Has your church or family wanted to go on a mission trip together? Volunteering during a week of camp as a family or church group is not only a great way to serve, it will deepen the relationships in your group.


We have had some church or family groups come out each summer and will serve in a variety of roles. It’s an amazing blessing to both us and them.


Would you consider Camp David International as your next Mission Trip destination?

Here is a story from a Church/Family Group that have been coming for many years to the Ozark campus…


An Incredible Experience as a Church Family

by Kelly Kohring


In 2014, my family of five was seeking out options where we could serve as a family together. We were looking for some place we could share our faith in Jesus as well as be stretched outside of our comfort zone. While we felt we were useful in local service projects we were participating in, we felt called to do something else. We shared our goal of a mission trip our entire family could participate in with a family we knew from the Rolla, MO area. This family recommended we check out the ministry at Camp David. We became super excited after finding out about Camp David and their mission, “To be a transforming agent in the lives of families of prisoners and to develop leaders who will impact the world.” This was the perfect place for us to serve!


Our first year at Camp David my husband served as a counselor during senior boys’ week, I worked in the kitchen and two of our daughters were on support staff. It was such a wonderful opportunity to serve together. The following year we brought another two families along with us to serve. Between all of us we were counselors, support staff, kitchen staff and an auntie. As our families started to talk about the Camp David ministry at our church, Community Bible Church in Swansea, IL and as our children shared with their peers about serving at Camp David, we had more and more people from our church interested in serving at Camp David.


The message they heard was one of compassion for these children in situations not of their own doing and of a ministry that brings hope to these children. With our interested youth and parents, we have been able to staff many of the counselor spots during a junior boys’ week as well as support staff, kitchen staff and aunties. Last year we were able to staff almost all of the counselor positions during both a junior boys’ and junior girls’ week. Additionally we had a handyman, aunties, kitchen staff and support staff.


It has been an amazing blessing to see God grow this ministry from a family of five to over 30 people serving last summer. We have seen so many blessings including: seeing campers having fun while learning about the Gospel, witnessing some campers accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, seeing all the staff at Camp David give all they have, even when tired and weary, to serve the campers. But one of the most amazing things is witnessing youth and adults that you know from your church stepping out in faith into roles they are not quite certain about and relying fully upon God to use them to minister to the campers.


Last year was the first year our church was able to staff a junior girls’ week with counselors. I was almost in tears at every counselor meeting watching young ladies that I had taught years ago in Sunday school as elementary students navigate through being a counselor. They faced various challenges with their campers, operated outside of their comfort zone and fought off the fatigue of a full week’s activities to serve their campers. It was a blessing to watch these young ladies blossom in service.


If you would ask our volunteers that have served why they serve at Camp David year after year they would say… “I love getting the opportunity to pour the love of Christ into others, especially children who need it so badly. I am very blessed to have had this opportunity. Also, the kids are just a ton of fun to be around.” Sam, 18 year old, beginning 5th year of service this summer.


“I serve at Camp David because I love to see the impact that camp has on the campers. The campers are so excited when they arrive at camp. I love to be a part of their lives that one week of camp and sometimes for longer as I have stayed in touch with a couple of my campers. Serving teaches you perseverance and teaches you how to work through difficult situations. It also teaches you what it really means to put yourself last and others first. I don’t think many teenagers truly know how to do this and it is an amazingly rewarding thing. Sure I’m exhausted when I leave camp, but I leave feeling more full than when I arrived.” ~Grace, 18 year old, beginning 6th year of service this summer.


If you are apprehensive to serve Sam would tell you, “I really think that even if someone doesn’t want to do it, they should try one week. I was kind of terrified my first week and I haven’t once thought of stopping since then.”


Caleb, 19 year old entering his 6th year of service this summer would encourage you to serve with your church body because, “The week is stressful and tiring and having the support of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is huge. To watch my friends serve with everything they had gave me a new respect for them. Being able to go home and to know that we had just done something amazing and had made some great memories together developed and strengthened relationships.”


Bella, a 15 year old, beginning her 4th year of service this summer says, “It is a really cool experience being able to serve alongside the people you worship with. Most youth group activities are designed to entertain the youth, but when you serve with your youth group it bonds you together. You get to know a different side of the people that you see every week and nothing compares to stepping out in faith and serving together. It is an incredible experience.”


You see, there are missions’ needs in your own back yard – in our church’s case, only 2 hours from home. There are so many young lives that need you to be a part of their week at camp. I would encourage any church to consider getting a team together to serve at Camp David this summer. There are so many roles that you can fill. I am pretty certain that you will leave camp with a changed heart and ready to serve again in the summer of 2021.”

"I was reminded of the power of prayer and how much God loves to hear our prayers." -Alyssa