It’s A New Day For Children of Incarcerated Parents

Written By Boston Avenue

General | News

The forgotten victims of crime are the children of incarcerated parents.

By Ed Payton, Missions Coordinator

The forgotten victims of crime are the children of incarcerated parents. Children whose parents are incarcerated carry more baggage than backpacks to school every day. They carry trauma, loss, stigma, and more. According to the National Institute of Justice Journal’s 2017 article, Hidden Consequences: The Impact of Incarceration on Dependent Children, children whose parents are incarcerated are at an increased risk for challenges like “psychological strain, antisocial behavior, suspension or expulsion from school, economic hardship, and criminal activity.”

New Day Camp, hosted by Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries (CJAMM), is a completely fee-free camp for children, ages eight to 14, whose parent or parents are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. New Day Camp seeks to mitigate the risk factors for affected children, and to improve their prospects.

Campers experience an overnight camp in a natural setting at Cross Point Camp on the shores of Lake Texoma. In addition to the usual camp activities, like worship, sports, crafts, swimming, water sports, and a ropes challenge course, New Day campers are also offered an opportunity to socialize with children who have had similar life experiences, to process their feelings with a trained counselor, and to find support that will last all the way into adulthood.

Since 1995, CJAMM has hosted the camp, which also includes free transportation to the camp site, provides bedding and hygiene items to use during and after camp, plus a pair of sneakers provided by a donor.

This year Boston Avenue is sending four trained volunteers (a counselor and two nurses) to provide support and assistance to the campers.

Missions take Money. Bringing hope to a child of an incarcerated parent through providing a free weeklong camp experience at New Day Camp takes money. We are blessed at Boston Avenue to have several Mission Endowments. Funds from those endowments help to make a difference but are not enough to provide the resources needed. That is why three times each year the Work Area on Missions has a special Missions Offering. These offerings raise almost 35% of the total mission budget of the church. And that is why we are hoping in July each and every BA member will become a BA Servant by prayerfully contributing to the Mid-Year Mission Offering. You can do it right now by clicking the link https://www.shelbygiving.com/app/giving/bostonaveumc and choosing July Missions or by writing a check with “Mission Offering’ in the memo and dropping it in the offering plate or mailing it to the church. Every dollar goes directly to mission efforts, not mission overhead. You can rest assured that each and every dollar will make a difference.

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