The Andrew L. Hicks, Jr. Foundation brought 73 Chester children, ages 9-13 to a four day/three night camp at Paradise Farm Camps in Downingtown, PA. Camp Paradise was held from Sunday, August 7 – Wednesday, August 10, 2011 and it was an incredible experience for everyone who took part in the grand event! The Foundation completely staffed the camp with 45 local high school and college students, (representing over 18 schools, not just Henderson!) acting as Counselors, along with 20 local adults who served as full time chaperones over the course of the four days and three nights.
The purpose of the event was to give a summer camp opportunity to children from the City of Chester who may not otherwise have the chance to go to camp and to experience all that God has made available in the natural environment of Pennsylvania farms, fields, wetlands and woods. They were able to swim, canoe, rock climb, experience archery, explore stream and pond and field life, and do lots of sports and arts and crafts.
The camp also provided leadership experience to Counselors as there were plenty of opportunities for those talented, gifted and very resourceful individuals to shine! The four days with the Chester children offered an outstanding setting for the local students to get to know the Chester children as individuals and to gain respect and appreciation for the similarities and differences in God’s people.
The theme for the week was “Respect” and it was emphasized through the verse from 1 Peter 2:17, “Show proper respect to everyone. Love the brotherhood of believers; fear God, honor the king.” That message was reinforced with dinner skits, morning devotionals and an evening campfire message by our special guest, artist Dane Tilghman. Dane even did a progressive painting each night, culminating on Tuesday evening with an incredible finished product of a young man kneeling in a grassy field under a twilight sky throwing his hands out in worship. We sang and danced at each camp fire and made plenty of smores too!
It was a fantastic week that none of the kids, or Counselors, or Chaperones will ever forget! Great new friendships were formed and although there were many, many tearful goodbyes that last day, we will surely get to see each other again at an upcoming Andrew L. Hicks, Jr. Foundation event.
None of this would have been possible without an incredible outpouring of support for the Foundation. We are so grateful for the contributions which made Camp Paradise a reality. We are already looking forward to next summer!
To see a video recap of Camp Paradise 2011, please click on the link below.
Paradise Farm Camps
Krapf Bus Company
Tuttle Marketing Services
The Baxter Family
Christ Community Church Youth Group
Polish Water Ice
Nurses: Renee Granger, Terry Boate and Cheryl Schlamb
Planning Committee: Tina Andrews, Leslee Hoey, Mary Beth Maglio, Laurie Griffith, Lisa Howe, and Marcy Biddle