Children’s Ministries & Education


Camp Oasis: An Innovative VBS Experience for Kids

Posted: July 6th, 2023

Ottawa East and Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist Churches have joined forces for a second year to provide a new and exciting form of Vacation Bible School (VBS) for the community called Camp Oasis. The program began yesterday and will run for the entire month.
Pastor Anthony Kern from Ottawa East Church shared that this innovative summer camp started with a clear mission—to offer an affordable summer camp VBS experience for racialized and underserved communities. While summer programs in the Ottawa region typically cost $200 per week, Camp Oasis provides an active and engaging kids' program for just $60 per week. Children can participate in various themed weeks, including STEM Week, Music Week, Nature Week, and Sports Week, by enrolling for a single week or the full month. Last year, parents were thrilled with the impact and success of the program. One parent shared, "My daughter is always excited about camp. She mentions it every time we drive by the [church] building."

Pastor Kern highlighted that the program not only benefits the kids in the community but also provides employment opportunities for six student teachers, a supervisor, and a camp director. In their first year of operation, they received thirty thousand dollars in grant money from the federal government. However, this year, the program faced a funding shortfall. "We proceeded in faith anyway," said Pastor Kern. "We kept planning, knowing that God called the church to help the community and that He would work things out." Fortunately, with the support of local churches and the community, they were able to fully fund the program. The remarkable success of Camp Oasis led to a grant of forty thousand dollars from the North American Division (NAD), ensuring the program's continuation next year.

Reflecting on the challenges faced this year, Pastor Kern stated, "When we make the effort to reach the least of these," referring to Jesus' statement in Matthew 25:40, "He will always provide the resources."

Looking ahead, the goal is to expand Camp Oasis into a regional VBS program, reaching even more children and employing more staff.

Camp Oasis is not only transforming the lives of children in the Ottawa region but also showcasing the love and care of the Adventist church to communities in need. To learn more about this innovative and inspiring program, visit their website by clicking here: Camp Oasis