This year, it’s final.
The Full Gospel Mission’s 10-day summer camp, offered free to low-income children, now officially bears the name of its founder, the Rev. Clifton E. Hamp.
“Hamp’s Camp” - formerly the Full Gospel Mission Youth Camp - has allowed area children to enjoy a positive summer experience for more than 30 years.
But the magic doesn’t happen without money. That’s why Hamp and other organizers are asking the public for help.
While Hamp is encouraged that more businesses are lending hands as sponsors, that alone won’t pay the bills. This year the cost to send one child to camp has risen from $131 to $151. Multiply that by the typical 70 or 80 campers and you find a bill that’s as much as $1,600 steeper than in 1994.
“We need funds,” Hamp said.
Hamp first got his idea because he saw the impact that camp experiences had on children whose parents could afford such getaways. He found those without financial resources, though, were left to “very isolated, experienceless” summers.
Today, the camp provides children with more than just a good time at Zephyr Lodge on Liberty Lake. Organizers and guest speakers give children the opportunity to explore faith and learn self-esteem.
“Our theme for the camp is say ‘No to Drugs,’ but … before a child can say ‘No’ to drugs, we must teach them good character and self-esteem,” the Rev. Mike Aaron, a camp supporter, wrote in a letter praising the program. “It’s good character and self-esteem that will enable them to say no.”
Hamp said that’s just what his camp aims to do. He doesn’t do it passively, either. The mission distributes applications through public schools and directly to children on public assistance.
Anyone interested in sending their children to the camp can obtain an application by calling 534-2168.
Since organizers have just started sending out pledge petition fliers, Hamp doesn’t yet have an idea of how successful his fund-rasing efforts will be. But with the June 23 kickoff date fast approaching, he said he needs people to do more than just wish his cause well. “Let’s not just hope,” he said. “Let’s do.”
Donations of any amount can be sent to: Full Gospel Mission, E1912 First, Spokane WA 99202. Specify that the funds are for Hamp’s Camp.