The scripture Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Through this verse we are able to find our more positive feelings and link them directly with God to allow Him to truly fill us up with His love. Our theme of this summer, “Overflow,” is about someone being so overcome with joy and love that it is shared to everyone around them, which goes back to Romans 15:13. A lot of the campers these past weeks are showing that every day, and this overflowing love is especially given through our very own host, Amy Grant.
Amy Grant leads worship in the morning for the staff and the campers, guiding us all to sing and dance to songs like “Joy!,” “Where Do I Go?,” and “Lean On Me,” to name a few. She says that her favorite thing about Barefoot Republic Camp is the connection we all have together, and how we grow more and more throughout the week. Eye contact is a huge thing that Amy has noticed. The kids look up at her on the stage more often as they grow more confident and unafraid to be who they truly are. Bringing so many kids together from different backgrounds and cultures is the most amazing thing to see, and that is what keeps her wanting Barefoot back year after year.
Years ago, Amy had a revolutionary dream of kids running through her land laughing and having fun. She said, “I first wanted to host Barefoot because I had a dream that the farm I had owned for twenty years was meant for more than just me.” Her dream was then reassured by what can only be described as an act of God. Her father, who had advanced dementia which did not allow him to speak very clearly, had told Amy that it was all going to happen. In-between the more muddled sentences of his, he told her that there would be a great celebration. Amy was awestruck, as she had not heard her father speak coherently in a very long time. Naturally, his words had an immediate impact, baffling Amy. With the help of God, she became ready to move forward with her vision for her farm. God truly had his hands surrounding her and everyone else involved in the making of Barefoot at the Farm!
About two days after her dad spoke to her, she met with our Executive Director and Founder, Tommy Rhodes, and they both talked about their visions for the future of Day Camp. Two weeks in the summer would soon be at Amy Grant’s Farm in Franklin, Tenn. Plans evolved and their hearts were overflowing with joy! Fast forward to seven years later, we are still going strong at The Farm and we have more campers than ever before.
These past two weeks, we have had around 450 boys and girls from all different cultures and backgrounds spend a week at Amy’s farm. We have all come together, certainly had lots of fun, and learned about God’s never-ending, overflowing love.
It was a hot two weeks at The Farm, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. There were so many water activities and popsicles to keep us cool during the hotter days. Some of the specialties the third through sixth graders got to do include: Horseback Riding, Archery, Vocal Performance, Football, Songwriting, and Mountain Biking. A few of the Outdoor Adventures our campers participated in were: Tree Climbing, Hammock Hike, The Changing Tree, and Joy of the Ocean.
This year Amy stepped away from full-time Archery so she could see the rest of camp going on and overflow love into children all across her property. She ended up going to almost every activity, including both Specialties and Outdoor Adventures. Amy had expressed her deep gratitude for being able to watch all of the kids thrive in their activities and being able to help out in any way she could. From Walking Sticks to Music Production, she has been everywhere pouring into every camper she could meet. She even had the opportunity to be in Film Production’s short film this last week which was about Amy accidentally missing her concert!
Barefoot’s staff, volunteers, and campers are all so incredibly blessed by Amy’s gift of the use of her farm. We have been able to do so many things we couldn’t even imagine without the space and creativity. Every year, these two weeks are the kick-start to the rest of an action-packed summer, and our time at The Farm gives us inspiration and preparation for the coming Day Camp weeks.
Make sure to check out our Day Camp Pictures on SmugMug and our weekly recap videos from the past two weeks at Amy's Farm!