We don’t consider our rules are extreme or prudish, Our rules are based on Biblical principles and on our prime example is Jesus Christ. We believe they are mostly common sense (or Bible sense) practices that help a group of communally living people lift each other up. If you’re considering changing children’s lives at Camp Gifford this summer, please make sure you can live within these rules.
A Short List of Some of the Many Rules and Obligations Under Which the Staff Must Operate
- Each staff member shall be required to consider every other staff member higher than themselves. We are to follow the example of Jesus Christ who “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, and…humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!”. (Phil 2:8) We won’t ask you to die for each other, just to be subservient to one another – constantly putting others before yourself.
- Each staff member shall wear clothing that is appropriate for the diversity which will exist at camp. The Bible tells us to “be clothed with Humility”, and to “dress Modestly”. Most of this is common sense, but, please do not be offended If any of the Program Staff give your common sense a nudge. Some specifics rules which will apply all summer are: No Bikinis – One-piece suits only (some one-piece suits are not modest, please use discretion)! No Speedos! – cover up guys.
- “…he (Jesus) said to them (the disciples), come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31b) While the disciples were with Jesus he taught them all the things they would need to know in order to continue His ministry after He was gone. One of the things He taught them was the need to rest. Our bodies are “Gods temple” and we have a duty to treat them well in order to better serve the Lord uninterrupted by sickness and over-tiredness. Not to mention the indirect effects caused by a lack of sleep, i.e., it makes people really grumpy, lazy, ineffective, lethargic, etc. SO…that is why we have a curfew. Curfew (time to be inside) will be 11:00, every night, no exceptions. Lights out will be 11:30, every night, no exceptions unless otherwise announced by program. This will include Program Staff, with the exception of the person, or persons, who have been assigned the duty of Final Check.
- All through the Bible we are told to “make music to the Lord” and “sing to the Lord” and “make music in your heart to the Lord”. We are also told “not to conform to the patterns of this world”. For these reasons, and to better facilitate an ideal Christian environment for the kids coming to camp (an environment as different from the world as possible), we will allow only Christian Music on the campground. This will include your work time, your break time, your off time, your bed time, etc., etc., etc. This will also include campfire, chapel, mealtimes, skits, entertainment, tapes, c.d.’s, radio stations…. The ONLY exceptions will be in the event that we have something like a 50s or 60s “theme” night. Portions of such programs may include some secular music if it has been previously approved by the Camp Administrator or Program Director.
- Many of our campers will be coming from an environment where they are neglected or ignored. Because we want to show them we care deeply about them, (as well as for safety reasons), there will be no headset radios, tape players, disc players, etc. In the event of an emergency, every staff member needs to have the ability to react to what is happening around them, when you are wearing headphones this is not the case. In your own room (with the exception of the counselors while their campers are present) you may wear your headphones, but never outside. — Please note that this will include maintenance, kitchen workers, lifeguards, program staff, in fact, it includes everybody, all the time. Portable radios (Boomboxes) will be allowed in some areas as long as they are playing Christian music only (see rule 4), and they are at a very controlled volume. Lots of us like loud music, but, it is not safe with campers present and it is not polite to the neighbors – or the rest of the camp. Listen to loud music till your brain melts on the weekend (cool, dude), but when your on camp, keep it turned down.
- There are three kinds of love talked about in the Bible. We want to teach the kids about two of those, not all three. We want them to learn about Gods unconditional Love for them, and we want to teach them about the love that should exist between friends and family. We do not want to teach them about the love that exist between a man and a woman. Our P.D.A. (Public Display of Affection) policy is clear and easy. You may hold hands with your fellow love-bird when campers are not present (if you are lucky enough to have time off together) and ….that is all. No cuddling, no arms around each other, no kissy-face… you get the picture. This includes everybody, all the time. Some of the more mature staff members will have to comply out of respect for the younger staff. We are all one family, and we should continually strive to lift each other up.
- Please remember that while you are at camp you are ALWAYS in public when you are with your boy/girl friend (if you are not in a public place you are breaking an even more important rule- see #8) so the PDA policy always applies.
- In order to avoid even the appearance of evil, we will have a strict policy forbidding males to enter female dwelling places and females from entering male dwelling places. In reality it is really neither safe, nor desirable for you to be off in any lonely place with friends of the opposite sex. It is not safe because if there were some type of emergency you would be difficult to locate. It is not desirable because when you are physically and emotionally tired (which you will be), alone, and really needing someone, it is too easy to make decisions that are best made under more ideal circumstances.
- Visitors are only allowed on camp when prior notice has been given (to the Camp Director) that they will be arriving, and when they check in immediately with the office upon arriving. This needs to include boy/girlfriends, family, past employees, even spouses (if that should apply). It’s very important that we are aware at all times who is on the campground, many of these children will be involved in custody disputes and etc., and we cannot afford to take any chances. Also, visitors may observe you during work, but they must not talk to you and take your attention away from the children. You will have to wait and visit with them on your break time. If visitors are seen taking your attention away from your job, they will be asked to leave.
- All staff (with a few exceptions noted below) will be required to vacate the camp within one hour of the final staff meeting at the end of the week. You will be allowed back on the Camp anytime up to two hours before the next session (two hours before the initial staff meeting). Some staff will require special consideration in this regard, due to the distance camp is located from their home and etc. (if you have a reason to stay at camp over break day you must speak with the Camp Administrator and get permission). We will examine each case on it’s own merit, but we will hold fairly tenaciously to this rule. There is not adequate supervision for the possible liabilities that exist here on the weekends. Go home and have fun!
- To keep our environment safe – please do not bring the following items to Camp Gifford: Guns, weapons, drugs (unless prescribed by a doctor), alcoholic beverages of any kind, fireworks or flammable substances or devices; pornography; crude, rude or offensive materials; anti-Christian behavior, clothing, music, posters, and etc. We’ll talk about all of the things we don’t think belong at camp during Orientation Week, but the list above gives you an idea of the types of things that aren’t desirable at Camp Gifford
- When camp is in session you will be expected to remain on camp property except when express permission has been given to leave the property. With 140 children to take care of 24 hours a day it is important that we have all staff and volunteers readily available for emergencies and/or urgent needs.
- Be creative, have fun, walk with God, change lives!