What happens during a Freedom Camp?

In April, supporters like you gave money to Freedom 4/24 in order for us to fully fund a Freedom Camp for girls rescued from sexual slavery in India. Put on by Freedom Firm, our partner on the ground, the camp is a life-changing experience for the girls and the staff who works with them as they face fears and break through boundaries. Freedom 4/24 sent a team of seven women to work the camp. The impact on our team was profound and lingers still. The girls captured our hearts from Day One. We miss them every day. Here is a look at what happens at the camp, written by Freedom Firm. 
 FF logo

"Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain." Mark Twain

After nine years of wilderness camps in the mountains near Ooty, Tamil Nadu India, government changes to forest access meant Freedom Firm held camps in the city of Bangalore for the first time. Bumped out of our comfort zone and forced to embrace the concrete jungle, it's no surprise that we were stretched and flexed in a myriad of new ways. What did we learn? God shows up regardless of the setting and performs miracles greater than we could ever imagine in the hearts and lives of all who attend. Join us as we walk through a week at camp!

Day One

Gathering together over thousands of miles.
Getting to know each other despite different languages.


Day One: 41 people gather from across the world, 8 from America, 25 rescued girls from all over India and 8 staff from Freedom Firm and various anti-trafficking organizations in India.  This year we all converged in Bangalore, for our 16th and 17th Freedom Camps hosted by Freedom Firm.

This is a day of orientation, both for staff and girls, and icebreaker games to help break down barriers.  With 3 to 4 languages represented, basic communication is a challenge! Our American friends learn to communicate through Freedom Firm staff, who provide interpretation.  Since there are thousands of messages throughout each day, it's a good thing that 93% of communication is non-verbal! The message we are trying to send?  That we love the girls, that each is precious beyond compare, and that there is a hope and a future for each one.

Day Two

Travel isn't wasted time, it's a great chance to dance!
Warming up with a minnows pedicure.
Color group team huddle - making activity choices for the day.
Taking aim, this girl tries archery for the first time.


Day Two: Warming Up! We go out to the town for a time of pure fun, lots of activities and low pressure as we get to know each other in a relaxed setting.

Day Three

How long do germs take to destroy? - The first lesson of the camp is hygiene.


Day Three: We get into the meat of the camp. The US team teaches daily workshops on subjects like hygiene, mental health, identity, worth, and friendship through a variety of hands-on activities, story books, drama, and demonstrations. We also start the low ropes course that stretch and challenge each girl to trust the ropes and the other participants. If fear has a scale of one to ten, the low ropes focus on factors 1-3. This is a day of preparation for greater challenges the next day. Each day of camp is filled with Jazzercise, fabulous crafts, games and a “campfire” time at the end of the day.

Day Four

The high ropes challenge, 35 feet in the air.
Zipping down to the finish line. Success!


Day Four: The high ropes course is the exhilarating, difficult challenge of the day.  35 feet high, with several ropes to traverse before zip lining down to the ground, this activity takes 4 hours in the hot sun as each of the 41 participants, girls and staff complete each part of the challenge.  For many, the fear this challenge represents is off the charts and is extremely hard to overcome.  Everyone in the group waits below, cheering each person on to success. It's a day of shaking limbs, tears and exuberant shouts and laughter as each person zip lines “home”. It's a day of overcoming fears.  In the evening, everyone debriefs after dinner in small groups. Leaders of the groups help girls to apply their learnings of the day to real examples in each person's life.  The ropes, the cheering group of supporters, the harness, all translate into analogies for real life.

Day Five

Craft times, quiet moments for creativity.
A gift of henna (mehndi) design for our American friends as the camp winds down and we say goodbye.
Crawling on our hands and knees, we help each other through the tunnel and into the light and fresh air.
Trust earned, friendship cemented.


Day Five: Girls and staff continue learning through the teaching times sprinkled throughout the day. The tunnel challenge hits the fear button for some, as girls are paired up and asked to crawl through a 50-meter tunnel on their hands and knees in the absolute dark.  While there are emergency exits, they are encouraged to rely on their partners to find the way out and crawl out into the light.  The imagery is stunning and profound.  For some, this activity is the greatest and most difficult of the entire camp.We are nearing the end, and everyone is exhausted from a long and exciting week. We go out for dinner at a great restaurant, give gifts, share some closing thoughts, and say our thank-yous and our goodbyes. It's sad to go, but all of our lives are somehow changed and redefined, and we see each other and ourselves in a new way.  We have grown, we have overcome fears.  We move forward with our heads held a little higher and the light of hope in our eyes.