Summary of 2016 Season:
Last year we were also able to begin to build relationships with 6 Carrollton churches/businesses, 3 local camps/Christian retreats, and continue to build relationships with our EC churches as well as several churches previously connected to Camp ECCO. We were able to connect with our surrounding Carrollton community by participating in a local church’s Trunk-or-Treat, as well as Scarecrows on the Square, an annual event put on by the Carroll County Visitor’s Center. Camp ECCO has taken the plunge into seeking to communicate more efficiently and regularly with our camp community through our website and social media platforms. We have also been working to become more visible through our physical promotional material such as business cards, brochures, and informational table at speaking engagements.
Why it Matters:
Camp is a place where lives are transformed. The traditional format of ministry and youth development can present many challenges. One of the most notable is that there is never enough time – to say what you want to say, to listen to students’ stories, to have fun together… whatever it may be in your ministry. Youth and adults alike experience God in a 24/7 format that is not feasible in any other form of ministry. Our time together is specifically set aside for students to engage with the message of Christ in a distraction-free environment, away from their normal routine and friends, with the help of mentors and counselors who provide an example of a life lived for Christ. All of this is taking place along with games and activities that make us laugh, give us unforgettable memories, and leave us with tons of inside jokes.
We have been given an incredibly unique resource to share the good news of Christ and disciple those who are already on their journey. With our maximum capacity (with staff) in each camp being 135 people, it is obvious that we also have significant room to grow and reach more lives for Christ. The work that we have started this past year is significant because we have begun to reach out to our community around us. Most of the people that I have interacted with in Carrollton have never even heard of Camp ECCO or know what we do there. It’s exciting that we have finally begun a relationship with many of them that maybe they would be encouraged to be a part of our family in their own backyard as we strive to be a part of theirs. As we reach in to the community(ies) around us, I pray that our efforts in continuing the camp community through social media and visits may spark a desire within all of us already involved to reach out to our brothers and sisters for mutual encouragement, challenging, and friendship throughout the year. This leading to increased desire in all of us to be the hands and feet of Christ right where we’ve been planted.
Vision for 2017:
We are striving to be a ministry not fixated on growing one particular church, but growing the kingdom of God as a whole - the Catholic church (little c).This means using our resources to bring people from all walks of life in to experience Christ and partnering with churches to help them along their journey to share the good news of Christ. We will also be equipping and empowering those who come in contact with us to be Jesus with skin on to their community as we send them out from our sanctuary.
Reaching goals and reaching out to you – here’s how we could really use your help this year:
Facebook: Camp ECCO
And join in the conversation, share the stories, build our community, and, hey, just have some fun!
Donations can be sent to our treasurer at this address (please make checks out to Camp ECCO):
Mr. Don Voegeli
c/o First EC Church
369 E. Woodsdale Avenue
Akron, OH 44301
What’s in it for you? – Besides the countless psychological benefits associated with giving, volunteer work, and being outside, you are partnering with another avenue to share the good news of Christ with people. And I’ll take as many opportunities to make that happen as I can. Just like a piece of killer chocolate cake…it’s just too good not to share!
Thanks for helping make an eternal difference!