Camp Lamp: Wednesday - A Mom's Vision Leaves Generational Impact

Naomi Kroneck, Member of Milwaukee West Hispanic Church

Camp Meeting June 19, 2024

This story was originally published on the Wakonda Blog:

Many of us have helped, in some capacity, with Club Ministries in our churches, whether Pathfinders or Adventures. We have seen the impact these ministries can have on our kids’ lives. Additionally, the positive impact is not just on children as individuals but also on the larger church and community. However, starting up a club is not as easy as it may seem: so much planning, praying, and hoping go into what it takes to start a club. It takes a strong person to start from scratch and take the endeavor head on. That is exactly what one mom did to help her daughters, and the children from her church. 

In May, 1997, Rosana M. Perez was attending the Hayes Hispanic Church in Milwaukee. As she observed what was going on in her church, she had the concern that there weren’t enough efforts to help her daughters on their spiritual journey. She started talking with her brother in Puerto Rico about Adventurers, and how he had started a club in his church. He was able to send her all the information that he had from the Inter-American Division. With her husband’s loving encouragement, she was able to push forward and start the club that would become the very first Adventurers Club in Wisconsin. 

First, she went to speak with Elder Dale Ziegele, the current conference Youth Director, about her vision for the club, and asked what she needed to do to start it. He was able to point her in the right direction. She didn’t speak much English, but she went forward with the plan, because she knew that God was leading her. After speaking with the conference, she spoke with her church board and they were on board with the idea. 

Together with Ivelisse Nuñez, Ever Gomez, and Jenny Gardana as teachers, they started the club. They started with about fifteen kids that first year, and five of those were visitors to the church. At this point they really had no idea what they were doing, but they knew that with the help of God, they would pull through. 

Speaking with one of the teachers that helped Rosana in the beginning, we are able to see what a beautiful struggle it was at first. Involving the church and the parents was hard at first because they had no idea what the club was. God was leading them with ideas on how to fundraise money for the different crafts and outings that they were doing.

They planned so many different activities to help the kids learn more about the world around them–from visiting the sick and elderly from their church to taking day trips to the Aquarium. They created different crafts–from a small fish to a life size paper doll–the ideas and outings seemed endless. Rosana did not stop moving but kept pushing forward with the club and was the director of the Adventurer Club in Hayes Hispanic Church for 15 years. Recently, the Hayes Hispanic Church purchased a new building and became the West Milwaukee Hispanic Church. Rosana was director for one more year after that, and even though she has stepped down, she is still involved–this time, as a teacher for her grandchildren. Her love for the club and what it stands for is what keeps her moving to be there for all the children, especially her grand kids.

One of the missions of the club is to prepare future leaders in our churches. Rosana and Ivelisse have now seen many of their students rise to many positions of leadership in the church: directors of Adventurers, Pathfinders, Master Guides, pastors, department heads, coordinators, and more. It is a true blessing and honor to witness a mom’s dream of helping her daughters turn into a legacy that has grown all over the state of Wisconsin.

Naomi Kroneck, Member of Milwaukee West Hispanic Church

Link to today’s Camp Lamp: