Camp Blessing Texas

Chuck and Jodi Ferguson spent several years traveling in the summer to take their autistic son to Missouri so he could attend Camp Barnabas, a camp designed for special needs children. After years of traveling to Missouri in the summer, the couple decided there was a need closer to home for a similar summer camp for special needs children. In 2006, they founded Camp Blessing Texas in Tomball.



The Fergusons used Camp Barnabas as a model for Camp Blessing and designed it as a Christian camp that focuses on love, acceptance and fun. All campers have some form of special needs such as autism, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.



"We really want every camper to feel loved by God just the way they were made," said Glen Elder, executive director for Camp Blessing. "It's a big, life-changing event for these kids by getting the chance to get out and play with others."



Elder and his wife, Laura, joined Camp Blessing in 2006 after being approached by the Fergusons to help with their endeavor. The Elders have five children, two that have special needs, and said they were thrilled to volunteer their time to a cause that was important to them.



"We saw how the camp can really impact kids and gets them away from electronics and their busy lives," Glen said. "Camp Blessing allows them the opportunity to slow down and enjoy God's creation for a little bit."



Each camp week lasts five days and four nights and each camper is assigned his or her own counselor so there is a one-on-one focus, Glen said.



Counselors are all volunteers who come to camp a day early to undergo training. There is a theme to every summer and each camp has a Christian focus with Bible study in the morning and worship in the evenings, he said.



"We do normal camp stuff so everyone can enjoy [the experience] and has a chance to succeed," Glen said. "We offer everything from zip lines to horseback riding and swimming. Volunteers are taught how to serve, the campers have fun and parents get a break from the sometimes overwhelming job of taking care of a special needs kid."



In its inaugural year, the camp ran for one week and had 17 campers, Glen said.



For the first five years, the camp operated solely on the help of volunteers until Glen left his job in 2010 to focus fully on growing and developing Camp Blessing. He said the camp has grown by about 30 percent every year in its short existence and now boasts seven weeks of camp with 365 campers and 558 volunteers.



Since 2006, Camp Blessing has rented out camps throughout Texas to host its summer camps, Glen said. As a result of its rapid growth in terms of volunteers, campers and weeks needed for the camps, Glen said it has become more difficult to rent out camps for the summer.



"Our dream has always been to build our own camp," he said. "Thanks to the donation of 72 acres of land, that dream is really starting to come along."



The donated acreage is northwest of Tomball and master planning of the property along with land clearing and engineering are underway, he said. The goal is to have the camp completed in time for the summer of 2016, but Camp Blessing still needs to raise $12 million. When completed, the camp will include lodging, a dining hall, a worship hall and plenty of outdoor activities, he said.



Camp Blessing Texas 2014 Summer Camps



June summer camp will have three sessions at Hill Top Camp, 217 Hilltop Road, Garrison, Texas.



  • Session 1: June 14–18

  • Session 2: June 21–25

  • Session 3: June 28–July 2

July summer camp will have four sessions at Camp Holy Wild, 22152 Baptist Encampment Road, New Caney, Texas.



  • Session 1: July 8–12

  • Session 2: July 15–19

  • Session 3: July 22–26

  • Session 4: July 29–Aug. 2

For more information regarding summer camps, volunteering or donating to the campaign to build a new camp, call 281-259-5789 or visit www.campblessing.org.

SHARE THIS STORY
By David Pollan

David has been with Community Impact Newspaper since July 2013. He has been the editor for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition since November 2014 and prior to that he was the editor for the Tomball/Magnolia edition. Before joining Community Impact, David worked for eight years in Denver at various newspapers as a copy editor, reporter, designer and editor. David covers business, transportation, development, education and local government.


MOST RECENT

See a few lane closures scheduled this weekend in Tomball and Magnolia. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
3 lane closures to know in Tomball, Magnolia this weekend, Feb. 21-23

See a few lane closures scheduled this weekend in Tomball and Magnolia.

Garden Accents opened on FM 2978 in February. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Garden Accents now open after relocating to FM 2978

Garden Accents opened Feb. 10 after relocating from 15131 FM 2920 to 25252 FM 2978, Tomball. Garden Accents …

The storefront will open Feb. 24. (Courtesy Natural Ways CBD and More)
Natural Ways CBD and More to open Pinehurst storefront

Natural Ways CBD and More also has a location in Tomball.

Jordan Brooks, market specialist at ALN Apartment Data, speaks at the Houston Apartment Association’s Montgomery County State of the Submarket Breakfast on Feb. 18. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Moderate growth in apartment rent, occupancy on Montgomery County's horizon

Experts: County well-positioned for moderate rent growth, average to above-average apartment occupancy for 2020 and 2021

Cheetos Cheese Pickles from Biggy's (Courtesy Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)
Cheetos cheese pickles, mac and cheese eggrolls, deep-fried cheesecake: 93 food spots to try during the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

From tried and true to something new, the food options at this year's Rodeo include classic staples and crazy concoctions.

Lone Star College System has $185 million remaining from its 2014 bond referendum. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College System updates 2014 bond project progress

Lone Star College System continues to make improvements to campuses through an $485 million bond that passed in 2014.

Matthew Fank, who spoke during the public comment period Feb. 17 opposing adoption of the city's dangerous animals ordinance, said he owns property on South Cherry Street in Tomball and plans to open an exotic pet shop in the city. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas residents speak out against dangerous animals ordinance at Tomball City Council meeting

Tomball City Council approved an ordinance Feb. 17 prohibiting the possession of dangerous animals within city limits.

TX Arsenal will host a soft opening Feb. 20. (Courtesy TX Arsenal)
TX Arsenal plans Feb. 20 soft opening in Pinehurst

The business is a one-stop source for customers' shooting needs, according to its website.

Texas Central officials announced interior plans Feb. 17 for the company's proposed high-speed train connecting Houston and Dallas. The Shinkansen trains in Japan will be customized for Texas with no middle seats and additional legroom, company officials announced. (Courtesy Texas Central)
JUST IN: Texas Central gives first glimpse of high-speed train car interior

Texas Central officials announced interior plans Feb. 17 for the company's proposed high-speed train connecting Houston and Dallas.

The McTeggart Irish Dance School relocated from Magnolia to Tomball in January. (Courtesy The McTeggart Irish Dance School)
Irish dance school relocates to Tomball

The McTeggart Irish Dance School relocated from along FM 1488 in Magnolia to 701 E. Main St., Tomball, in January.

Brian Clack (left) is running against incumbent Chris Jones for Precinct 5 constable in the March 3 Republican primary.
Q&A: Meet the Republican candidates running for Montgomery County Precinct 5 constable

Two candidates are running for Montgomery County Precinct 5 constable in the March 3 Republican primary.

The Tex-Mex restaurant will be the first dining option at Creekside Park West in The Woodlands when it opens its doors this summer. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
Baja Sur Fresh-Mex and Tequila Bar to launch in early summer at Creekside Park West

The new concept is the first Tex-Mex offering from local restaurateurs John Amato and Jason Daly.

Back to top