Greetings from New York City!
For the past 24 summers, volunteer groups/mission teams from across the country have come to New York City to help create quality, Christ-reflective, fun experiences for children in New York City. C.L.U.E. Camps (Children Living the Urban Experience) occur in two separate NYC locations - one in Midtown Manhattan/Hell’s Kitchen at Metro Baptist Church and the other in Crown Heights, Brooklyn at Greater Restoration Baptist Church. Each camp site comes with its own unique character, cultural diversity, and set of 40+ children in grades 1-6. We are currently looking for teams to partner with RMM to continue to provide this vital, quality camp program for our communities in 2020. If you are interested in bringing a volunteer team next summer, please continue reading.
Teams will partner with local staff to lead a week of day camp for children in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Full teams are invited to stay in the group dorms at Metro Baptist Church but will be split into two groups, one serving in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn each day.
Teams will need to arrive in NYC Saturday afternoon/evening prior to their week of camp and check out by 10:00 AM the following Saturday.
Each group must attend church at their respective camp site on Sunday, followed by an afternoon orientation.
Teams participate in camp Mondays through Thursdays
Each week of camp includes one day devoted to an off-site field trip coordinated by the local camp staff with leadership provided by that week’s team.
Evenings are free for teams to do as they please. In the past, groups use this time for exploring the city, further camp preparation if needed, group bonding/devotions and rest.
APPLYING FOR CLUE CAMP
Each summer, we aim to have a mix of veteran and new teams lead each week of camp. Additionally, we seek to expose campers to a diversity of volunteer groups (denominationally, geographically, generationally, etc).
AVAILABILITY FOR SERVICE
Camp runs Monday-Thursday of each week, with an orientation on Sunday.
COMMITMENT TO PREPARATION
One of the greatest aspects of serving with CLUE Camps is the opportunity it provides for teams to creatively and uniquely plan and lead camp, bringing their own spark and reflecting their group’s nature to urban children. Groups must commit to thorough training & planning prior to arriving in NYC for their camp week. A detailed camp notebook (70+ pages) will be provided with curriculum, guidelines, and ideas. While a unique curriculum will be developed for the summer by RMM staff, teams have some freedom in coming up with specific activities, crafts, games, skits, etc. that work with their assigned theme. The notebook also includes important community, church, and cultural information that we believe is imperative for our mission partners to have knowledge of as they plan. Suggestions of books and articles for team members to read are also included as the volunteer experience is just as much about a cultural immersion and introduction to issues such as urban living, poverty, homelessness, and cultural sensitivity for your team as it is about a week of putting on camp for children.
Teams must commit to a $2,750 mission fee that covers the group’s housing for a week, camp t-shirts, background checks for each team member, as well as helps to greatly defer the cost of camp for the children attending. If circumstances require a group to bring more than 25, an additional cost of $50 per person is added. The CLUE Camp leadership team must approve such requests for more than 25 participants prior to Camp Directors’ Meeting in February. Your group is responsible for travel to and from NYC, meals, and entertainment. Weekly Metro cards are available for an additional fee.
ATTENDANCE AT CAMP DIRECTOR’S MEETING
Mission teams must send at least one group leader to a site visit and orientation meeting. This meeting is designed to provide an intensive orientation to camp policies, locations, themes and curriculum, as well as allow for collective brainstorming and support so team leaders are able to effectively prepare their groups for each week of camp. CLUE Camp Director’s Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, February 28, 2020.
While only one director per team is required at this meeting, we strongly encourage that each site leader (Brooklyn and Manhattan) both be in attendance. Lodging, two meals and a single day subway/bus pass for each leader are provided for the orientation. Transportation to NYC, other meals and any entertainment are at the expense of the leader/church/group. While the orientation will take place only on a Friday, housing is generally offered free of charge for a few days before and/or after the orientation if team leaders would like more time to explore the city (details to be determined once teams and leaders are confirmed).
Teams must be made up of participants who have completed the 9th grade and older. Teams of more than 25 participants must be approved before arrival. If you intend to bring a youth group, at least three adults (25 or older) must be on site at each camp location each day, therefore youth volunteer teams must also have at least 6 adults total. A minimum of 20 participants is required to effectively run camp. On some occasions, groups of less than 20 participants may be able to partner with another group. Please reach out to us if you would be interested in partnering with another church to bring a team.
ADHERENCE TO INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
Each participant, regardless of age, is required to fill out an individual volunteer application and must agree to a national criminal background check to be conducted through Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries (cost is covered in mission fee).
Thank you for reading over all of the guidelines. The application for summer 2020 will open in early September. If you have any questions please contact us at 212-594-4464 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the years, CLUE camp has proven to be an amazing experience for both the campers and the teams. We hope you will consider joining us!