How to Start or Reactivate a Chapter

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. 

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 over 400,000 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 groups today. Groups like “Full-Time RVers” have over 10,812 members and “KOA Fans” have 15,199. There are groups for photographers, hikers, caravaners, and many others. Of course, there is a “Campers For Christ” group too, with 217 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  

Our assumption is there are NO active chapters close to you. If there is, we strongly encourage you to get involved with that chapter! 

To be a chapter you need to think about and act on few things.  

  1. You need some MEMBERS.  At least four are required to fill the chapter officer slots. There has to be some agreement on purpose and bylaws. So, go find some Christian campers, get them to be CFC members. If there are current members around you, bring them together and get started. Best of all may be to bring new members in with the old ones!
  2. You need a REASON or a PURPOSE for being a chapter. What is it about the chapter that will bring people together? There is a lot of room for diverse ideas about that. So, the question is, what reason does this chapter have for being? Is it campground evangelism?  Great, wonderful reason. Is it fun and fellowship in a camping atmosphere? That’s good! Is it so members can caravan around together? Ok! Is it to provide campground ministry? Perfect. Just get your members to agree on a purpose.
  3. You need a NAME for your chapter. The name can be whatever you want. It should reflect something important about the chapter. Seed Sowers Chapter reflects purpose. Sonshine Chapter reflects area and more. The Genesis Chapter was the first. Exodus Chapter reflects wilderness and pilgrimage. You get the idea.
  4. When you have a group of campers, a name, and a purpose they agree on, you are ready for the next step and that is to adopt chapter bylaws and elect officers. Writing bylaws is a fairly easy task. They can be really basic and there are samples available. The main thing is that they are basically in line with the CFC International ByLaws. The chapter bylaws will state the chapter’s name, purpose, and how it functions. Contact the CFC International Vice President for assistance.
  5. Once you have a written set of bylaws that your core group agrees on, invite the CFC Vice President (his responsibility is primarily chapter development) to come and help you adopt the bylaws and elect a new chapter president. The new chapter president then finishes that business meeting by electing the rest of the officers and any new business that needs to be done. The CFC Vice President or a designated alternate will advise and provide any guidance needed.
  6. Finally, you will need approval from the CFC international board of officers. To get that, you just submit a request letter with a copy of your bylaws and information about the officers. Upon approval, the International Vice President or designate may come and officially recognize your chapter as an official chapter of Campers For Christ Ministries.

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.

  • 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.