Philosophy

At Camp DeSoto, we want girls to taste the abundance of a life lived with God. We want them to delight in God’s creation - their bodies, minds, and hearts; the beauty of the world we live in; the joy of friendships and belonging to a community.

At Camp DeSoto, we seek to build an experience for campers that offers exciting outdoor adventures, simple childhood joys, and opportunities to grow in a safe and loving Christian community.

Outdoor Adventure

At Camp DeSoto we want girls to live closely with nature, discovering all that it has to teach us and the fun of a summer spent outside. We wake to the sound of bird song and early morning dew shining on the grass, and we end our days as night falls and the crickets begin to sing. It is good for girls to be in the woods, following nature’s rhythms and enjoying her gifts — from the refreshing chill of Little River to the beauty of wildflowers.

We are also are inviting girls on a great adventure! Living in cabins on top of a mountain and trying new activities; sleeping next to brand new people and becoming fast friends; joining a tribe and competing for the cup; reading the Bible daily and discovering the story of God’s love for his people – a month at Camp DeSoto is full of opportunities for girls to be curious and brave. Whether they are rafting whitewater or forgiving a friend, we want the Camp DeSoto experience to be one that teaches girls how much they are capable of and encourages them to bravely step into new challenges.

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Childhood Simplicity

We believe in childhood. Whether she is eight years old or a freshman in high school, every Camp DeSoto camper is still a little girl, and we want to give her the gift of simple, wholesome fun. From the music we listen to and the skits we perform to the craft projects girls create and the ways we celebrate, we want Camp DeSoto girls to taste the freedom of living simply and the thrill of using their imaginations.

Camp offers a wonderful sense of removal from the things we are used to and allows girls the chance to embrace face-to-face relationships, made-up games with friends, homemade costumes, and their own voices blending in harmony. Camp DeSoto girls delight in simple joys, like catching fireflies at dusk, line-dancing at assembly, learning to throw a Frisbee, or mailing a letter home on paper they’ve made themselves.

A Community of Girls

At Camp DeSoto, we love that girls can be themselves – silly, shy, loud, athletic, dramatic, introspective, awkward, graceful, curious, confused, trusting, straightforward, funny, or weird.

We love that they are leaders and athletes and beauty-makers, free to share their gifts and free to build strong and supportive friendships with other girls. We also love that Camp is a community led by women – mentors just a few years older who balance confidence with humility, strength with gentleness, and ability with deep faith in God.

As DeSoto girls live together in community, we hope they will learn the joy of sharing life with other people and the value of living for the good of the group and not just for themselves. We hope Camp teaches them that communities require sacrifice and communities foster grace; that living for others may be challenging, but it’s the only way to love.

“I wanted to express my sincere thanks for all you did to make my daughter’s first summer at DeSoto so amazing. As a former camper and counselor, DeSoto holds such a special place in my heart, and to have my child love it like I do is an amazing feeling. She has returned home my same sweet girl, but there is a quiet confidence and independence that was not there a month ago. I can see little glimmers of the person she is becoming, and I am so happy that DeSoto will help shape that person for years to come. DeSoto is even better than I remember, but still the same, safe, wonderful place!”

Former camper, Mother of two Desoto campers

Growing in God’s Love

At Camp DeSoto, we want girls to grow and deepen, discovering what God’s love means in their lives and in the world. We want girls to ask questions and explore and wonder. We hope they will listen for God’s voice in their lives and learn from the experiences Camp gives them. As they settle more fully into the deep love of their Creator, we pray that girls will grow deeper and stronger and more fully themselves.

We pray that Camp DeSoto is a safe place for girls to find themselves

To find that they are unique.

To find that they are strong.

To find that they are part of something bigger than themselves.

To find that they are more than accepted by God. They are deeply loved by Him.

We want each girl to know above all that she belongs to God, and that He loves her. As girls are strengthened by God’s love, we want them to follow Him into places and spaces where their gifts are needed. We want girls to experience deep acceptance and safety from which they can step boldly into the world to share themselves with others and further God’s kingdom.

Our prayer is for girls to recognize the Christ that dwells within, and to let their whole lives reflect God and his love to to the people around them.

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