Father and Son Camp East
This is a camp held the first weekend in October for Dad’s who want to keep the “hearts of their sons.” As such, it’s also an opportunity for fathers who are new in their faith to catch a vision for biblical manhood and the importance of being a Godly father … for the sake of the Body of Christ now and for future generations.
This four-day camp (Thursday afternoon through Sunday lunch) has been created specifically for the purpose of helping Dads develop strong, biblical relationships with their sons, equipping them to be men of value and principle.
Why is this weekend so important?
As our sons grow and the world’s influence becomes greater, we find that there are so many “voices” calling out to them. These voices often drown out the influence of godly wisdom from Dad.
The only way to lessen the influence of these conflicting voices is for the son to “know” the voice of his Dad, and for his Dad to hold his son’s heart. The only way for a son to know his father’s voice is for him to spend time with him. And, I’m talking about one-on-one time together — talking, playing, laughing, discussing the Word.
Some Dads attend the Father and Son Camp with a solid vision for biblical manhood and the importance of his role. For that father, the camp merely reinforces his vision. For other Dads who may be new in their faith, it’s an opportunity to learn the importance of investing time in keeping the hearts of their son(s).
What about dads and/or sons who are not Christians?
Though the purpose of the weekend is that of fostering an environment for Dads to disciple their sons, the Gospel is central throughout the entire weekend. Dads and sons are presented a clear message of Jesus Christ as the greatest need for their lives and their only hope for salvation. This camp is a great opportunity for all Dads to meet together, learn from each other and through Godly instruction to walk this life of faith. We pray always for lives to be changed and brought closer to Christ. Ultimately, He is the “Father” in Father and Son Camp.
Where and when is Father and Son Camp East being held?
The Father and Son Camp East, held this year October 1–4, 2015, is an offshoot of the the original Father & Son Camp (Illinois). Father and Son Camp East is located in Waynesburg, in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania. We have had fathers from as far away as Georgia, Virginia, and Massachusetts travel to our 200+ acre ranch to share this time with their sons. Our numbers have grown from 75 fathers and son in the inaugural camp (2012) to 140 in 2014. We invite you to join the family in 2015.
How much does it cost to attend the camp?
That’s one of the greatest aspects of this camp! There’s no set cost to attend. In fact, it is by donation only. And, God truly provides. For those who are unable to participate in the cost, God raises up others who are able to share generously.(For those who are able to give, it is estimated that it takes an approximate $50 – $60 per person to cover the costs, plus $30 for a campsite.)
What are some of the activities that fathers and sons can expect to experience at the camp?
There are plenty of activities! Everything from paintball, clay-pigeon shooting, disc golf, and rappelling, to an obstacle course, zip lines, archery, rifle range, knife throwing, hiking, crafts….and more!
The rappelling, zip lines and the obstacle course are hosted by the ALERT team of incredible young men who travel to Pennsylvania, from Texas, for the purpose of hosting this portion of the camp.(A side note, there is an additional charge if you need to rent full equipment for paint ball. $20/afternoon. You may also purchase additional paintballs if you run out.)
Who are the speakers?
That’s probably the best part of this weekend! The fathers and sons get incredible biblical messages each morning and evening, full of a vision for biblical manhood, taught by Norm Wakefield, a well-known national speaker. In fact, Mr. Wakefield is one of the featured speakers of the new “Teach Them Diligently” homeschool conferences and has a been a speaker at Vision Forum’s Father Son Retreat. With a passion for being used to turn the hearts of fathers toward their sons, Norm travels all the way from Texas to lead this event and participates in activities all throughout the weekend, talking with fathers, laughing with sons, and offering great encouragement.
Additionally, each year features a “second” guest speaker who focuses on talking specifically to the sons, serving as a Godly role model. This year, that guest speaker will again be Ray McElroy, a former NFL safety/cornerback for the Colts, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions and who also served as the Bears team chaplain. Since his retirement from the gridiron he has committed himself to full-time Christian ministry (www.arayofhopeonearth.org) in which he uses his athleticism, motivation, and high energy to help draw young people into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ. Ray will speak on Friday night and hold a mini football clinic on Saturday.
What’s the lodging like?
Tents, tents and more tents! And, the boys love it! What can be better than spending a long weekend with your Dad and other men, sitting around campfires, participating in things like knife-throwing and clay-pigeon shooting, and showering quite infrequently! (Daily shower facilities are available for those who choose to use them.)
Each father/son group will have their own individual tent site. Fire rings and picnic tables are shared by every couple of tent sites throughout the camping facilities.
If your style of camping includes an RV, then we have a limited number of RV sites with electricity for your pleasure.
What do the men and boys eat? Are meals provided?
Yes and no. So that fathers and sons have ample “together time” each father is responsible for the meals they share for breakfast and lunch. They can do everything from cereal and sandwiches … to pancakes and hotdogs cooked over an open fire. However, each night (Thurs thru Sat) a tasty dinner is provided for all campers.
How old do the sons have to be?
There have been fathers who have brought three-year-olds with them! However, most tend to be five years old and up. It’s basically up to the father. If Dad has enough energy to keep up with this son, then bring ‘em! We try to adapt our activities for all ages. For 2015 we even built an additional 125 foot zip line that is shorter and lower to the ground for younger / less adventuresome campers. The helium filled “kiddie clays” is also an adaptation you have to see to believe.
Is space limited? And is their a registration deadline?
We try not to say that there is a hard-fast deadline. However, space is limited. And, when it’s full, it’s full. Campsites are assigned in the order registration is received. Therefore, it’s important that dads sign-up asap. For convenience, online registration is still available on our website at fathersoncampeast.org. While on the website visit our “About” page for a short video of the camp.
So Why come to camp?
Time is moving too quickly…..investing in your sons is too important…..Jesus is too glorious…..Camp is too fun! Join us.
Respectfully, Bob Griffin, FSCE volunteer (email@example.com for questions)