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Dear friends, Summer camp is about more than eight fun-packed weeks of high adventure trips, baseball games and Bible stories for the kids of our community. It's more than forming lifelong friendships. More than building character and strengthening self-esteem. It's all of this, to be sure. But it's something more.

Summer camp is also about building leadership. It is the time when young people who have been maturing socially and spiritually over the past year(s) get the opportunity to exercise their leadership before younger watchful eyes. Nothing tests one's mettle more than having to bring order to a group of unruly pre-adolescents. Nothing solidifies one's beliefs more than having to teach those beliefs to others. Nothing builds one's confidence like having others follow your example and aspire to be like you.

One of the highest joys of urban ministry is to see young leaders growing up to take positions of influence and responsibility in the community. If you phone the FCS office you will likely be greeted by either Chris or Kim, graduates of our youth ministry, now college students sharing the receptionist position at our front desk and serving as part-time youth ministry staff. This summer Chris and Kim, along with a growing number of other emerging leaders, will be thrust into positions of significant responsibility that will further stretch their abilities and test their faith. By summer's end they will be exhausted. And immeasurably matured.

Summer camp will be a life-shaping experience for 350+ community children we hope to enroll this year. As in past summers, these children will need the sponsorship of caring friends to assist in covering the $90 cost of their participation in our summer-long program. I hope you will consider being a special friend to one or several of these children. Invite your church or company to join in as well. And know that your investment in the lives of urban children will be reinforced by the high-touch, high-commitment efforts of dedicated young leaders who not long ago were themselves boisterous campers.

Your partner in service,

Bob Lupton

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