Tulsa Summer Camps : Lot of Activities

Michael Stairs: Hello. My name is Michael Stairs and I’m the Summer Camp Director at Camp Loughridge in Tulsa and I want to talk to you today about Tulsa Summer Camps.

There’s a lot of great summer camps in Tulsa, but I want to talk to you this morning about one in particular and that’s Camp Loughridge. You can get a lot of country and wilderness just five minutes west of Tulsa hills on West 71st Street, South Tulsa, and that’s our location of Camp Loughridge.

So, I want to talk to you today about Summer Camp and what Summer Camp can mean in the lives of your kids. As you begin to think about what they’re going to do this summer, its springtime and a lot of parents are beginning to really try to think about what’s going to happen this summer, what about vacation time and what are the kids going to do while mom and dad are at work.

These are big questions. Let me ask you one question in particular, how are your kids going to spend time this summer? Tulsa Summer Camps  Now let me ask it again, but maybe put a little bit different twist on it; how are your kids going to invest their time this summer? Are your kids going to spend time this summer or they’re going to invest their time this summer?

That’s really a question for you to consider as you think about the options for your kids to do when they get out of school throughout the summer weeks. There’s a difference between spending money and investing money. Spending money is when you put money out for something and you know you’re not going to see that money again. It’s a one-time expense. You’re going to spend it and it’s gone.

An investment is something that will return value again and again and again. The money you spend on camp is an investment in the life of your child. Not just an investment in their education, although they are going to learn a lot of new things. It’s not just an investment in the social aspect of their lives, although they are going to meet a lot of new people.

An investment in camp is an investment in their spiritual formation, in their relationship with God. For parents who are Christ Followers, there can be no greater calling than to do those things that are going to help further their child’s walk with God.

This is important foundational stuff in Camp Loughridge, wants to be in a position where we are coming alongside parents to help them raise Godly children. That’s our calling and I think that among all the Tulsa Summer Camps, that’s one of the things that makes Camp Loughridge different. There’s a lot of good camps in Tulsa, but Camp Loughridge is just different.

One of the reasons that we’re different is because we have some intentionality. We like to say that we’re a lot more than just a daycare, although people use us as a most excellent daycare option for their kids while they’re at work, but Camp Loughridge is a lot more than that.

We’re doing a lot more than just babysitting your kids. We have a program that’s well thought out. We have staff that are highly trained and we work through this program that begins on Monday morning when they first arrive, all the way through until Friday afternoon when they leave for the week. Every single day is a new day with objectives and goals that we want to work the kids through.

We have four key values that I want to talk to you just a little bit about today. The four key values that we have act as a filter that everything we do goes through these four key values. Does it measure up? So, before we add a game to the scheduler, before we add an activity to the daily list of things that we want to try to do, we ask ourselves, does it hit on one or more of these four key values?

The first key is discovery. Tulsa Summer Camps  is a great place for kids to discover new things and not only will they discover new things about nature, because they’re going to be out in it all day every day, but they’re going to discover new things about themselves. They’re going to discover maybe that they have a knack for something that other kids don’t have.

They’re going to discover that they have strengths that other kids don’t seem to have. Maybe they find that when they get to the top of the climbing wall and they’re way up high, that that’s exhilarating and not fearful. They may find that they have a knack for swimming. They’re not scared of the water and they love being in the water, maybe even jumping off the high dive. But discovery is a very important part of what we do at Camp Loughridge.

The next word is adventure and you know there’s a man named Yvon Chouinard who’s the founder of Patagonia Clothing Company who once said that adventure is what happens when everything starts to go wrong. Now, I want to change that definition just a little bit to adventure is what happens when you get outside your comfort zone.

So, we have a lot of activities and a lot of experiences that kids will have when they come to Camp Loughridge that are designed to gently move kids outside their comfort zone to begin to be able to experience some of that adventure. That’s a powerful part of our development.

If you think about in your own life when you’ve learned lessons, when you’ve advanced yourself to some degree, it’s always happened because you’re out of your comfort zone. You’re doing something new that you hadn’t ever done before. That’s what adventure is all about and that’s what happens at Camp Loughridge.

The third thing is community. God created us to be social beings. We’re not created to do things by our self. I think that one of the things that our American or Western mentality does for us is actually work against our spiritual selves a little bit, because there’s this American mentality that we should be more independent, that we should be able to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and we don’t need anybody and we can do it all by ourselves.

This actually works against the concept of the Body of Christ. Tulsa Summer Camps  is a great place for kids to experience temporary community and one of the cool things about community is that all of a sudden, when I’m in community with other people, my weaknesses don’t matter as much because I’m paired with people who have strengths that offset those weaknesses, that’s what makes community so powerful and so strong.

The principle that we believe at Loughridge is together we’re stronger and better than we are when we’re alone. Ecclesiastes says that a three-cord strand is not easily broken. So, your child is going to make relationships at camp that they will have with them the rest of their lives. They’ll forge friendships at the pool or going off the swing or playing games or in worship in chapel. They’ll form relationships that will carry them throughout their lifetime. It’s a very, very precious thing.

Then the last thing is fun. We want everything to be fun. We usually have someone sitting in the meeting when we’re designing our programs to ask the question, “Yes, but is it fun?” So, when we come up with a– whether it’s worship or whether it’s playing a game or it’s greeting cards when they arrive in the morning or kids who stay late for late care, whatever it is, we want to make sure it’s fun.

So, I’m talking today about Tulsa summer camps and what makes camp Loughridge different. There’s one more thing I want to bring up. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about camp that makes it different from church, it makes it different from school or different from Sunday school, or a vacation bible school or anything like that.

For lack of a better term, I just use the term X-factor. There is an X-factor that happens at camp that doesn’t happen anywhere else. I guess it’s the combination of discovery and adventure, community and fun, plus you take all these great college age counselors and you put it together with some heat and some activities and games and great food and all of these things.

In the midst of all that, God shows up, and this is what we live for; to watch a child’s heart begin to open up and God to come. It’s almost a magic moment where a child begins to understand where he fits or she fits in the big picture, in the big scheme of things where they fit. It’s a great thing to watch. It’s a great thing to be a part of and I am honored and privileged to be a part of a great ministry at Camp Loughridge.

There’s a lot of great Tulsa Summer Camps, but there’s only one Camp Loughridge and we hope to be able to see your child at Camp this summer. So, how are your children going to spend time this summer? Are they going to invest the time this summer? Are you going to plug them into places where they will just spend time and buy their time until the end of the day? Or are they going to invest their time? Camp Loughridge is a place where kids invest their time into their future. It’s a powerful, powerful thing to watch. I hope you’ll come to our website, that’s camploughridge.org for more information or to register your child for summer camp. If you want to give us a call, its 918-446-4194. We hope to see you this summer. Thank you.

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Hello, my name is Michael Staires. I am the Summer Camp Director at Camp Loughridge and I’m here today to talk about Tulsa summer camps and what makes Camp Loughridge different. One of the things that right off the back that makes Camp Loughridge different from any other Tulsa summer camp is the fact that as a Tulsa summer camp, Camp Loughridge is located on West 71st Street, about five minutes west to Tulsa hills.

We have about a hundred and eighty acres where kids can get immersed in nature and we have three different lakes. It’s a great place to come. It’s a quiet place where God is there and where we spend the day just filled up with fun and adventure. We can’t wait for summer to get here so we can participate in summer camp.

What is one of the things that makes Tulsa’s Camp Loughridge different among all Tulsa summer camps? One of the things I want to talk to you today about is our commitment to try to make sure that every kid that wants to come at the camp gets to come to camp.

We have a healthy scholarship budget and I want to talk a little bit about that. We have people who understand the power of a camp experience. They bought in to all that Camp Loughridge can be for a family and for a child. They’ve said, “You know what? I want to put money in the fund to help that child or children to come to camp even though they can’t afford it.”

The truth of it is that oftentimes, the kids that need camp most of all are sometimes the least able to pay for it. We’re very active and very intentional about raising money for our scholarship fund. We are currently in a very good place where we can provide funding for kids who want to come to camp. We like to work with agencies and organizations around town that already have relationships with families who are underprivileged and that need help.

In the best-case scenario, these organizations are already helping to provide other services like maybe groceries or schooling or clothing or transportation, that these agencies, maybe they provide after school programs or tutoring or mentoring programs. We want to come alongside these organizations and help them by providing a summer camp experience for those kids as well.

We work with Crossover Impact. We work with CARA Cares and others. We work with a few churches that also have active ongoing ministry to the underprivileged. Why do we do that? Why do we want to pair with these organizations? Well, camp is an impact ministry. It’s designed to impact, not to nurture or sustain over time. All the activities, all the program at a week-long summer camp is designed to impact a kid’s life.

So, it’s a onetime thing. It’s the greatest week ever. Tulsa Summer Camps  That’s what we try to train our staff to be able to provide the greatest week ever for that little guy or that little girl. That’s great. That’s our calling. That’s part of who we are as a Tulsa summer camp. But that doesn’t help overtime. That doesn’t help in the cold months of December and January and February.

That’s why we choose to pair ourselves with organizations that are more sustaining and nurturing over time. We are a onetime impact ministry and we want to pair with other organizations, ministries, agencies that have these ongoing relationships with these families on a year-round basis. We believe that if we can do that, then we get to do what we do best and the organization gets to do what it does best.

In addition to these groups that we work with, that are going to hopefully send 10 and 20 and maybe even 30 kids at a time based on their own outreach that they are participating in, we also have scholarship money available for what we call at large scholarships. That’s like a family here or a family there that contacts us directly Tulsa Summer Camps.

Now, our policy is on scholarships is that we like to say that our scholarship program is a secondary scholarship program. In other words, we would like to see a family explore other options just to help our scholarship dollar go as absolutely as far as it can go, that a scholarship family would see the scholarship fund at Camp Loughridge would be secondary.

In other words, they would go maybe to their family, friends, or church or other organization first to see how much money they might be able to raise that way and then come to us to help us meet the difference between the amount that they have and the amount that camp cost.

Times are hard. A lot of times, there’s not money in the budget for kids to go to camp, but at the same time, one of the things that it grieves me as a Camp Director is just seeing sometimes that parents have to make that tough decision. That in order to pay the bills and to buy the groceries and to get clothes and to make sure that the electricity stays on in the apartment, we’re going to have to make some very hard decisions.

Tulsa Summer Camps  One of those decisions is that our kids aren’t going to be able to go to camp this year. So, they have to make the tough call of cutting out an experience that could bring value for many, many years to come, not just because of going to camp is fun, which it is, but because going to camp is an educational opportunity. It’s an opportunity for a kid to develop social skills and meet new people and experience brand new things. But it’s also an opportunity for a child to begin to understand their own relationship with God, apart from their mom and their dad. What does that look like?

When a child turns eight and nine and 10 years old, they’re beginning to understand who they are as an individual as opposed to who they are as the child of their parent. So, part of this pulling away, separation, which is very healthy and normal, part of that is an independence. They want to evaluate their mom and dad’s values, their mom and dad’s believes and run it through their own screen to see if this is something that they want to accept as their own.

This is a critical time. So, that’s why we believe at Camp Loughridge, one of Tulsa’s unique summer camps, we believe the camp is much more than just money you spend for an experience for your child, like spending money for them to go to main event or to go to Chucky Cheese, or to go to miniature golf or something like that. That’s a one-time fun time. Yes, they’ll create some memories, but that’s about it.

A summer camp experience, they’re going to discover much, much, much, more. Plus, they’re going to be accompanied by a great summer camp counselor who is a college age, Christian, young person, who will be a wonderful example every day at camp of how to live life as a vibrant, fun, ongoing Christian. I mean, you can’t put a price tag on that.

I was talking with a gentleman just yesterday who sends his kids to Camp Loughridge. He said that last year, his son had a counselor that was so good, he thought, “If my son grows up to be like that guy, I will have done my job. I will be satisfied that I will have done my job.” Well, what a great goal. How cool was it that that kid got to spend a whole week with that counselor as an example of what a fine young man should be?

So, we have scholarship money available. I hope that you will consider a couple of things. Number one; if you have the resources, I pray that you would consider donating to our scholarship fund to make it possible for kids who can’t afford it to come to camp and have that experience Tulsa Summer Camps.

Number two; if you are a family in need and you want your child to come and experience a week of summer camp at Camp Loughridge, then I encourage you to call us or to go to our website to inquire about our scholarship money and how you might be able to participate.

If you are a volunteer at an agency that works with underprivileged families, youth and children, I want you to let us know how we can partner with you to get kids who come to your organization, how they can become campers at Camp Loughridge. Camp Loughridge is a unique Tulsa summer camp. We’re intentional about reaching out and bringing influence in shaping, improving the lives of families by ministering to their children. That’s what we do. That’s at the very core of our charter. That’s the very core of our mission at Camp Loughridge and we want you to come along and participate with us.

If you want to contact us, you can go to camploughridge.org, or call us at 918-446-4194. My name is Michael Stairs and we’ve been talking about Tulsa summer camps and the unique camp opportunity for kids at Camp Loughridge. Thank you.

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