On June 17, more than two dozen rising second and third graders descended upon the 40-acre campus of the Holy Family Episcopal Church in Jasper, GA, ready for fun, sun and laughter aplenty. For a full week, 37 volunteers from Holy Family joined with Craddock Center staff to ensure a thrilling summertime adventure for these youngsters, as part of a pilot program to bring the regionally beloved Camp Craddock to Jasper.
For eight weeks every summer, Camp Craddock, based out of the Craddock Center in Cherry Log, GA, propagates its message of “happiness and hope” by way of mobile summer camps for young children who are living in trailer parks and low-income residences in nine counties across north Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
This pilot program in Jasper came to fruition thanks to an innovative partnership between the Boys and Girls Club of North Georgia/Pickens County, the Craddock Center and Holy Family.
Activities for the kids included storytelling, singing, group games, nature walks, puppet shows, delicious meals, and more. Over the course of a week, the pavilion and parish hall transformed into hubs of lively conversation and friendship building, while activity tents galore sprouted up all across the grounds.
And, over just a handful of days, the camp’s trails got more use than they had all year!
The Craddock Center was founded by the late Dr. Fred Craddock, (Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching and New Testament Emeritus in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University), and his wife, Nettie, after they retired in Blue Ridge in 2001. Their mission is to enhance the lives of children in southern Appalachia through music, storytelling, movement, and a focus on preschool literacy.
We can safely say that, as far as Holy Family is concerned, that vision was fully realized through the weeklong camp this June.