March Madness

march madness

We are quickly approaching the next kamping season and we are experiencing the KAA version of ‘March Madness’. We have assembled our teams, we are having coaches meetings, and three-a-day practices to get ready for the ‘big dance’. Or in Kamp lingo… we have hired our summer staff, we are having leadership meetings, and cleaning up and preparing kamp for June 4th {when we open our gates}! As fun as March Madness is to be a part of and watch, you and I both know the KAA version is way better! The best part about KAA March Madness (and kamp prep can truly be madness) is we don’t have to fill out a bracket or guess about the outcome. Kamp will be even more amazing and hype than ever because Jesus Christ already has the victory!

Here are the latest and greatest updates and prayer requests:

  • Kamp Prep! Keep us in prayer as we prepare for Kamp- there is still lots of planning to be done!
  • Our staff has been selected and Leadership weekend is almost here! Please pray for our staff as they prepare for the summer!
  • Fill the Bunks!! Please join us in praying that Kamp is filled this summer as groups continue to register!

Where are they NOW?
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Heather Crieghton – Ypsilanti, Michigan
Stay at Home Mom
Years Served: 1992-1998 [KAA 2 and the KAA 1]

Heather was part of our first summers here at KAA! She served as a counselor and leadership staff throughout her 8 summers. Nowadays she is supporting a different kind of team…Her husband is the head football coach at Eastern Michigan University. They have 3 sports involved children! Heather is a former Special Education teacher and received her masters degree in Special Education from Drake University. Her current areas of service are in order as follows: God, her husband, then her kids! She is very involved with EMU’s football team, keeping her family serving alongside her husband. They strive to be very relational with the team by being at games and practices – taking them popsicles and even opens their home to the players for home cooked meals on a regular basis! Heather has continued to visit KAA throughout the years! Last summer she returned as a Kaleo Shepherd at KAA 1&2. She hopes to return to kamp this summer with her entire family and show them this special mountain top!

If you would like to share an update with us, please email Gwen@kaakamps.org.

Morning Huddle: some encouragement to chew on today!

From KAA 2 Lead Director- Eric Williams: Excitement fills our TV screens as we fill out brackets, watch unexpected wins and unbelievable losses. Every team has the same dream in mind, to win a NCAA National Championship.   As we look at our lives with  expectation of great wins in business, family and relationships, sometimes it doesn’t turn out as we expected. As we march through life we have already  WON because Christ won for us on the cross. March forward in victory and don’t look back.

” …but one thing I do forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead” Phil 3:13

Let us March with Madness into what Christ has before us.

Check out: 

Re-Konnect and Stay Involved with KAA:

  1. Join the Alumni Association! Your membership helps send a kamper to kamp this summer!
  2. Come volunteer THIS summer at Kamp! Email our Volunteer Coordinator Eric Peterson: Eric@kaakamps.org.
  3. Be a Kaleo and bring kampers to kamp! For more information, visit our website!

Kids Be Comin'

Countdown to Kamp 2017:  68 DAYS!!!!!!

 

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Throwback Thursday

throwback-thursday-blog1991…on a sunny day full of excitement and anticipation KAA opened its gates; with just one kamp: K5 aka KAA 2. That summer 800 kampers came to the very first urban youth camp- a camp catered specifically  to them. A new culture, community, and family was born… Kids Across America! Now, 27 summers later, we have four count ’em four Kamps, 600 summer staff, and over 7,000 kampers attended KAA in summer 2016. Look at what God has done! In one of those 27 summers, YOU made an impact. Your life was forever changed. God showed you something you had never seen before. Even if you were only here for a term,throw it back with us… What did He teach you while at KAA? What did you learn about sacrifice or patience? Who did He use in your life? Your Co? Your Director? Your kamper? At KAA, we desire to transform urban youth and their communities… How was your life was transformed? If you’ve gotten away from those things, now is the best time to get back on it! I challenge you to reflect and re-fix your eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ! 

Some Throwback photos that have been shared with us:

 Have throwback KAA photos to share? Send them to: gwen@kaakamps.org

Here are the latest and greatest updates and prayer requests:

    • Higher Ground’s Second Wind Conference is right around the corner! This year the theme is:“The Creation Conference” based on Romans 8:19. It will be held in Branson, MO on Feb 24-26.
    • Winter Trail has begun- we are traveling across the country in search of the finest summer staff for 2017. Please pray with us during this selection process!
    • Kamp Registration is open! Please join us in praying that every bunk is filled this summer!

Where are they NOW?

Lee Jackson – Dallas, TX
Director- Mercy Street
Years Served: KAA 3

Lee Jackson is the sports director for a non-profit ministry in the inner city of Dallas, TX., called Mercy Street. He manages and oversees a 20-acre sports complex that provides sports programs as a tool to share the gospel with youth and their families. This year Lee will also serve as one of the directors for the Texas Rangers Urban Youth Academy, which provides high-level baseball training and year round academic help. Lee graduated Warner University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management, received a certificate of Biblical & Leadership training from the biblical discipleship program at Kanakuk Institute, and earned his master’s degree from John Brown University in Youth and Family Ministry. Lee lives in Dallas, TX with his wife Kim and two daughters Anaiya and Alana and their third child on the way.
If you would like to share an update with us, please email Gwen@kaakamps.org.

 Morning Huddle: some encouragement to chew on today!

From KAA 3 Lead Director- John Scott:

Check out: Psalm 136
What you will come to quickly find out in just reading the first couple of verses in this text is that the psalmist is repetitive of listing out all the things the Father has done. He ends each verse with “His steadfast love endures forever”. From this I began to think of us as a people today and how easy and often we forget the faithfulness of the Lord and the things He has done for us. This forgetfulness of the faithfulness of the Lord has been something that from the beginning of time we as a people have struggled with. You can look at the Israelite in the wilderness complaining after the Lord had just freed them from the hands of Pharaoh. There have been times even in my own life where I was faced with a stressful situation one day that the Lord brought me through, and the very next day be faced with another stressful situation and begin to worry and stress out as if the Lord wouldn’t be faithful to bring me through this situation as well. God wants followers who are willing to lean and trust in him first no matter how big or dysfunctional your situation may be. He wants us to know just how He has recused and delivered us from things in the past he will be just as faithful to do the same today. So lets become a people that’s first instinct in the mist of hardship is to trust and believe in God and his promises.

Re-Konnect and Stay Involved with KAA:

  1. Join the Alumni Association! Your membership helps send a kamper to kamp this summer!
  2. Come volunteer THIS summer at Kamp! Email our Volunteer Coordinator Eric Peterson: Eric@kaakamps.org.
  3. Know anyone that would make a great counselor? Send them our way: Summer Staff Application.
  4. Be a Kaleo and bring kampers to kamp! For more information, visit our website!

Throwing it back to Summer 2016 one more time! Click here to view our 2016 Highlight Video! 

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Gwen Browning – Alumni Relations Coordinator

gwen@kaakamps.org

(417)266-3188

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Have you Joined the Alumni Association? We desire to Konnect with you here at KAA and we want to Konnect you to your former staff! Joining is quick and easy visit our website for further information.

Praying into the New Year

Happy New Year!

I hope your holiday celebrations brought you and your families nothing but joy! As a staff we were encouraged today through this word. A ‘New Year’ to many means the opportunity for a ‘fresh’ start and putting the past shortcomings behind, but as believers we don’t have to wait for a new year. We get new mercies and forgiveness DAILY, January 1-December 31.

new-mercies

 I hope this is an encouragement you to you as well!

In preparation for summer 2017, as a staff, we set our timers to remind us to  pray every day at 3:13 pm. We choose this time to represent the 2017 summer’s theme: Philippians 3:13- Don’t Look Back. We would love for you to partner with us in prayer for KAA everyday at 3:13!

Join us in praying for:

  • Every kamp to be fully staffed with teachable and God centered summer staff.
  • Every bunk would be filled with kampers from all over the country ready to hear the truth of God’s word.
  • Our Kaleos as they prepare for kamp and minister to our kampers throughout the year.
  • Our partnering donors to continue to give as the Lord leads.

We can’t do this ministry without His guidance or your support! Thank you for being All-Star Alumni!

In Him,

Gwen Browning

Alumni Relations Coordinator

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Haven’t joined the Alumni Association? You don’t want to miss re-connecting with staff in 2017. Now is the time, sign up here!

December Alumni Update

Merry Christmas from your Kids Across America Family!

merry

Like many of you, this holiday season we have been remembering how fortunate we are. None of that would be possible without pointing our mission and vision back to the birth of our Savior! One of many things we are grateful for this holiday season is our amazing alumni, like you!  As we head into a new year, we wanted to give you a KAA update!

 Here are the latest and greatest updates and prayer requests:

  • Eric Williams, has returned home to KAA as the Executive Director and the Lead Director of KAA 2.
  • Avery Blue, former KAA 2 Lead Director, has shifted roles and now serves as the Friendship Solution Coordinator and a Regional Development Director. The goal of the Friendship Solution  is to expand KAA’s mission to reach urban youth through the recruitment of law enforcement officers to serve as mentors/Kaleos.
  • Fall Trail has come to an end, and the first draft of hiring for the 2017 Summer Staff has begun. Please pray with us during this selection process!
  • Kamp Registration is open! Please join us in praying that every bunk is filled this summer!

Where are they NOW?


travis-finley-2Travis Finley
 -St. Louis, MO Youth Pastor- New Life in Christ Church

Years Served: KAA 2: 2009-2011, KAA 3: 2012-2013, KAA 1: 2014-2015

“Working at three of the KAA kamps,shaped me and my walk with Christ! At KAA 2, I found my identity in Christ. At KAA 3, I continued to be shaped and formed while being placed in leadership positions. Then at KAA 1, I was able to apply the knowledge and skills gained in previous summers as the Assistant Men’s Director and  a full-time KAA intern in 2014-2015. I am forever thankful for how the Lord used KAA in my life!”

Travis now serves as pastor over 60+ youth at New Life in St. Louis and brought 50 kampers to KAA last summer as a Kaleo. We wish him well in his future ministry and his upcoming wedding in March 2017!

If you would like to share an update with us, please email Gwen@kaakamps.org.

Morning Huddle: some encouragement to chew on today!

From KAA 1 Director-Richard Marks:  Every night before my 3 year-old, Maggie, goes to sleep, she says these exact words, “I am beautiful. Nobody can tell me differently. I can be anybody that I want to be. I can do anything that I want to do. Love God, love others, and love myself.” At this time in her life, she believes this ritual is just something she has to do right before she goes to bed. They’re just words. But one day, I pray, she’s going to believe what her father has taught her, and respond to every situation in her given identity that’s filled with an adoring love for God, a fervent sense of selflessness, and incredible self-confidence. Now, who does our Heavenly Father say we are? I challenge you to search the scriptures to find out. Then, believe it, and, lastly, simply act like it.

Re-Konnect and Stay Involved with KAA:

  1. Join the Alumni Association! Your membership helps send a kamper to kamp this summer!
  2. Come volunteer THIS summer at Kamp! Email our Volunteer Coordinator Eric Peterson: Eric@kaakamps.org.
  3. Know anyone that would make a great counselor? Send them our way: Summer Staff Application.
  4. Be a Kaleo and bring kampers to kamp! For more information, visit our website!

Tis’ the Season to Give the Gift of Camp!

This holiday season we are encouraging folks to give the gift of camp and help send a camper to camp to KAA this summer!  GIVE the Gift of Camp this Christmas!

salvation

Few people get to witness this very precious moment at KAA Kamps.  Please watch, share and be blessed: https://vimeo.com/195819879

 

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season!

Gwen Browning – Alumni Relations Coordinator

gwen@kaakamps.org

(417)266-3188

vimeo        facebook       twitter    instagram

Have you Joined the Alumni Association? We desire to Konnect with you here at KAA and we want to Konnect you to your former staff! Joining is quick and easy visit our website for further information.

We, We, We, We Love Alumni!

This blog is for Alumni by Alumni! That is the heart and vision behind this Alumni Program. We desire to see our former and current staff become united across the country! We are all kindred spirits having had the same stomping ground once upon a time at Kids Across America.

Here you will find post by and for alumni- to encourage you, keep you in the know about what is happening at KAA, and ways you can get involved! We also hope to see you Konnect with those in your local communities and continue to impact those around you!

The Alumni Website will also be a valuable tool for you! It will be the Hub for: News & Events, Volunteer opportunities, and contact information of all of the Alumni members to help you stay connected! And if you haven’t yet, find us on all social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, and LinkedIn(handles below) . We want to stay Konnected to you!

Look back for more soon!

Gwen Browning

Alumni Relations Coordinator

 

 

Konnect with us on Social Media:

Twitter- @UKNOWKAA

Instagram – kaakamps

Facebook – @Kids Across America Kamps

Vimeo – Kids Across America

LinkedIn – Coming Soon!