Summer camp aims to show that diversity and faith go hand-in-hand

Barefoot Republic, a Christian camp in southern Kentucky aims to bring kids and families together from different backgrounds, races and beliefs in hopes of fostering life-changing relationships.
7:00 | 10/27/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Summer camp aims to show that diversity and faith go hand-in-hand
Reporter: In southern Kentucky, heaven meets the hillside. Horseback riding, boating, but these are appetizers to the real entre, a radical experiment going on in these mounts almost 20 years. Very focused on diversity. Reporter: Place with audacious idea that racial reconciliation can happen at summer camp. Process is simple, bring kids and families together from different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, in hopes of fostering life-changing relationships. Tommy Rhodes is the founder. Being barefoot is a ure, all you can see is somebody's feet, don't know if they're a prince or pauper. Grew up in family, all black and didn't fit in. Didn't know how god was going to utilize the story. Applied to today. Reporter: Unabashedly Christian, trying to be what heaven will look like. Mission is christ-centered and up front about that, but also inviting others into it. Feel like whole idea of people of different backgrounds is what Jesus modeled for us. Reporter: Joined nine other families at barefoot, smaller version of the usual camp. Excited to come to barefoot. Reporter: Diversity is woven into their life. We live in neighborhood that's predominantly caucasian, when I look at my daughters, yearbook photo, see every other child is fully caucasian, I think wow, my daughter is missing out. I think there's something powerful about being taken out of your normal, coming together and meeting someone, hearing their stories. I have a lot of people come alongside me, say I'm excited about your mission, taught kids to be colorblind, I have pit in my stomach when I hear that. God created us to see color, created the color. For us to not see and acknowledge our differences, missing out on so much of creation. Opportunity at barefoot is not be colorblind but acknowledge how beautiful this world is that god has given us. Reporter: Thomas is barefoot's direct of community relations. Sees this as inflection point. George Floyd and Ahmad arbery, I believe everybody's eyes have been opened to see there is an issue, still a racial issue in this country. Reporter: Says for too long churches across America have shrunk away from issues of race. If we believe what bible said, believe who Jesus was, we should be the ones leading the charge when it comes to loving and tearing down the wall of racism. I feel like we aren't the ones, we follow in later. We have to wake up. When barefoot started in 2002, one of the biggest challenges was attracting campers affluent and white. There's a lot of fear associated with sending kids to place they're going to be in minority. It's turning the tables upside down a little bit. Great to get to know other families that focus on the same things I do. Reporter: Family coming for years. 14-year-old Moll camp regular, this moment in the country has been eye opening. Didn't recognize there was a problem until people started speaking out about it. Changed my perspective on what a lot of people go through that I don't see and understand because I have the privilege of not having to go through all that stuff. It's height our awareness. We could be more, better. It's more than accept you, I need you, need your perspective to make me better and vice-versa. For campers, teaches them people that may not look like them could be really good, life-long friends. Reporter: First came in 2006. You punch your chest as if you're talking about a relative. It's very dear to my heart. Reporter: She attended for six years. What I liked about barefoot, what I remember being a camper, you're not majority in the room. Reporter: She's carried experience into her career, works at juvenile hall in Orange county California with kids who are incarcerated. How did your experience influence the woman you have Barefoot prepared me to know there's a spectrum of trauma that people experience and normalcy that people experience, but there's opportunity to be with people and love them. If you show up consistently and are there for them, can change their Reporter: How relevant do you think barefoot camp is in current climate of America in midst of what many are calling racial reckoning. Being at barefoot, I have friends from different backgrounds and helps me understand how do I advocate for people who do not look like me, make a difference instead of talking about making a difference. Reporter: For the families here, the camp can be a model. Society where all faiths can feel at home. Think of a just society, think of design for humanity, design for life, heaven that many of us look forward to. I think it's going to look like barefoot, have at the same table black and brown white and really every color under the sun. Gathering around the table for love.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"7:00","description":"Barefoot Republic, a Christian camp in southern Kentucky aims to bring kids and families together from different backgrounds, races and beliefs in hopes of fostering life-changing relationships.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"73849557","title":"Summer camp aims to show that diversity and faith go hand-in-hand","url":"/Nightline/video/summer-camp-aims-show-diversity-faith-hand-hand-73849557"}