The Cedarkirk Summer Camp Experience
Kids can have a difficult time figuring out where they’re going – much less who they’re becoming. That’s why, at Cedarkirk, more important than what we do is how we do it. Our counselors live the lessons they teach, reinforcing the values that campers look for each time they return to camp. Whether during group Bible study or casual one-on-one conversation, we ensure Cedarkirk is a place apart where honesty, respect, responsibility, and caring thrive, and spirits grow. Because it’s more than a summer of fun – it’s a lifetime of character.
Camp is one of the most effective environments in which young people develop, learn, and grow in faith. A significant and growing body of research shows that time spent at camp – and away from home! – helps kids grow.
Camp gives young people the opportunity to:
- BUILD faith through shared relationships and experiences
- UTILIZE imagination, creativity, and play
- BE VALUED for exactly who they are
- CONSTRUCT and adhere to shared, common values
- CULTIVATE independence, self-esteem, and identity
- LEARN social skills and nurture lasting friendships
- BECOME more comfortable and confident in nature
- GAIN respect for – and appreciation of – our planet
- EMULATE strong role models
- DEVELOP lasting leadership skills
SMALL-GROUP, RESIDENTIAL CAMPING
Cedarkirk offers small-group camping throughout its varied programs – a “family group”, typically comprised of boys and girls with their counselors, will experience camp together and grow as a group. We believe this is the best model to provide a nurturing and safe environment and helps foster meaningful relationships among campers and between campers and counselors. The community that forms within the “family group” and that group’s relation to the rest of camp is an important aspect of the Cedarkirk experience.
Regardless of the particular program you and your child select, EVERY camper will be part of our small-group camping experience. The greatest strength of our summer program is the community that forms here each week among staff and campers in these small groups and we make sure each camper is a part of it! Even our specialty camps (i.e. Culinary Camps, Adventure Camps, etc.) have only one block of specialty time each day, at most. The rest of the day is spent as a small group at activities like archery, canoeing, Bible study, swimming, cook outs, and more. After dinner, small groups in the same age range will come together for supervised free time, worship, and night activities.
Cedarkirk campers leave with a sense of accomplishment and a greater appreciation for their own – and others’ – abilities. They gain a deeper comprehension of their relationship with God and a new perspective on what they are capable of achieving.
Trust, courage, achievement, cooperation, decision-making, a sense of wonder, and a deeper understanding of God are gained through life lived in intentional community and time spent outdoors.
Cedarkirk Camp & Conference Center was established in 1971 and has been providing quality summer programs for children and youth since then. Nestled along the Alafia River, our camp and conference facilities include: air-conditioned lodges and cottages, rustic cabins (electricity, but no air-conditioning), an indoor/outdoor activity pavilion, a swimming pool, playing fields, outdoor worship spaces, a high ropes challenge course, an initiatives/team-building course, two zip lines, an auto-belayed climbing wall, an archery range, river access for canoes and kayaks, and a disc golf course. For more information about our facilities, please visit our Accommodations page.
HEALTH & SAFETY
The health and safety of your child is our first concern and priority. Camp programs are not without risk, but we aim to minimize this and maximize fun through effective staff training, mandatory safety procedures, and quality supervision. Cedarkirk has a first aid center and every staff member is certified in first aid, CPR, and the use of an AED. Emergency response facilities are located minutes from camp and a regional hospital is just over 10 miles away. Camper medications are kept locked and dispensed by the on-site healthcare specialist. All activities with increased risk are supervised by a skilled and experienced staff member trained in that particular activity. Pool use and off-site water activities are monitored by certified lifeguards. Some Cedarkirk programs do involve off-site trips; campers participating in these trips will travel in Cedarkirk vehicles driven by directors or trained staff members over the age of 21.
At Cedarkirk we try to provide the opportunity for all campers to participate in every activity available for their age group. However, due to Florida’s summer weather pattern of rain and thunderstorms, some activities may not be possible to complete during your child’s week at camp. Counselors are trained in teaching and leading alternate indoor activities during such times. In spite of rainy days, campers have fun playing and laughing inside Cedarkirk’s facilities.
We understand that complications arise and you may have to withdraw your child from their program. The initial $75 deposit is non-refundable and will not be returned. Cancellations made more than 14 days before the start of the program will receive a full refund (less the $75 deposit). No refund will be given for cancellations made fewer than 14 days from the start of the program. If your child is asked to leave camp due to behavioral issues or chooses to leave for any reason, your camp fee will not be refunded. Requests for refunds due to illness will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
We believe that every child who wants to come to camp should be able to attend. If you are in need of financial help to send your child to camp, scholarship money is available to assist you. Be sure to also speak with your Pastor or church office; they often have money budgeted to help kids and their families pay for camp. Scholarship money is awarded for one camp session per camper each summer and is entirely confidential. To obtain a scholarship application from Cedarkirk, please contact the camp office at 813.685.4224 or print a need-based scholarship application and email, fax, or mail it to camp.
Some campers may wish to have a specific roommate during their stay at camp, but part of the camp experience is making new friends and developing community within a group. The majority of Cedarkirk campers do not come to camp with a roommate, but you may request ONE roommate (this request will be honored only if both parties request each other). Requests for more than one roommate are not honored. It is our policy to place siblings in separate groups unless we are advised otherwise. Cedarkirk invites all campers to come with an openness to new experiences and relationships.