CAMP HOPE LATVIA 2020 INFO & FAQ’S

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What are the dates?

The dates for Camp Hope Latvia 2020 are June 26th - July 11th.

Where is camp located?

Camp Hope has partnered with an AMAZING family run camp, Silmači.  Silmači is about 20 minutes from Smiltene, located in northeast Latvia about 132km from Riga.

How old do you have to be to be a part of the Camp Hope team?

Camp Hope started as a way for families to do mission trips together. Our youngest team member has been 8 and our oldest 72 (but don’t let that limit you)!

How many people go on the trip?

We will take 35 team members from the USA, and we will complete our staff team in Latvia with an equal number of Latvians.

What roles are there at camp?

In Latvia, the main role on our team is a “Group Leader”. A Group Leader partners with other American Group Leaders and Latvian Group Leader to lead a group of 6-10 Latvian youth/kids in discussions, games, activities, and more. We also have band members, camp photographer, videographer, camp nurse, operations & logistics team, activity coordinator, craft coordinator, a speaker, and camp mom & dads.

How much does it cost to be a part of the team?

The cost of Camp Hope Latvia 2020 is $2,375. This includes airfare, accommodations, insurance, luggage fees, meals, ground transportation, and camp fees. Some meals (Camp Hope covers 2 dinners, and breakfast is included with our accommodations) and activities in Riga after camp are not included in this price.

Who leads the trips?

Mike Leber will lead the trip as Camp Director, and will be assisted by our Founder & CEO, Amy Foley.

Do I need vaccinations?

We do require every team member to fill out a health form. Even though we don’t expect it, we want to always be prepared to offer you the best care if you need medical assistance or experience a medical emergencies. As far as vaccines, the CDC recommends your routine vaccinations and Hepatitis A.   

Where will we go?

We will fly into Riga, the capital city of Latvia and take a two-hour bus ride to our campsite, Silmači. At the end of camp we will debrief, celebrate our 16th year in Latvia, and spend a couple of days in Riga.

What will we be doing?

You’re at camp! Your “job” is to be involved with your campers - making crafts, swimming in the cold lake, playing gaga ball, participating in “big games” and “night games”, discussing the messages, singing, dancing, and being silly - we’re in the relationship building business. At Camp Hope we call participating and interacting with your campers at all times and in all circumstances being “All In”.  As we intentionally invest time, we get the great privilege of becoming friends, and then the added benefit of loving and encouraging them. You will also help the campers follow our 3 main rules:

  • No hurts

  • Stick together

  • Have fun.  

What do I need to pack?

The weather in Latvia varies day to day and hour to hour. Plan for sunny and warm (shirts and a t-shirt) one day and rainy and cold (jeans, sweatshirt, rain jacket) the next. Pack a pair of old tennis shoes (for running around with your campers) and a bathing suit for jumping in the lake (even when its cold and rainy). There will be a more detailed list provided in the team meetings.

When do I get to meet the team I’m traveling with?

Before we leave for camp we have several required team meetings for information, planning, and team-building.  We prefer to have the team meet in person, but that’s not always possible. Web access for meetings is available. All meetings take place on Sundays from 5:30-7:30pm at the Camp Hope office - 8400 Meadowbridge Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23116 (please be aware that meeting times and dates are subject to change).

IMPORTANT dates & deadlines:

  • October 1st 2019 - Staff Applications go live for Latvia 2020

  • January 19 - Team Meeting #1

  • March 1st - Team Meeting #2

  • April 19th - Team Meeting #3 - airfare portion of the trip due ($1775)

  • May 31 - Team Meeting #4 final payment due ($600)

  • June 26 - Depart as a team at 12 noon, for Dulles International Airport for our 6:10pm departure

What does a day at camp look like?

A day in Latvia starts with our team meeting which includes logistics, announcements, and devotions, before the kids get up.  Following our meeting the day kicks into high gear. We eat breakfast all together before heading to out morning worship meeting. This is followed by discussion time and then sports tournaments or free recreation time. After lunch, groups rotate through crafts, swimming, and dance/music. We have our big game in the afternoon which might include relays, capture the flag, or “Water Day”. We have another big meeting for worship followed by discussion time. In Latvia, the campers invite a special guest over to their cabin for “Tea Time” before getting ready for bed. Once your cabin is asleep you have the option to pass out, hang with the team, have a snack, play a game, or enjoy late night worship.