Camp of Champions
At the beginning of each summer, we are blessed with an opportunity to have everyone in our ministry together from all over the state for a few memorable days of good ole camp fun. This includes all of our house and foster parents and all kids in our care, our staff and church ambassadors, and some amazing volunteers!
Camp of Champions is an event unique to our ministry at Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries (ABCH). The time is special for the kids in our care, refreshing for the parents, and it’s an enormous blessing for our staff. Our host each year is Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, and the setting is perfect for a few, fun days together. This year was a huge success, and once again, it was our largest camp ever with 770 attendees!
For many of the children in our care, Camp is a time that they can “just be kids.” They may come from backgrounds of abuse, neglect, or heartache, but when they get to play, swim, laugh, sing—and of course, eat snacks!—together, it creates a positive experience that they can enjoy in the moment, and a fun memory that they won’t soon forget. In addition, our house and foster parents get to have some time with one another, to identify with other parents who share many of the same joys and struggles.
Beyond the intangibles that Camp offers, we also provide top-notch training for the parents in our ministry to help them feel best equipped to handle foster care situations they may face in their homes. This year we had the enormous pleasure of welcoming in Curt Thompson, M.D., who is a psychiatrist, author, and founder of Being Known, LLC. Dr. Thompson spoke over multiple sessions about topics like the nature of attachment and healing from shame.
During our breakout sessions, we heard from experienced foster parents Marissa Benjamin, Heather Hancock, Matt and Amy Snow, Nik and Laurie McCrimon, John and Barb Spink, Terry and Jeannie Scott, and respite parents Josh and Nicole Ray, along with Anita Bucher from The Church at Brook Hills, and medical professionals Amy Elmore (Occupational Therapist, Children’s Hospital) and Scott James, M.D. (Director, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, UAB). There were also several sessions led by our ABCH and Pathways staff.
They covered a range of informative topics to benefit our parents and children, as we seek to better equip them for the selfless work that they do every day.
And of course, kids aren’t the only ones who need some time at the lake! So in addition to training, parents also had time to kick back and relax, or enjoy all the water activities there at Shocco Springs.
We had a blast at Camp of Champions 2016, and we’re looking forward to next year! Next summer will be here before we know it, so go ahead and mark down June 9–11, 2017 on your calendar!
Don't miss this brief recap video for some highlights from this year's Camp of Champions!