Outdoors Ministries and Phila Camps

Outdoors Ministries and Phila Camps

From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. (Rom. 1:20 NLT)

From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. (Rom. 1:20 NLT)

God has blessed me with a most wonderful opportunity, here in South Africa. It is an awesome experience, to journey with children and adults, clergy and lay, women and men, white, colored and black, as they see and learn to know God in God’s “invisible qualities,” God’s “eternal power and divine nature.” I would like to thank Global Ministries, and all of you for your great support of the Bridgman Phila Camps Program (PC’).

This letter is an attempt to give you an overview of the Outdoors Ministries Project, ‘Phila Camps.’ I invite you to stay turned to the happening of this ministry in the coming year. It promises to be an exciting, fulfilling and engaging time for all involved.


· In June, the PC’ Program held its first of two Counselor Training Camps. This aspect of the program has two objectives:

1. To train youth from Central Region churches and their communities to perform competently, responsibly and confidently as camp counselors.
2. To aid Central Region churches and communities in developing a youth leadership infrastructure that might aid in the creation of the “New South Africa.”

· The Training Camp was extremely successful. Twenty-two youth attended the training, 18 from the Central Region and 4 from their communities.

· In July, The PC’ Program held its second Phila Children’s Camp. Because of the success of the Counselor Training, this camp was outstanding. The counselors chosen to operate this particular camp made me humbly proud, because they were great. The camp touched the lives of 55 children and mine.

· In September, the PC’ Program conducted its second Counselor Training Camp. This camp was held to prepare our counselors for the first Phila Family Camp. The first Phila Family Camp will reach out to female care providers of the children whom the Phila Children’s Camps served. A second Phila Family Camp will be offered to male care providers after the female’s camp. The focus for family camp, as with children’s camps is HIV/AIDS and Gender Awareness and we will continue to have facilitators to run some of the activities in line with the camp’s focus.


Two Thousand and Five will become the year when Outdoors Ministries (OM) and the Bridgman Phila Camps became more recognized and accepted among Central Region churches (43) and their communities. All of the Central Region’ churches will have access to PC’ and OM programs, and PC’ will broaden its outreach in 2005. OM and PC’ will also become more ecumenical within its outreach, to ensure that its target of serving 750 – 1000 children, youth and adults within the Central Regions areas in 2005.

OM and PC’ emphasis will continue to be: providing a quality HIV/AIDS awareness, recreational respite care camp that is joyful, educational and therapeutic fun to the many Central Region AIDS orphans and child/adult care providers. The plight of the majority of these children and their communities is beyond words, and they paint pictures that we prefer not to see. These young boys, girls and their families truly need our Christ-Like presence felt in their lives.


· In order to ensure that Central Region churches and their communities gain a full understanding of the benefits that they might receive from participating in OM’ and PC’, I along with the Bridgman Program Director will visit all of the Region’ churches (at some point a travel budget will be needed for the OM). Displays and presentations are already in the making.

· The Central Region will be divided into six zones. It is hoped that each zone could be offered a specific Phila Camp twice a year. Since its inception Phila Camps have been offered at an extremely affordable price. In order to continue to do so new partnerships need to be established, both locally and overseas. New relationships are being formed throughout the zones and their community service provider’s forums. These relationships are opening up possible collaborative efforts with a very diverse group of service providers.

· The OMC must become connected to the Municipal Social Workers, Primary/High school Principals and ecumenically minded church leaders within the areas of our Central Region churches.


In January 2005, Outdoors Ministries will coordinate some of the Phila Camp counselors, along with the Sunday School staff of the St. Mungo’s Diepsloot Project, to offer a four day Vacation Bible School (VBS). The VBS concept is new to the Central Region here in South Africa. This VBS will operate as a day camp, running from 9:00AM to 2:00PM, Wednesday – Friday and culminating on Saturday (so that Parents can attend) with a closing ceremony and prize giving (awards). This project has the ability to work very well for churches that are looking forward to launching their own Sunday school program. It is my desire to take this VBS model to the road and eventually reach all of the Central Region’ churches (Please be Prayerful).

The Central Region’ Development Office and the Outdoors Ministries Office are expecting a banner year with wonderful opportunities to journey with individuals, churches and groups as they grow in their knowledge and experience of God, through God’s divine order. Please keep an eye out for up dates on the Outdoors Ministries and Phila Camps activities.

In Christ,

Rev. William Kyle

William and Veronica Kyle serve with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Veronica serves as a coordinator for education, social, women and youth programs. She will also serve as a consultant to the Bridgman Center. William serves as administrative assistant to the general secretary.