Belize Camping Experience
|Established in 2006
Who we are:
Established in 2006, Belize Camping Experience (BCE) is a non-denominational Christian, non-profit, Belizean registered organization. A ministry board of Belizean persons, who are actively involved in the Christian community, guides BCE.
BCE, by God’s grace, wants to develop tomorrow’s leaders with FUN, POSITIVE, LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES that strengthen CONFIDENCE, COMPETENCE and CHRISTIAN CHARACTER
What we do:
BCE partners with Christian schools, churches, and individuals who are running kids programs to do summer day camps. These camps are similar to many Vacation Bible School programs in that include Bible stories, memory verses, skits, crafts, and games and snacks. What is different about our program is that we place a key emphasis on having our leaders build relationships with the children, mainly through Small Group time. Our desire is to place people over programs. Our group leaders are expected to get to know the children in the group well enough that they can speak God’s love and life changing truth into the lives of the children, in personal ways.
Our leaders and camp volunteers come from many different Christian denominations across Belize. Though most of them are young people, all display a desire to put their faith into action. Before camps officially begin, we organize trainings where we gather the recruited youth to prepare them for camp ministry. They are prepared through discussions on the purpose of working with the kids, leadership training sessions, team-building activities to get them working together effectively, and briefing them on what is expected of them and what they can expect in a typical camp schedule.
For the remainder of the year, we conduct follow-up programs by hosting or assisting Christian schools with their chapel programs and moral and material support for other partnering children’s ministries. Follow-up programs are foundational in our ministry. We believe it is through consistent Christian teaching and discipleship that children’s lives will be changed. On a weekly or monthly basis at different schools we lead a chapel service for students. These chapels are lively, interactive and culturally relevant. Each lesson is different in its presentation with the purpose of keeping the kids excited and captivated.
Another program we run is called Crossfire Paintball. This is an outreach/funding program geared toward youth and young adults, although any age may play. Events are held approximately every two weeks on Saturdays with people coming from all over the city. We host game sessions for several hours in the mornings and afternoons and bring a half hour Christian message right before the afternoon games. Many of our players are repeat players and so, over time, we are able to build relationships with them.
Our ministry office is located at #1161 Coney Drive, across from NAPA. A home base for staff and out of town volunteers has developed out of necessity, at 4.5 Miles George Price Highway, Belize City. With this location housing two mission houses (that host BCE Staff and summer volunteers), a kitchen/cafeteria and our Ministry Director’s personal home, it has become a quasi “camp facility,” without the actual camps taking place here. While it is the desire of BCE to eventually have a permanent camp location where camps could be held, we are first most concerned about building up leadership and sustainable programs before setting up such a facility.
How we (afford to) do what we do:
|Currently the majority of BCE’s budget is financed through the fundraising efforts of local projects. In country, fund raising projects have become an essential part of the BCE ministry.
Our first major fundraising project was “Build It for Kids” which occurred in 2011. Inspired by the Crime Stopper’s House Raffle Initiative, Belize Camping Experience set out to undergo a similar project with the purpose of subsidizing the cost of camps, children’s programs and youth leadership training.
Our next big, most widely known fundraising venture was Harvest for Kids. Harvest for Kids made a name for itself in Canada, August 2010. The goal was to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Camp International (CCI, our parent organization at the time), which gives children in developing areas of the world, like Belize, a chance to attend camps and learn more about Christ.
In 2012, BCE was able to plant 40 acres of corn for Harvest for Kids Belize. The land, seed, fertilizer and machinery/equipment was loaned and/or donated by local Belizeans who had caught the vision. In October the public was invited to witness combines harvesting the fields simultaneously. The crop was then sold and the profits were used to enable us to continue reaching kids in Belize City through our ministry programs.
The level of excitement and the active response we are still receiving has greatly encouraged us. As we continue the Harvest For Kids project, doors are opening to plant and Harvest other things such as rice, sugar cane, and even oranges. Circle R Products has taken things one step further by designating a portion of their sales from their Premium Rice to BCE, under the Harvest for Kids name.
The possibility of making B.C.E a self-sustaining organization has never seemed more real.
Until we reach that point fully, we continue to encourage and search for sponsors to get involved by contributing financially to send kids to camp. In the past, we have received support from business places, churches, and interested citizens.
It is important to note that BCE full time staffs are expected to participate in fundraising for their salary apart from BCE’s fundraising projects. One major reason for this is accountability and transparency – that no one can accuse our staff of pocketing money that was raised with the promise of going towards supporting the children’s programs. BCE staffs rely on the financial help of local and international connections to raise their worker support.
BCE Statement of Faith
We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Scripture and the Revelation of God
We believe that all scripture is God breathed, therefore it is our ultimate guide for life and values.
Creation and Humanity
We believe God created all things, and they were good. All people were created in the image of God. Sin has alienated humanity from the Creator, but God offers redemption and reconciliation through Jesus Christ.
We believe Satan is a real personality, being the enemy of God and the author of sin.
We believe God saves all people who put their trust in Jesus Christ. By His obedient life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection, Christ delivers people from the tyranny of sin and death and redeems them for the eternal life in the age to come.
The Christian Life
We believe Jesus calls people who have experienced the new birth to follow Him in a costly life of service to God. The power of the Holy Spirit transforms believers from the unrighteous pattern of the present age into a life of joyful obedience with God’s people.
We believe that the church, the body of Christ, consists of all true believers, and is seen organized in local churches in accordance with scripture.
Christianity and Other Faiths
We believe God’s atoning work in Jesus is the only means of reconciling people with God. God has not left any without a witness to His goodness and power. We believe Christians should treat people of other faiths with respect, but urgently proclaim Christ as the only way of salvation.
Christ’s Final Triumph
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return triumphantly at the end of this age to destroy all evil powers, condemn all who have rejected Christ to eternal punishment, and unite believers with Christ to reign forever with God in glory.
– Belizean – relevant to culture
– Energy / Fun – captures attention
– Innovative – Try new things / looking for new ways of doing things
– Follow-up / Discipleship / Facilitating growth
– Gratitude – showing thankfulness to supporters
– Growth / effectiveness – always looking to be better
– Professionalism / Refinement – striving to representing the God we serve and the ministry to the same or better standards of the secular community
– Substantiality – local fundraising, using the resources we have wisely
– Commitment – follow through and low turnover of staff
– Conviction / self-motivation – personal values that drive each person to strive to be better
– Energetic / Fun
– Creativity / Imagination / Resourcefulness – using what is available wisely, without waste
– Faith – Follower of Jesus
– Flexibility – in attitude and schedule
– Reflection – self evaluations for personal growth
– Honesty / Integrity / Trust worthy
– Servant Leadership – leading with a servant heart
– Maturity / Professionalism