Camp Stevens has launched its annual campership drive with a video appeal featuring comments from camp staff and the bishops of the dioceses of Los Angeles and San Diego.
“I think it is one of the most important things our young people can do, to go spend a week in nature, spend a week with other people, learn about the values of our faith, and learn what it means to form true community together,” says Bishop Susan Brown Snook of the Diocese of San Diego, where the camp is physically located.
The 69-year-old camp ministry began when the Diocese of Los Angeles spanned Southern California. When the Diocese of San Diego was formed in 1974, Camp Stevens continued to serve all Southland Episcopalians.
“I’ve been a Camp Stevens camper at heart for a quarter of a century,” Bishop John Harvey Taylor of the Diocese of Los Angeles says in the video, “from family camp to serving as a chaplain to these days doing all I can to support this institution for both of our dioceses.”
Taylor encourages all to support the camp’s fund drive, especially as the camp and the campers recover from the year-long pandemic that forced Camp Stevens to close last summer. “Camperships make the fun belonging and peace of camp available to as many kids as possible,” he says. “This summer they need it like never before.”
Camp Stevens offers a tiered pricing structure that allows families to pay more or less according to their circumstances. According to camp director Kathy Wilder, some 30 percent of campers need financial support to attend camp sessions. Camp fees are confidential and each camper receives the same experience regardless of price paid.
Wilder reports that all 2021 summer camp sessions are full and have waiting lists. Continued pandemic restrictions require reduced capacity and special precautions.
“It’s been a long year for all of us!” says Wilder. “A week at Camp Stevens is a chance for campers to connect with new friends and old, experience God’s creation, and build back confidence, belonging, and the spirit of adventure while supported by a safe and loving community.”
In addition to individual contributions, Camp Stevens asks congregations to designate open plate offerings on June 20 to the campership fund and to invite former campers to share their Camp Stevens stories.