buddy process the pain with them, to be an example, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To show these kids it's okay to cry and it's okay to laugh even while we're hurting is a life time lesson opportunity and I am grateful to have the ability to serve these kids and look forward to many more years of being a buddy for Camp Agape." - Jason, Buddy and Previous Member of the Board
Counselor/Therapist: As one of the Counselors, you will observe the children in your assigned group during group-therapy activities and be available to analyze behavior and/or counsel with children as needed. You will receive extensive training equipping you to lead play-therapy activities.
Spiritual Leader/Chaplain: As the spiritual leader, you will maintain a spiritual focus through prayer and Godly counsel throughout the camp program. You will lead mealtime prayers and follow the theme of the day for daily devotional times. Although everyone will be responsible for counseling and praying with campers, the spiritual leader may step in and further counsel children and volunteers as needed when counseling faith based issues.
Physician/RN: As a medical professional, you will examine each child as they arrive at camp reviewing their medical records and administer medications as needed throughout camp program.
High School Helper: As a high school helper, you will work directly with the activities coordinator helping to organize all camp activities throughout camp session. High School helpers are very important and will also participate with praise and worship.
Musical Leader/Guitar Players: As the musical leader, you will offer times of praise and worship through songs. You will teach the camp theme songs to the campers and volunteers and may recruit High School Helpers during these activities. The musical leader will lead the Footprints in the Sand skit performed on our special luau night.
Photographer: As a member of the photography team, you will be responsible for capturing photos of children and activities during the camp session to be used for promotional purposes and the Camp Agape scrapbook. The photography team will collaborate each evening and upload photos to our photo sharing account to share with the camper's families back at home.
Adult Helper/Floater: As an adult helper, you must be 18 years or older and will help with administrative duties, as well as help to organize activities.
Snack team: As a member of the snack team, you will make homemade snacks and treats to provide for campers during set snack times.
Agape Gift Makers: As an agape gift maker, you will be willing to work outside of camp to create crafts and gifts that the campers will be giving during camp program to take home with them. If you are interested in joining this team, please contact our Director at Director@CampAgapeTexas.org