Patch the Pirate Attends Family Camp!

November 1, 2017

“Go Ye Into All the World” was the theme for IAA’s annual Family Camp this year. More than 950 people came to the campus in Big Sandy, TX, October 14–20 for an encouraging and relaxing week filled with enjoyable activities, Biblical messages, and blessed uplifting fellowship. Families came from as far as California, Washington state, Wisconsin, and Florida to participate in the Family Camp. With speakers from around the globe, this truly was an international event!

One special highlight of the week was having Patch the Pirate and part of his crew present one evening! Children and adults alike enjoyed singing along with some of Patch’s classic songs from years gone by, such as Wiggle WormJonah, and Gideon, as well as more recent compositions. Patch the Pirate (Ron Hamilton) and his wife Shelly shared about ways they have seen God’s hand in their lives. Particularly touching was Shelly’s speaking from her heart about how they, as a family, dealt with the death of their adult son several years ago. Other speakers during the week included Bill Federer who is author, speaker, and host of the American Minute radio broadcast; Mike Schadt, traveling missionary and president of SOS Ministries; and South African Keith Daniel, a member of the Africa Evangelistic Band. Dr. Lew Sterrett, a Family Camp favorite, was also present with his team, delighting and challenging the audience with his engaging messages from horseback.

Family Camp participants appreciated having wonderful weather throughout the week. Warm days allowed families to participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities which included archery, pellet rifles, rappelling, rock climbing, canoeing, horseback rides, airplane rides, volley ball tournaments, and more. Cool evenings made times around the campfire very inviting, providing the perfect setting for warm fellowship and engaging conversations. 

New at Family Camp this year was “Taste of Journey.” This “first-time-ever” event gave those who were interested an opportunity to spend time with the Lord and work through some of the Journey materials. Approximately 30 individuals participated in the five Taste of Journey sessions. The ones who did were encouraged by the materials and the time they spent with the Lord. 

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the International ALERT Academy offered Family Camp scholarships to those directly impacted by the storms. Several families accepted the special invitation and enjoyed a wonderful week of activities and fellowship in the midst of their hardships. One family whose home was completely destroyed by the natural disaster remarked with gratitude that coming to Family Camp was a great encouragement to them, and they were filled with a renewed sense of hope.

We hope you will make plans to join us next year and enjoy the sweet fellowship, exciting activities, and challenging messages of Family Camp— a Christ-centered vacation which delightfully offers something for everyone! Mark your calendars for October 13–19, 2018! For more information, see our website:

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