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Advent Kids' Camp and Clubs

Updated: Mar 20

On March 17th, Advent is holding a Special Congregational Meeting to vote [Yes] or [No] to begin the new Ministry, Advent Kids' Camp and Clubs.

Edited with Results:
On March 17, Advent Members passed this initiative unanimously to go forward! Summer Adventure Camp Registration will open up on April 7th for In-Person Registration and Online Registration on April 8th. Find all the updates online at

Summer Adventure Camp
Summer Adventure Camp: Fun, Friendship, and Making A Difference

Town Hall Recap

If you missed our Town Hall on March, 3, in which Advent presented the new proposed ministry, Advent Kids' Camp and Clubs, we've provided this brief article that covers some of the most important points to consider about this new ministry.

We need a catalyst
We need a catalyst

Advent Needs A Catalyst

There's been profound transformation at Advent since the beginning of the year. You can see it all over the church. There's new faces in the office (Good Morning, Dana!), behind the piano (Welcome Gwen, Kiersten, and Kathie!) and even behind the alter (We're so happy to have you Pastors Rosanne, Jim, and Ruth!). Besides that, there are new faces leading service projects, caring for our building, serving on the council, and leading Sunday School. The fellowship snacks have been AMAZING. Our attendance is rising, our Facebook page has new followers and increased engagement, and we've run several great events to bring in new Guests from the community (did anyone win at BINGO last month?).

But even with all the new energy, everyone has big questions. Questions come up from members and guests asking how the church is doing. The council and the Synod have been looking for discernment of how to move forward toward finding a new full-time Pastor. Among all of these questions, there is also a need for definition about what Advent's next step will be. For that, Advent needs a catalyst- a new cause to rally behind that will benefit both the community and serve as a force that unites us together. After all, it is through Advent's work in the community that Advent has been known for years as a church with a big heart.

In the midst of the unknown is the space for the Holy Spirit

The proposal on the table is to begin Advent Kids' Camp and Clubs. Several members of the congregation have specific qualifications in this area, ranging from certified teachers (with the needed Early Childhood credential), leaders in local schools, and a previous camp director. Through many conversations, this unique niche, providing care when school is out, is what helped to define the three ways in which this new ministry helps our community.

Childcare deserts in our area
Our Immediate Area, defined by zip code, is a Childcare Desert for Children Ages 6-11.

The Community Need is Significant

In case you are not following the state of summer child care, specifically for school-age children ages 5-12, there is significant need. Our area is defined as a childcare desert by the state of Michigan. In Advent's unique zip code, it is estimated that there are 10.55 children seeking every 1 space in available childcare. That statistic is supported by the behavior and comments of parents seeking summer care.

Another Camp's Registration
Example of Another Camp's Registration

In the above example, the local YMCA camp ran registration for their summer camp, and in order to be admitted to the camp, parents lined up outside the West YMCA and waited through the night outside in line in order to register their child for camp. In February. With a temperature below freezing. The Traverse City Area Public Schools also ran a camp and their camp sold out in 2 minutes online. This community need has inspired Advent to create this proposed new ministry.

Summer Adventure Camp
Summer Adventure Camp

Part 1: Summer Adventure Camp

The proposal is a Summer Day Camp, which is structured to meet the needs of working parents seeking childcare when school is out. (Did you see that the word "Adventure" includes our name "Advent" within it?) This is not a "Vacation Bible School", it is a Values-based Summer Day Camp. Consider how the YMCA is the "Young Men's Christian Association" and the Y camps show campers the Y's values through their wholesome programming. Similarly, the values shared in Advent's Summer Adventure Camp are woven into two programs: either just-for-fun "Traditional Camp" or a community-service focused camp that we've called "Mission: Camp". For all the details of our proposed programs, download the camp brochure here:

How This Ties Into Advent

You might be asking now, how does this Summer Camp tie into Advent? If you look at the weekly themes between "Traditional Camp" and "Mission: Camp"- they connect. And they all have a service project associated with them. Those service projects are inspired by the ways Advent has served the community in the past. They support and invigorate the Lake Ann Peace Park, which has long been championed by Advent. They help our neighbors, our local environment, support our armed service personnel, connect intergenerationally, and address our local challenges with hunger. If this ministry passes the vote to begin, we will begin a themed Sunday connection celebrating the great work that Advent and Advent's Ministry of Summer Adventure Camp is supporting.

A chart showing service projects and how it ties into Advent.
Examples of How Service Projects Tie Into the Values of Advent
This Camp Serves the Community And Is Profitable

As structured, this Summer Camp would be a financial blessing on the church. If you are an existing member, current Advent Guest, or if you attended the Town Hall on March 3, we shared with you the financial projections for this camp. We would offer generous pay to the camp staff, robust programming for the children, free lunch on Fridays, and still be able to be a positive benefit to the church. If you are a member of Advent and received the full financial projections in the mail and have questions about them, please reach out to Laura Kingman directly, whose contact info is listed on the letter you received.

Parts 1,2, and 3 of Advent's Kids' Camp and Clubs
The three parts of Advent's Kids Camp and Clubs include the Young Adventurer's Clubs, Adventure Days, and Summer Adventure Camp

Parts 2 + 3: Young Adventurer's Club and Adventure Days

Following Summer Adventure Camp, Advent has included the proposal to offer after-school care ONLY on days when school ends early or school is out for a non-religious holiday off in the middle of the school year. The main difference between the Young Adventurer's Club and Adventure Days is that the Club is for partial-day care (for early-release and half-days) and Adventure Days are for full-day care (such as President's Day, MLK Day, the day prior to Thanksgiving, etc.). This need of working parents to cover childcare at times when their offices are still working is significant, and this ministry meets the community's needs.

If you are not following the local school districts' school calendars, Benzie Schools and Traverse City Area Public Schools have different early-release/half-days for professional development throughout the school year, so to cover both school systems, Advent would offer supervised activities for kids an average of 2 half-days and 1 full-day a month during the school year. This niche is better than renting our building to an unknown entity because we run the programs that show our values of helping our community, fits around our other uses of the building, and continues to benefit our community whose kids' likely came to Summer Adventure Camp.

This ministry is different from Summer Camp by its location. Summer Camp is held outdoors, using the Lake Ann Peace Park picnic tables, under tents, enjoying the grass, and playing sports on the parking lot. In fact, "Camp" is legally defined by the State of Michigan that is must be held outside at least 51% of the time. Adventure Days/Young Adventurer's Club is held in Advent's Multi-purpose room, so the capacity of this club is lower, but the bonus of being indoors in cold weather is priceless. (And to which we would like to say "Burrr..." to being outside in heavy snow)

Special Congregational Meeting: March 17
Special Congregational Meeting: March 17

Please Join Us for Our Special Congregational Meeting

Please join us for our special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, March 17th. As next Sunday happens to be St. Patricks' Day, wear some green as we vote on the pot-of-gold we found at the end of the rainbow (... is that too many St. Patricks' day jokes?) or just consider how lucky we are to be given the chance to consider such a unique proposal.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Dana in the church office, Pastor Rosanne, or any of the Church Council members.

Edited with Results:

On March 17, Advent Members passed this initiative unanimously to go forward! Summer Adventure Camp Registration will open up on April 7th for In-Person Registration and Online Registration on April 8th. Find all the updates online at

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