Tuesday, 14 May 2013 13:38

Camp Foundations focuses on fun, learning and `kids being kids`

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Camp Foundations, a summer day camp program through Grace and Glory Ministries, is hosting an Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 18. Applications for the camp, which runs from July 1 through Aug. 16, are available now and offers discounts, such as Bring a Friend, sibling discount and an Early Bird discount if children are registered by May 22. Camp Foundations, a summer day camp program through Grace and Glory Ministries, is hosting an Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 18. Applications for the camp, which runs from July 1 through Aug. 16, are available now and offers discounts, such as Bring a Friend, sibling discount and an Early Bird discount if children are registered by May 22.

     Camp Foundations, a summer day camp program through Grace and Glory Ministries, will host an Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 18.

     Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a hayride, a dinosaur egg hunt, a family kickball game and a ga-ga ball tournament.
     Located on 10 acres at 7877 state Route 104, in Oswego Town, Grace and Glory Ministries was founded by Pastor Daniel Oostdyk, Sr. and his wife, Sandy. Hailing from New Jersey, the couple, along with help from their children, their spouses and another couple from New Jersey, Kevin and Jenn Herrick, run a discipleship center and offer teaching, ministry training and counseling. But that is not all they offer.
     Three years ago, siblings Danny Oostdyk and Melody Oostdyk Williams founded and are co-directors of the popular Foundations Christian Day Camp. According to Williams, the summer camp is based on a similar one their parents founded and operated in New Jersey.
     "Camp Gilgal was started by my parents in 1973 and is still running today, although it now uses the name, Solid Rock Day Camp," Williams said.
     The day camp is not just a summer camp, but it is also a fun alternative to day care with a wide-variety of things to do like sports, games, singing, dancing, skits and more. The mission of Camp Foundations is to serve the children and parents of Oswego and its surrounding areas by offering children a well-rounded Christian day camp program that provides opportunities to learn new skills, teach and demonstrate morals, safely play sports and games and take in fun camp experiences.
     "Danny and I grew up living every child's dream," Williams explained. "We spent every day of the summer running around outside, using our imaginations and making lifelong memories with friends at camp. When we moved up here, we realized that many kids were spending their summers inside or confined to a small backyard because we no longer live in a world that kids are safe to run around outside on their own all day. Danny and I wanted to create a safe and affordable place where kids can explore the world around them and enjoy "learning through play" as so many of us were able to as children. That is why we started Camp Foundations."
     Some of the features The Camp Foundations facility offers are two age-appropriate playgrounds; a Snack Shack; a 40X60-foot outdoor pavilion; a military modeled obstacle course; multiple large meeting rooms; an archery range; a ga-ga ball court; video games; a volleyball court; clubhouses; fields for soccer and baseball; a basketball court; two game rooms; and a reptile exhibit.
     "We run for seven weeks this summer, from July 1 until Aug. 16," Williams said. "The kids are dropped off at 9 a.m. and picked up at 4 p.m., but we do offer extended care for parents who work for two hours before and after the camp day. You can sign up for just one week, or all seven."
     The cost of a week at the camp is $135, but because of special circumstances, such as the Fourth of July, some weeks are a little less.
     "There is no camp on July 4, so the first week is only $110 and we only have camp in the afternoons for the third week because Oswego Missionary Alliance has Vacation Bible School in the morning, so that week is $70," she explained.
     An Early Bird sign-up is available, saving campers $15 per week if signed up before May 22.
     "Camp Foundations also offers significant discounts for families who cannot afford the full rate and there are also sibling discounts and Bring a Friend discount of $50," Williams added.
     Another unique feature the camp has added is called C.I.T., or Counselors in Training.
     "This program is for ambitious 14-year-old boys and girls interested in one day becoming counselors," Oostdyk explained. "We recognize that the quality of a camp is always a reflection of the quality of the camp staff. Likewise, the quality of the camp staff is always a reflection of the quality of training and support they received. For this reason, we have decided to make an investment in the staff of future years by developing an extensive C.I.T. program just for 14-year-olds."
     A typical camp day includes playtime upon arrival while waiting for everyone to arrive. Next, campers head to their cabins with their leaders for devotions, collecting their lunches and Snack Shack money. They are divided into age groups: 4-6-year-olds, 7-9 girls, 7-9 boys, 10-13 girls,10-13 boys, and the C.I.T. Groups for the 14-year-olds.
     "Then they report to the pavilion where they choose an elective for the week," Williams said, adding the electives change week to week and include things like outdoor cooking, archery, martial arts, dance, basketball, RC cars and more.
     Next are two morning sessions which include Field Time, Playground Time, Arts and Crafts, Game room and Pavilion Time.
     "The counselors plan fun games to do at each of these sites," Williams said. "At 11:45, everybody comes together for lunch and afterwards we have a camp Rally, where we sing some songs and do some fun skits and games to teach the two selected character traits for the week."
     Next comes a half hour of free time where the children can visit the Snack Shack.
     "Then, we have an all-camp activity that everybody plays together," Oostdyk said. "It might be something like an egg-drop where the kids work in groups to create a structure to protect their egg from cracking when dropped off the roof, or something like all-camp Capture the Flag. Finally, the kids go to three afternoon sessions, clean up, and meet back at the playground for flagpole."
     Every Friday, they said, the entire afternoon is devoted to an all-camp activity centered around the week's theme.
     "For example, during Pirate's week the kids go on an elaborate treasure hunt, where they need to find clues to help them navigate a pirate map of the campus," Williams said. "They are armed with water balloons and shaving cream to fend off the native counselors guarding the treasure."
     Wednesdays are reserved for a field trip to Fair Haven State Park.
     Williams and Oostdyk said the best way to sign up is to visit their web page and click the Register Online link.
     "This will save the child's spot," Williams explained. "Then, they can email, fax or drop off their child's medical form, shot records, and payment at their convenience."
     For more information or to sign up, go to www.campfoundations.com or "friend" them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/campfoundations.
     To learn about Grace and Glory Reptiles, click zoo.

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