HOW WE STARTED
The idea of having a children/youth camp in Costa Rica began on 2004.
God put on the heart of Kenneth Bledsoe, now President of The Brittney Strom Foundation (a Nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization), that a camp was needed. During this time, Kenneth and his wife, Dayna, and their children, Hunter and Holli, were living in Costa Rica studying at The Spanish Language Institute. Kenneth always observed the youth in the streets when school was not in session.
After returning to live in the United States, Kenneth and Dayna felt God calling them to lead teams back to Costa Rica especially to work with El Lugar, their Costa Rican home church. In February 2004, the Bledsoe’s led their first group of 6 people, mainly pastors and key leaders of local area Baptist churches. The purpose being to stir in their hearts a love and an eagerness to share the love of Christ in Costa Rica. God was at work! In June 2004 a second team of 26 set out. Among this group were many pre-teens and teenagers from Saluda and Ninety Six, South Carolina. This group worked hard in two extremely poor, crime-impoverished areas known as Los Guido and Tejarcillos. Daily they walked, prayed, and worked among the shacks and shambles of these peoples’ lives. Hearts were changing, not only those of the Costa Ricans but of the Americans as well. God put a love in their hearts for the Costa Rican people and a desire to see them have eternal security. Kenneth shared with this group about the dream of building a camp so these children could have a place to go to study and learn more about God’s word away from their terrible living conditions. Still it was just a dream!
In preparing for the trip for June 2005, the teenagers from Ninety Six wrote letters expressing their reasons for wanting to go and/or return to Costa Rica. The first to turn hers in was Brittney Strom. Brittney was only 14 when she had made what would be her only mission trip to Costa Rica. On that June 2004 trip, God had called her to be a missionary to the Costa Rican people. Her heart was truly broken for the children there.
On January 7, 2005, Brittney’s life ended tragically in a plane crash with her father James, her mother Robin, and her brother Bradley. However, Brittney’s call lives on. The Brittney Strom Foundation, a Nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization, was established in her memory with the purpose of constructing and maintaining a youth camp in Costa Rica.
On September 21, 2006 the property known as Camp Brittney was paid for in full, $180,000.00. The payoff of this property was truly a miracle of God and a confirmation from Him that Brittney’s mission will continue!