Hear His Heart Camp 2020

Woodbury, NJ – Talk about not letting the grass grow under your feet. With incorporation in March and a 501(c)(3) designation in June, Johnson Manor of Faith and Education launched its first summer camp. JMFE’s executive planning team had all the experience and know-how for planning and executing a traditional face-to-face youth camp. However, Covid-19 negated
tradition and instead sparked innovation, new skill development and momentum around a new and necessary way to keep youth engaged in faith and education.

Hear His Heart camp was a first in JMFE’s out-of-school summer camp programming for youth ages 3 – 11. Campers had fun while learning in diverse formats. There were opportunities to actively engage with music in a way that unconsciously enhanced literacy skills and built their spiritual toolkit. Campers focused on inspirational dance and experienced ancient history through Bible stories and trivia.

Hosting a virtual camp opened bi-coastal doors for JMFE! Hear His Heart was attended by 15 youth, including campers from New Jersey, D.C., Florida and California. With digital delight, teachers and students gave this virtual camp experience a uniquely-spirited human touch. Knowing that youth love competition, Hear His Heart Camp challenged Campers to create and submit videos demonstrating knowledge of songs, dances and Bible verses. The Prize, a wireless bluetooth karaoke microphone, went to a 10 year old from Florida after she submitted three distinct videos exhibiting her passion and knowledge of the camp content!

The Post Camp Survey relayed additional highlights of participants’ individual and collective experience. Teachers and staff learned that a 9:30AM EST start is a bit early for West Coast Campers. Going forward, JMFE will be mindful to adjust the timing of virtual sessions to better suit ALL of us. When it came to the learning outcomes, Campers noted unique takeaways. One ten year old girl from Maryland indicated that she learned “the real story of what God told Moses.” Campers also delineated a thorough enjoyment of the arts. A six year old girl living i California was reportedly singing the camp theme song “My heart belongs to you” in English and Spanish. JMFE will use this data to plan next year’s camp.

The organization’s birth speaks to opportunity amidst challenges, as 2020 has had many. According to JMFE Founder, Dr. Melinda K. Johnson, “Difficult times create space for increased faith and perseverance. So despite, Covid-19, I knew that we had to do something and we had to do it now.”

Hear His Heart camp was a first in JMFE’s out-of-school summer camp programming for Pre-K – 5th grade. It honors the organization’s mission to educate and edify students through holistic academic and faith-based instruction. This school year the organization will hold virtual and in-person READ ALOUD series.

JMFE looks forward to opening the 2021 summer with our signature camp, Love Language. Love Language is a 4 week, all-day summer camp for youth in South Jersey that focuses on English literacy through reading, writing and public speaking. The Camp will include tons of fun, educational activities and an adventurous off-site excursion.

For more information on how to get involved with JMFE or learn about future programming, please email [email protected]. Follow JMFE on Instagram @johnsonmanorfe and FB.

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