Dear OVR Churches
Over the years our youth camps have played a huge role in God’s work of building faith in our families and churches. We are so thankful to God, and to all of you for supporting, serving and sending to these efforts. Last years camp was touched by God in a way unique to our decade of camp experience. Both teen and staff hearts were moved, life-changing decisions were made and lasting relationships were formed, and we praise God for it!
For the last few years we, the OVR church leaders and camp staff, have foreseen a dip in our participation that has further been exasperated through the challenges of the last few years. Each year we have struggled with how best to make camp the experience that God and we all desire it to be, and God has been so faithful through those decisions.
This year we were faced with an increasingly difficult decision. The dip in attendance numbers coupled with increase costs due to inflation has made hosting a financially solvent camp in the OVR very impractical. As we faced this reality we began to look for alternative ways to make camp happen that would be both financially wise and an amazing spiritual experience for the young people.
We approached the Forge Camp in Philadelphia to discuss joining with them. The Forge, formerly Camp Hope For Kids, is owned and operated by disciples, host camp for the eastern part of the ACR family of churches and is one of the premier youth camp options in the world. Their facilities, staff and attendance has permanence, expertise and experience unrivaled in its impact and they were excited to discuss our joining them.
The largest obstacle in this process is the distance we in the OVR would have to travel to get our children to camp. To help defer costs, The Forge has reduced their camp fee from $695 to $525 for campers from the OVR. This is a slight increase from last year ($60) but includes three more days of camp so the per day cost is less.
We polled the families of OVR campers and well beyond the majority (+/-65%) said they support the transition to The Forge and would send their children. We talked to people who have participated in both the OVR Youth Camp and the Forge and their input was overwhelmingly supportive of sending campers to The Forge.
With all of the input, prayer and discussion we have finalized the decision to send our high school-age teens to camp at The Forge in Philadelphia this year. One of the main concerns as we discussed this transition was the loss of the close relationships developed in the OVR by the campers and staff. This is a huge part of the camp experience. To facilitate the ongoing development of these bonds, we have decided to continue to host Kingdom Kids/Pre-Teen Camp (3rd-7th grade) here in the OVR. This camp will be a full six days and will be in a new location, Cross Oak Camp & Retreat Center in St. Mary, OH.
The other step we will take is being very strategic in putting the OVR campers in cabins at The Forge. We want the OVR teen campers to connect and interact with the teens from all over the ACR, but will strive to make sure they have close connections with OVR teens and staff in their cabins as well.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us (information below). Again we thank you so much for all that you have done to make camps such a special experience and we look for to God continuing to work miraculously in the future.
Rich & Amanda Bartoli
2023 CAMP Registration
Registration has not opened
The Forge Registration
What to Bring to Camp:
- Bible, notebook and pen (Paperback, if possible. Definitely don’t send your nice, large, leather-bound, expensive study Bible!)
- Sleeping bag or blanket (Since all of the dorms have AC, you may even want an extra blanket.)
- Fitted sheet to go over the mattress
- 6 – 10 sets of clothes that you do not mind getting dirty
- Jeans and a sweatshirt (in case it gets chilly at night/early morning or during starlight devotional)
- Rain jacket/poncho or other rain gear (Rain will not stop us from playing!)
- Bathing suit
- This is the first year that we will have co-ed swimming. We will be asking our preteens to fight for modesty in this environment.
- We ask that girls wear a one piece or a two piece that completely covers their belly. We also ask that they wear shorts and a t-shirt on their way to and from the pool.
- Boys should wear trunks or athletic shorts. Dri-fit shirts are also welcome. We ask that they wear shirts on the way to and from the pool.
- 2 Towels (one for swimming and one for showering)
- 2 Pair of Shoes (again, do NOT send new shoes)
- Please do not count flip flops as a pair of shoes. These can be worn to the pool or in the shower, but we do not want to see any preteens participating in activities in flip flops. It is very easy to slip, fall, twist or break an ankle, etc.
- At least one pair should be a pair of tennis shoes. Two may be best in case they get wet or muddy.
- If you choose to send sandals, the strappy durable kind are best.
- You may also want to bring water shoes for the lake.
- Toiletries (Toilet paper is provided, but your preteen must bring EVERYTHING else.)
- Medications (in the original container in a zip lock bag)
- Bug Spray
- Flashlight with good batteries
- Dirty laundry bag (You don’t need anything fancy! A white trash bag with your preteen’s name in large letters will work just fine.)
- Water bottle
- We will work hard to keep your preteen hydrated!
- We will have coolers of water all over the camp, but we will not be able to provide cups.
- You will definitely want to have this precious item labeled! With 100 water bottles laying by the cooler, it will be difficult to tell them apart.
- Shaving Cream for the traditional Shaving Cream Fight
- Preteens tend to be extra happy and excited when their can of shaving cream has the word “JUMBO,” “GIANT,” or “EXTRA LARGE” written somewhere on it.
- Please do not send menthol shaving cream. MENTHOL BURNS!! “Sensitive Skin,” “Original” or cans containing aloe are safe and work great!
- LABEL ALL OF YOUR ITEMS!
What NOT to Bring to Camp:
- Candy, food, gum
- Cell phone
- IPod, tablet, Kindle, Gameboy, etc.
- Any other electronics (All electronic devices and cell phones will be collected by the directors, kept securely in the nurse’s cabin, and given back to the campers at the end of camp. If your preteen needs to contact you, a phone call will be arranged by the nurse or one of the camp directors.)
- Money or other valuables
- Anything else they would be sad to lose