Passport empowers young Christian leaders for today and tomorrow. The Passport experience asks Christian young people to see a world where commitment to Christ and commitment to others go hand in hand. By allowing a safe space to honestly examine their faith and then challenging our students to serve, Passport creates a crucial integration of Christian devotion and participation in the Kingdom of God. Two decades later we can see tangible results, young adults whose lives were transformed through Passport. Our former campers and staffers are now serving around the globe – being the hands and feet of Christ, in all kinds of vocations.
PASSPORT speaks with a specific theological voice that is Christ-centered and progressive – helping our students engage their faith with their hearts and their minds. Our voice speaks of inclusion of all people, respect and understanding of other faiths, and God’s call to ministry open to men and women. We help our students learn how to be good neighbors, seeking common ground and shared community – important in today’s polarized climate. The PASSPORT voice advocates for a healthy global perspective, helping students find their role in understanding and addressing global need. One of the special ways this comes to life each summer is at our children’s camp. CBF Missionary Ana Maria Podgaiskaya visited camp the summer we raised money for their Village of Hope in Kiev, Ukraine. “They took everything they knew about Ukraine and just started teaching it to the campers. But I think what affected me most was seeing how much hard work the staff put into really capturing the culture of Ukraine.”
This summer we hosted over 5,600 campers from almost 300 congregations around the United States in our camps. Since 1993 we have worked with over 6,300 student groups from 1,113 congregations and over 102,000 campers. To meet our 100,000th camper, Alfarouk Majid, click here. We have hosted Passport in 56 cities in 17 states and 6 countries. All told, our campers have put in 1,019,859 hours of community service, 928,870 hours of discipleship and given over $1.8 million to global causes. After 23 years we have a growing alumni group of over 600 young adults. More than 35% of these former staffers are now in or studying for ministry – half of which are women. We have over 60 youth and children’s ministers, 28 serving as senior pastors, 14 chaplains, and a dozen college ministers. We also have many who are now nonprofit executives, teachers and professors, lawyers, medical professionals and social service workers. Our former staffers are serving at all levels within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship – in the National staff, with state organizations, as CBF missionaries, executive staff at partner organizations, and local church staff.
Because Passport Matters we would invite you to consider financial support for Passport for the three years of our capital campaign. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1.5 million to secure the future for Passport. We have broken this goal into three parts: scholarship, mortgage payoff, and improvements and upgrades throughout our ministry. To help Passport meet our capital campaign goals, we have enlisted a Campaign Committee. Please take a look at this list of parents, staffers, young people and ministers who are working to help us raise this money. There are several naming opportunities within this campaign, including the Passport office, the camp scholarship fund, the creative suite, and the conference room.
1. Passport’s Scholarship Fund: Campaign Goal: $400,000.
This will be set up as a quasi-endowment and will produce income to support dozens of scholarships annually. We will spend down this principle as needed to ensure that every camper can attend.
2. Pay off the Mortgage: Campaign Goal: $480,000.
Passport owns property in Birmingham, the site of our national office. Our goal is to pay off the mortgage on this property, which would put almost $50,000 a year back into our ministry. There are needed expansions and improvements that are overdue and would set us up for the next decade and beyond.
3. Upgrades and Improvements: Campaign Goal: $620,000.
As we have worked to keep camp costs low and expenses in check, Passport is now overdue for much needed improvements throughout our ministry. We are investing in sound and lighting for our camp worship experiences. We will a complete IT overhaul including servers, computers for office and camp, tablets, etc. Literally every aspect of our work needs substantial upgrades to keep our ministry relevant to our constituency and to keep us on the playing field with denominationally funded competition. Passport is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry. Passport does not receive operating budget support from any denomination, including the CBF. Passport has operated solely on camper registration fees and individual gifts and foundation grants for specific programming.