Camp Genesis

Back to Prison Ministry: Programs

Camp Genesis 2022 Photo Gallery

In addition to serving the needs of those who are currently incarcerated, there are many opportunities to help the families of inmates, as well as to those who have been recently released. Also, there is a huge need for supporters of restructuring the prison system. The following are a few programs responding to these needs.

Camp Genesis

Held at the Episcopal Church camp of Chapel Rock in Prescott, AZ, Camp Genesis focuses on the special needs of children (ages 8-13) living under the stigma of having an incarcerated parent and allows them to just be kids among other kids who understood what they are going through. The camp occurs during the summer and lasts for a whole week. During that time the kids participate in a variety of program-related activities, and worship services and have lots of fun in the cool piney woods surrounding Chapel Rock. Kayaking on a nearby lake, zip-lining, and rock wall climbing are just a few of the highlights as the kids bond and form community through a Christ-centered learning environment.

Most of the kids that attend this camp live in foster homes or with grandparents/other relatives who are struggling to make ends meet without having both parents and are often the major breadwinner around. That’s why we offer this camp at no cost to the camper. But the only way these kids will get to participate in an experience like Camp Genesis is through the generous support of donors. The cost to send one camper to Camp Genesis in 2022 was $430. We are praying that we can continue offering this camp and even expand it to provide a camp for youth ages 13-17, but we need your support.

Donations can be sent to Kelly Wood, Director, Chapel Rock, 1131 Country Club Drive, Prescott, AZ 86303. Be sure to make checks payable to Chapel Rock and note that the donation is for “Camp Genesis Scholarships.” 

Registration begins in January and the 2023 camp will be held June. Applicants must be between the ages of 8 and 13 and have or have had an incarcerated parent. CLICK HERE to get the interest letter and form which can be sent to the parent and/or guardian of a child you know who might qualify for camp. For more information and registration forms or to volunteer, please contact Rev. Canon Jana Sundin.

Camp Genesis Backpack Program

Because the children that attend Camp Genesis are often living at or below the poverty level, backpacks containing camp essentials as well as a Kid’s Bible are provided for each camper. Items such as reusable metal water bottles, sunscreen, hats, and lip balm are definitely needed for summers in Arizona, even in the cool hills of Prescott! Churches or individuals can contribute items or checks to purchase items based on the provided list of items. CLICK HERE to see the list. 

Please contact Becky at prisonministry@azdiocese.org  for more information about how you and/or your church can be involved in donating items for the backpacks. We hope you will include a notecard welcoming the campers to Camp Genesis. Cards are tucked into the backpacks and have brought joy and amazement to these kids each year.

Camp Genesis Card Program

The Camp Genesis Card Program was created in order to keep the camp experience alive in campers’ memories, encourage them throughout the year, and remind them that they are loved by God. Each month, members from different churches within our diocese gather together to write cards to these campers (at least one card per child). The cards mention the camper by their first name and include simple words of encouragement, assurance that they are in our prayers, or whatever words the Spirit provides. If you or your church are interested in participating in this rewarding ministry, CLICK HERE for more information and contact Maryanne at prisonministry@azdiocese.org  Coordinator of the Diocesan Camper Card Program to sign up!

Individuals and/or churches who “adopt a month” will receive a reminder prior to your month, an announcement and photo that can be featured in the church newsletter, and further instructions for sending the completed cards. CLICK HERE for a sample flyer to announce the card signing. Please join us as we try to make a difference in the lives of these children.

Camp Genesis Sunday

The 3rd Sunday in September was adopted as Camp Genesis Sunday at the 2019 Diocese of AZ Convention. Churches within the Diocese are encouraged to actively raise awareness about Camp Genesis within their congregation and engage in a special offertory collection on Camp Genesis Sunday to assist in providing scholarships, backpacks, and other needs for the children who attend Camp Genesis at Chapel Rock.

In order to properly track donations received, please make checks payable to “Episcopal Diocese of AZ – Camp Genesis” and mail the checks to Rev. Kim Crecca, Coordinator of the Diocesan Prison Ministry Program. 

Camp Genesis provides a much-needed outreach to the family members of those affected by incarceration. The 7-day camp is held at Chapel Rock in Prescott, AZ, and hosts children (ages 8-13) who have or have had an incarcerated parent. It provides a safe and fun Christian-based environment for these children, many of whom have never even been to a church. Your continued support is needed to continue this important ministry. CLICK HERE to download a flyer for Camp Genesis Sunday at your church!