Camp Agape Big Island is planning its sixth camp in Hilo.
Camp Agape is a four-day camp for Hawaii children whose parent(s) were incarcerated or transitioning out of incarceration within the past year. This year, the camp is slated for May 25-28.
In the United States, there currently are more than 800,000 incarcerated parents who have more than 1,800,000 children who are minors, according to the Camp Agape Hawaii website at campagapehawaii.org.
In Hawaii, the child of an incarcerated parent is 50 percent more likely to be incarcerated as well. These statistics continue to increase, according to the website, and the role of Camp Agape is to reach these children and their parents — to see whole families transformed by God’s unconditional love.
The camp provides a safe, nurturing environment in which these children can spend time with other children who experienced the pain, isolation and sadness associated not only with parental incarceration but also with the circumstances that led to incarceration.
Camp Agape also provides an opportunity for mentors to help these children learn how to trust, forgive and love by having hope through Jesus Christ.
It is a Christian-based effort, but definitely extends beyond that. It is a community collaboration to make an impact for a healthier and safer community.
It is through the many volunteers, with hearts to serve, that hope is instilled in these children for a better future.
Camp Agape is funded entirely by sponsors and donations from the community. In 2017, the camp hosted 89 children, ranging from 7-17 years old. That is 89 opportunities to make our community healthier.
This year, a Camp Agape fundraising luau is planned for May 1. All funds raised will go directly toward the camp and follow-up activities that are slated for the children throughout the year.
Applications are available for children who are in these circumstances. Applications are available by contacting camp coordinators at Hale Pule Ke Ola Hou or via email at email@example.com.