Summer Staff Scholarship Fund
What is it? When we recruit the summer staff from Christian colleges, we present the challenge of sacrificially giving to God a summer of their lives in service for Him. Instead of seeking a job to pay for the ever-increasing cost of a college education, they make a decision to trust Him to meet their needs as they volunteer for ministry. While they are serving here, we do supply their room and board and give them a small weekly honorarium. But their summer is basically spent volunteering for the Lord’s service through serving Him at Ironwood.
Our scholarship fund exists solely for those whose personal and family resources make it difficult or impossible for them to return to school in the fall after a summer of volunteer missions ministry at Ironwood. The scholarship gives them a glimmer of hope and challenges them to trust the Lord.
We provide up to a $500 scholarship to each qualified summer staffer (must apply for a scholarship); we will also match dollar for dollar donations given by July 31 towards a specific individual up to $500. We are totally reliant upon the Lord to supply the funds needed to help with these costs. Any summer staff member with a school bill/loan may raise scholarship funds to go toward those expenses. Individual gifts for summer staff with no school bill/loan should be given directly to the individual.
When is it needed? This scholarship fund is to assist this year’s summer staff, and we would like to send all of the scholarship in the fall semester. If needed, we will send half the scholarship in the fall and the remaining half in the spring semester. This makes it possible for some folks, especially those with fixed incomes, to make a larger annual commitment and send a portion of it monthly.
Why is it necessary? First of all . . . because camp is necessary! Camp is vital and necessary in a family or church’s toolbox of available methods to reach their young people for the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that 85% of all saved people were saved by their 14th birthday, and remember that the vast majority of all unsaved young people coming to Ironwood are saved during their week at camp. Camp indeed is necessary; some young people make decisions for the Lord that would never be made anywhere else.
As evidenced by the way we have designed our program, we believe the best way to reach young people today is through a combination of preaching from a hot pulpit and teaching by a godly example, loving the kids, spending time with them, and lovingly answering their questions. This time could just not be given by any one preacher in any one week of camp. After all, throughout the Gospels the Lord Himself used all three methods. He preached to the multitudes, taught the small group of disciples, and challenged individuals through questions and answers given and received. The summer staff scholarship fund is necessary, because the summer staff are necessary!
Who benefits? Ironwood benefits from the scholarship fund only in that it helps us recruit the spiritually qualified summer staff each summer.
The summer staff team benefit from receiving the scholarship, but they also benefit from stepping out on faith and sacrificially trusting God to meet their needs. As God answers prayer and they personally experience God’s provision for those who serve Him, their own faith grows and many of them continue in a life of service for Him.
The families sending kids to camp also benefit since camper fees are lower (an average of about $20 per camper) as a result of this fund. More young families who are in that stage of struggling to make ends meet are able to afford sending their children (multiple children in many cases) to camp.
The givers to the fund also benefit in receiving the promise of Philippians 4:19 to those who faithfully and sacrificially give to meet the needs of those serving the Lord: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” They also benefit in receiving the promise of Philippians 4:17 where Paul was thanking the Philippian Christians for giving, not for his own benefit, but because their giving added to their eternal rewards: “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” The givers benefit in becoming partners in all that was accomplished spiritually this summer in the heart and lives of both our campers and summer staff.
What can you do? You can do two important things: (1) pray and ask the Lord to bless by supplying this need and glorifying His name as He does so, and (2) pray and ask the Lord if there is something He would have you to give sacrificially as His instrument of supply.
The scholarship is a vital part of making it all come together to reach young people for the Lord Jesus Christ through His camping ministry here at Ironwood. We would ask you to consider helping to make it possible to have this kind of quality summer staff serve here at Ironwood each year. Would you please ask the Lord what He would have you do and respond as He directs your thoughts?
Matching donations are possible on funds received by July 31.
If using PayPal to donate to a specific staff member, please indicate the name in the note section.