When Amanda Burke and Rebecca Lindhout of Antioch Baptist Church in Lillington, N.C., started Camp Change two years ago, they hoped to impart their own passion for financial stewardship to the next generation.
Their efforts have reaped rewards both temporal and eternal.
This summer, 14 children professed faith in Christ during the camp, according to Lindhout, and a four-year-old voluntarily tithed 50 percent of her $4 because, “I know that money comes back to help missions.”
Started in 2017, “Camp Change” – a camp for first through seventh-graders – teaches practical skills such as budgeting and tithing, in addition to behavior and belief systems that undergird how people manage money, Burke told the Biblical Recorder.
Located near a Title 1 elementary school, the camp is offered at only $20 per week.
Generous support from Antioch’s Woman’s Missionary Union and Baptists on Mission (also called North Carolina Baptist Men; NCBM) participants enabled Camp Change to provide six “experience” tracks for 64 children, doubling enrollment from the previous year.
This summer, entitlement and contentment were the focus of all activities. Drawing from New Testament stories, leaders guided children through the Bible’s teaching on stewardship.
Students learned to recognize entitlement – like both the younger and older sons in the parable of “The Prodigal Son” – and saw that God can change it into generosity, both in money and service, like Jesus did in the story of Zaccheus.
A newly-added homework segment enabled kids to have structured discussions with their parents about how a household budget works.
One young lady was excited to learn her mother went to work each day to earn money so they could buy food, according to Lindhout. “These are conversations we should be having with our children,” she said.
A field trip to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s offices in Cary provided an opportunity to see how missions and ministry funds from N.C. Baptist churches are used on a larger scale.
That visit spurred an interest in the NCBM Appalachian backpack ministry, which is now underway at Antioch Baptist.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – The Camp Change curriculum and corresponding children’s books are tentatively scheduled for release in February 2019. For more information, visit antiochweb.org/camp-change.)