Questions about Campers For Christ® chapters that come up frequently are:
- New Chapters
- How is a chapter formed?
- Who starts a chapter?
- What is the process to start one?
- Reactivating a Chapter
- How is an inactive chapter reactivated?
- Who reactivates a chapter?
- What is the process to reactivate a chapter?
Below is some information about chapters and what it takes to start or reactivate one. However, perhaps more important than how is why you might want to start or reactivate a chapter.
WHY CHAPTERS? A few years ago a couple of guys started a new website called RVillage®. The idea was to get people who have or want to have recreational vehicles to be able to reach out to each other. Kind of like Facebook® for RV people. They used the idea of GROUPS so that the people who joined RVillage could get to know one another. At first, there were only a few hundred members (membership is free) but soon there were thousands. Today, there are almost 500,000 RVillage members! Check the group out!
Their success is without a doubt because they have enabled people to find and connect with other RVers with similar interests. There are hundreds of RVillage groups today. Groups like “Full-Time RVers” have over 11,000 members and “KOA Fans” have over 15,000. There are groups for photographers, hikers, caravanners, and many others. Of course, there is a “Campers For Christ” group too, with more than 200 members. If you are reading this, please, go to RVillage, register, and join our group! Their success is because they are bringing people together because of shared interests, visions, or goals.
That is what Campers For Christ (CFC) chapters are supposed to be doing: bringing people together because of our shared interests, visions, and goals. We need CFC chapters to bring us together from time to time.
How to Start or Restart a Chapter
Starting or restarting a chapter follows the same pattern except when restarting a chapter, some of the work like bylaws, name, and area are already determinied. The assumption is there are NO active chapters close to you. If there is, we strongly encourage you to get involved with that chapter! If there used to be an active chapter where you are, work with the International Vice President to find a way to reactivate that chapter.
To get a group to become an active chapter you need to think about and act on few things.
- You need some MEMBERS. At least four are required to fill the chapter officer slots. So, go find some Christian campers, get them to be CFC members. If there are current members around you, bring them together to get started. Best of all may be to bring new members in with the old ones!
- You need a NAME for your chapter. The name can be whatever you want. It should reflect something important about the chapter. Something about the main reason you want to be a chapter. Seed Sowers Chapter reflects purpose. Sonshine Chapter reflects area and more. The Genesis Chapter was the first. Exodus Chapter reflects desert and pilgrimage. You get the idea.
- When you have a group of campers, a name, and an area to focus on, it is time to meet. Schedule a meeting in coordination with the CFC International Vice President (his responsibility is primarily chapter development). He or his representative will come and help you adopt chapter bylaws (Chapter Bylaws Template) and elect a chapter president. The new chapter president then finishes that business meeting by running the elections for the other elected officers and then overseeing any new business that needs to be done like scheduling the next rally.
- Finally, you will need approval from the CFC international board of officers. To get that, you just submit a request letter together with a copy of your bylaws and information about the officers. Upon approval, your chapter will be recognized as an official chapter of Campers For Christ Ministries, Inc.
The process is not complicated, but it all starts when YOU bring together a few members, (new ones or old ones) and cast the vision for becoming an active chapter that meets together somewhat regularly for fellowship, encouragement, to hear the Word, for ministry, and sometimes just to have for fun.
Here are the Reasons and Goals for why Campers For Christ Ministries exist. Consider them as you think about why there is a real need for a chapter near every member. These are from the recommended bylaws.
- To encourage and facilitate others to become members of CFC as well as explain its benefits.
- Provide a way for Christian campers to be encouraged to gather for Christian fellowship at local, national, and international levels and events.
- Provide a way for recognizing Christian campers while traveling or camping, making it possible for fellowship, prayer, and aid in times of need.
- Encourage members to witness to others, especially while camping, regarding the Bible and the salvation offered to all by Jesus Christ.
- Encourage members to provide chaplain-type services, as appropriate, when witnessing or when requested to do so. This is especially necessary for those who may be seeking salvation or have nominal or no church affiliation.
- Encourage members who camp in public or privately owned campgrounds, to seek permission from management at such campgrounds to provide a teaching or preaching service, or at least, a Bible Study where these are not normally available.
- Seek to establish new chapters and/or assist existing local camping organizations within the various US states and Canadian provinces to achieve their goals when such goals are consistent, or become consistent, with those of Campers for Christ Ministries.