Last week Burlington City Church hosted an evening Kids Camp in Burlington’s Old North End. To our knowledge it was the first ever Jesus-centered kids camp in this neighborhood, so we were excited to see what God would do. We were so blessed to have a volunteer team from Valleydale Church travel to Burlington to provide the experience, resources, and direction we needed to make this happen. Our goals were clear:
- Invest in the children of Burlington’s Old North End by hosting this camp in their neighborhood. This was also a great opportunity to invest in the teens/youth that we are involved with already (especially through Boys & Girls Mentoring Groups) and empower them to be a part of investing in their own neighborhood and community.
- Connect with the children’s families as a whole- especially the parents. Our hope was to connect with three or four families to join a new Gospel Community in the Old North End. Changing the social and spiritual trajectory of Burlington’s Old North End requires engaging families as a whole.
- By collaborating with an experienced volunteer team, Burlington City Church can learn, replicate, and/or adapt this as we host similar events in the future.
- Between 25 and 45 kids attended each evening from all types of ethnic backgrounds: white native Vermonters who’ve been entrenched in the neighborhood for generations along with Burundis, Somalis, and Nepalis.
- Around a dozen teens with Jesus-centered boys & girls mentoring groups assisted as leaders. For many this was a huge step in seeing themselves as leaders and disciple makers.
- Several parents stayed around to hear the Bible stories, tuning into every word. Best quote all week was from a dad: “I’ve been looking forward to 5 p.m. each day so much. I’ve especially loved hearing the stories. I’m sad to see this week end.”
- Our people from Burlington City Church, especially those in the Old North End, caught the vision of what can happen when a group of believers work together to live out Jesus’ mission to their neighborhood.
- Several people from the Kids Camp came to our monthly worship gathering this past Sunday and plan to jump on board with the new Gospel Community we’re launching this Sunday in the Old North End. That means a significant portion of this new group will be new or not yet followers of Jesus.