How does a young boy grow into a man? A man of values? A man of principle? A godly man? In a world ripe with confusion and conflicting messages, the pathway to manhood is anything but easy to navigate.
While we certainly can’t correct all of the spiritual and social woes in a single four-day weekend, we can strive to come alongside fathers who want to do everything possible to make the most of the fleeting years of boyhood.
The Father and Son Camp East is an opportunity for dads who want to leave a legacy of Godly masculinity to enjoy time together in the rugged outdoors, making memories that will last a lifetime.
In a Nutshell
For those of you who just want the facts, here goes.
- Four-day camp: Fathers and sons begin arriving Thursday afternoon. The camp concludes Sunday at noon, just after worship. Have daughters? Check out Father Daughter Camp East.
- Location: The Father and Son Camp East is located in Southwest Pennsylvania, just outside of Waynesburg, on the beautiful rolling Strath An Dé Farm, owned by Jim and Barb Butler.
- Age of Sons: If Dad feels like he can keep up with and take care of his son, regardless of age, then we say, “bring ‘em.” While most campers are usually 5 years and above, some brave Dads have brought 3 year olds! On a different weekend, we offer Father Daughter Camp.
- Camping: A camping spot, complete with firewood, is provided. Dads bring their own tent and camping gear.
- Food: While three evening meals are provided, Dad is responsible for preparing breakfast, lunch and snacks for him and his sons. Each campsite has a fire ring for cooking and a picnic table will be in close proximity. (Meal details are located on our FAQ page.)
- Program: What do we do for 4-days? A lot! We begin and end each day with a special message for fathers and sons from the heart of Norm Wakefield, a national speaker known for his desire to come alongside fathers who are in the trenches training their sons to be men. Then, there’s activities such as hiking, disc golf and archery, not to mention zip lines, clay pigeon shooting, a rifle range and knife throwing! A team of cadets from the International ALERT Academy, headquartered in Texas, travels to the Father & Son Camp East to teach rappelling and provide a challenging obstacle course.
- Cost: There is not a set cost for the camp. Instead, it is by “donation only.” While there are expenses for putting on a camp such as this, we never want cost to keep a father from bringing his son/s. (For those who do want to donate, it is estimated that the camp costs approximately $50 to $60 per person for the weekend.)
- Registration: It’s very important to pre-register so that we know exactly how many campsites to have prepared and how much food to purchase. If you’re an extra nice sort of chap, you might even give us ample notice by signing up early! (Registration is encouraged for our July camp by early June, and for our October camp early September.)
What to do next? Pray about it, talk with your family, and then, register online. We also ask you to pray and consider if there’s another man in your life who may need encouragement as a dad. Why don’t you consider inviting him and his son/s?
The vision for Father & Son Camp East is to strengthen relationships between fathers and their sons through Christ, while participating in challenging, masculine activities that build bonds that will last a lifetime.
Founded on the principles of Scripture, with Christ as its focus, this camp was designed:
- For fathers and sons who are not saved to come to know Jesus Christ as Savior.
- To provoke young men to have a heart for service.
- To give young men and their fathers a vision for authentic Christian manhood.
- To make those uncomfortable who know Christ and are not doing much for Him.
- To restore the hearts of fathers to their families.
- To combine inspiring ministry and outdoor adventures to create lasting memories.
- To tie the heartstrings of fathers and sons and to heal their broken relationships.
- To encourage fathers and sons to get busy doing something for Jesus Christ.
It all started in 1995 when a 3-year old, named Max, asked his father if he could take a camping trip for his birthday, with “no girls allowed.” Four other men and boys went with Max and his father camping. Since that first camping adventure, the numbers for the original “Father and Son Camp” have grown to more than 600 fathers and sons gathering each year in central Illinois for a time of growth and instruction.
Inspired by the stories of the fathers and sons and the vision of the original “Father and Son Camp,” a new camp, “Father and Son Camp East” was birthed in 2012 with the vision of bringing a similar experience to fathers and sons on the East coast.
Though completely separate and autonomous, the new camp holds the same Biblical vision for authentic manhood and is based upon the same Scriptural principles.
Today, the “Father and Son Camp East” is thankful for the legacy of Godly leadership that was established by the faithful men who founded the original camp.
After each camp, we ask for feedback from our participants. We use this feedback to improve our activities and schedules to make the best experiences possible.
Click through the feedback to see testimonials from previous campers.
These are some mementos created by campers