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Solomon Cramer Grants - 2021 Review of Grant Recipients

02 Feb 2022 8:05 PM | Jen Burch (Administrator)

Since 2017, the Solomon Cramer Fund has been sending young people to camp by granting scholarship funds to United Methodist conference camp/retreat ministries. Through these grants, camps have developed innovative programs that reach new people in new places, widening the circle of leadership and campership.

Scholarship grants from the Solomon Cramer Fund encourage us to consider the breadth of our ministries by focusing on the following four priorities:

  • Experiences that minister with youth living in poverty
  • The intentional development of young people for spiritual leadership and/or leadership with Camp & Retreat Ministries
  • Camp experiences that collaborate with local churches and agencies in processes of faith formation 
  • Opportunities for increasing racial/ethnic diversity within ministry participation and leadership. 
Special consideration is given to Camp & Retreat Ministries that focus on more than one of those priorities and that are launching new opportunities. 

Some of the 2020 grant recipients were not able to operate due to the pandemic and opted to defer their grant until 2021. A total of 11 Solomon Cramer Fund grants were received in 2021. 

  • Hope Camp, Jumonville (W.PA): Grant funding supported four weeks at which at-risk youth experienced a safe, loving community at camp. Even a small thing like being able to sit around a table together and share a meal family style is a huge step for many, who often don’t eat dinner as a family and have to worry whether or not there will be enough food.

  • Best of Summer Sampler (BOSS) Camp, Wesley Woods (PA): 4 new campers were able to attend this popular camp week due to scholarship funding.

  • Camp Chippewa (NE) : 25 children from underserved churches were able to participate in a day camp experience. When asked about the impact of the camp, 34% of the campers reported that the camp made a positive impact on their faith. Staff were moved by being able to offer camp ministry, even in a season when COVID-19 restrictions impacted regular residential camp operations.

  • Camp Koronis (MN): Grant funding enabled 33 children from Liberian and West African immigrant families to participate in a camp experience. One camper was excited to learn to swim, and two families joined their local UMCs after their children came to camp.

  • Northern Pines TEENS Camp (MN): Funding enabled increased participation and diversity in the Teaching, Equipping, Empowering, Nurturing Servants leadership camp. A first-time camper on the autism spectrum not only was able to stay all week, but volunteered to help lead worship.

  • High Impact Movement (HIM) at Camp Tanako (AR): Camp partnered with a local youth empowerment organization to provide a place apart where youth could encounter Christ and experience God's Creation through day camp. This summer collaboration has blossomed into a year-round relationship with camp and the HIM community!

  • Semana Latina at Gretna Glen (E.PA): 85 campers deepened their relationship with Christ, fostered healthy peer relationships, and enhanced their connection to ethnic and cultural Latinx heritage.

  • Solomon Cramer Interns at Cal-Pac Conference Camps (CA): Four Hispanic/Latinx leaders received support as they developed leadership skills through hands-on ministry experiences at 3 camp sites. One participant was especially excited to facilitate conversations with campers around issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • Camp In The Community (Holston): 40 campers whose families would not be able to pay for camp were enabled to enjoy a day camp experience based in their local church community. 35% of participants did not have a connection to a home church. Among the many benefits of camp, campers got to know pastors and children's ministers in their community.

  • Voyages Day Camp, Camp Don Lee (NC): Camp fostered positive behavior and leadership learning among at-risk youth. Campers and volunteers experienced "the best week of their summer," in a very difficult year, encountering Jesus some for the first time through the dedication and love of the camp staff.

The 2022 cycle of Solomon Cramer Grant funding will be opening in the next few weeks, so now is a great time to begin dreaming of mission-driven, grant-worthy projects for this coming summer season. Watch S'more Mail for application details and deadlines.

Questions?  Please contact our Association Registrar

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