This Is Really Something

by Sylvia Dickson

Young men and women find a stable home, healthy atmosphere, loving guidance, quality academics, and wholesome activities at French Camp Academy.

Young men and women find a stable home, healthy atmosphere, loving guidance, quality academics, and wholesome activities at French Camp Academy.

Let me tell you a story that is really something, and is the heart of FCA’s mission: making a difference in lives–sometimes in small ways, and other times in huge ways. Read on to see how one life (out of many) is being changed by the love of Christ through French Camp Academy.

Jake* is ten years old and repeating the third grade. He knows his dad but can’t remember the last time he saw him. At home, he had to find food to eat, set his own bedtime, get himself off to school, and do his schoolwork on his own. He and his mom had been living without water and electricity for several months when concerned people intervened.

He had close to nothing when he arrived at FCA. What he had was dirty or beyond repair. His house parent went to Double Blessings Thrift Shop and was able to outfit him completely from donations people had made to FCA.

At the dining hall, he asked if he had to pay. When he learned he would have free food—even seconds—morning, noon, and night, he jumped up and down.

For the first time in his life, Jake is being a boy without worrying about having a roof over his head or food on the table.

Now, he has help with school work and is catching up. When he comes home he rides a bike or shoots hoops with the other boys. At night, he has lights to turn out and clean sheets on his own bed.

*Jake is not his real name

Beginning Mid-Life (Hand in Hand: Parenting the Second Time Around)

French Camp Academy is a wonderful place to grow!

Beginning Mid-Life

by Susan Donald

So who begins parenting again when they are middle aged?  Apparently more people than you may realize.  In this country there are 5.8 million children being raised by grandparents.  That’s more than double the entire population of Mississippi.  And nearly 3 million more are being raised by other family members besides grandparents or their biological parents.  Each one of these families has a back story, one that probably contains a lot of heartache and maybe some hope as well.  Continue reading

Hand in Hand: Parenting the Second Time Around

It’s Not So Weird

By Sylvia Dickson

FCA brings smiles to girls.

FCA brings smiles to girls.

What is the deal with so many grandparents now raising their grandchildren? Is this really so different from past generations? In some ways yes and some ways no.         

That is how I started my last blog and never quite finished answering the questions.

I grew up in a small Mississippi town with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all around. Most of our social events revolved around family, church and school, which meant all of them involved family.

This was life. It was just what we did. Other families were measured by my family, which was normal. Everyone else’s had quirks.

It was perfectly normal that my grandmother was raising her granddaughter. After all, her mother had died from cancer, and a girl needs a mother. Her father was a traveling salesman and needed help. And, family was there to give it.

I have no idea about the stress this may have caused, but it was normal for us. Our family pulled together. We supported one another and blended together. In a small town, in the 1950-60’s, with church, family, and community, my grandmother was able to be a parent the second time around.

But, what about those of you out there who do not have such a wonderful support system…those who do not feel normal either in the parenting role or the child role?

Parenting the first time around can be stressful, let alone doing it again. Many grandparents don’t have the same support my grandmother had and need a community that can lend a hand. French Camp Academy is a great community of Christians who walk hand in hand serving all types of families.

FCA wants to reach out to children and families that are struggling. We also want you to share your stories and encouragements for others. Send us your ideas and feedback.

After all, it’s not so weird to ________________ (you fill in the blank). There is hope and help. Others, including French Camp Academy, will walk with you through your difficulties.

Join us at

Building the House

By Sylvia Dickson

Dream House

What would your dream home be like? a cottage; a mansion; a log cabin? No matter what we dream of, it is in some way better than what we have.

From the beginning, God’s design was not only better, but perfect. His purpose now is to restore us to that original design.

Bless This House

God is the architect and builder and the foundation is Christ Jesus. For more than 125  years, FCA has experienced God’s blessing in building our house. His faithfulness is Starting out early learning to share.apparent in the godly staff he brings, and the families we help.

We take precious lives and shape them with God’s Word and trustworthy testimonies to His faithfulness. The success we have comes from God. I Corinthians3:10 reminds us of our role: By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.

Continue reading

Laying a Firm Foundation

Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.—James Dobson

Foundations come in several designs: conventional, slab, basement…footers are important also. If a building is going to be tall, then the footers must be deep. The materials used must be high quality and the workmanship professional if the structure is going to last. A good foundation is essential to a safe, secure, long-lasting dwelling.

Of course, these are all for physical structures that will house people, animals and things. But what about governments, institutions, and most importantly, lives? Solid foundations will stand the test of time for them, also. Christian values, respect, and godly character all undergird the most worthy parts of society and the most admirable lives.

 Founding French Camp

The dedicated Christians who founded French Camp Academy placed highest priority on spiritual growth and character development. They wisely affirmed the authority and reliability of the Bible as God’s Word. Their commitment, as ours is today, was to Christ, His kingdom and serving the young people He sends our way.

Continue reading

The Master Plan

By Sylvia Dickson

Building a house is not just about nailing together some boards, mortaring some brick, and voilá, you have a fabulous structure that will last for hundreds of years. You need a blueprint—a plan. The better your plan, the better your house.

When building lives, the story is the same. The better the plan, the better the outcome. God’s design for life is the best plan of all, and that is why we use it at French Camp Academy.

Our plan is the same one we’ve used for years. We tell the students about the love God has for His creation, including them. We show them God’s love through our lives. We teach them God’s Word so they can know God’s love in their own lives. Continue reading

A Place of Healing

We wanted to tell you how grateful French Camp Academy is for your faithful support and to explain how your generosity impacts hurting young people. But we think this young lady, a current student, expresses it better than we can.  Like you, she understands the impact French Camp Academy has had on her life. Continue reading