Stronghold Camp

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,

who trains my hands for war,

My fingers for battle.

He is my loving God and my fortress,

My stronghold and my deliverer,

my shield in whom I take refuge,

who subdues peoples under me.

Psalm 144:1-2

August 3 – 8, 2020

Stronghold Camp

Stronghold is a safe, outdoor foam sword fighting game with rules and expected conduct. Stronghold’s primary code is: safety first, then play-ability and realism. It’s based on traditional boffer fighting rules, but is designed for youth and encourages Christian spiritual development.

Stronghold is a co-ed game for boys and girls, from 5th-12th grades. Be prepared to train with your unit, do drills to gain muscle memory and embark on epic battles.

At this camp you will also be challenged to grow spiritually. Small groups will meet with a speaker to discuss and analyze your walk with God, how can you apply scripture, what does Christ want you to do with your life.

Come for an exciting week filled with:

  • Sword Fighting team battles
  • Themed Adventures
  • Archery Training
  • Shield Training
  • Singing around the campfire
  • Devotions and Prayer
  • Medieval Feast

Camp Staff

Stephen Ippolito

Stephen Ippolito (Aka: Sir Estivan) created the club/game Stronghold in the year 2009. God called him to use the club as an afterschool ministry that teaches youth about the game of foam sword fighting and challenges them to serve the one true King: Jesus Christ.

With the Lord’s blessing the ministry has grown to summer camps and overnight camps. Stephen Ippolito became a full-time missionary this past summer and now serves with an international organization called Push the Rock where he hopes to spread the joy and gifts of the Stronghold programs to Pennsylvania and beyond.

Christopher Kennedy

Christopher Kennedy “Aka: Corvus” Brother to Qwon. Also studied fencing for 6+ years. He also has been studying sword and shield, great sword, and spear combat for over 10 years and made his own full set of Chainmail when he was 14 and continues to practice those skills. He has a background in Kung-Fu and is part of the most successful Dagorhir team for the past 4 years.

He is a Jack of all trades, who is finishing up his last semester in a 4 year Biblical studies program having already received a Associates in Culinary Arts and his NREMT having served for 6 years in the army as a Medic. He loves training new students and helping them to achieve things they would never have believed they could do before.

Joshua Kennedy

Joshua Kennedy AKA “Sir Qwon” Brother to Corvus. He has been studying classical fencing for 13 years. He also has been studying sword and shield, great sword, and spear combat for over 10 years. He has a background in Kung-Fu and is part of the most successful Dagorhir team for the past 4 years. And is excited to pass on the knowledge that he has learned over the years to the next generation of fighters and the sport of Stronghold.

Register for Stronghold Camp

A $40 deposit is required to register for the event. Or you may also pay the entire registration fee online. If you pay only the deposit, the remainder of the conference registration fee is due upon arrival at the conference.

The deposit may be refundable. The deposit is used to purchase items ahead of time. If you cancel and we are able to fill your spot with another camper on our wait list, then your deposit will be refunded. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we try to serve all for Christ’s glory.

Campers are to arrive on Monday, August 3rd, at 1:00 pm and should be picked up on Saturday, Aug 8th at 11:00 am.

Online Registration Form

Machen Retreat and Conference Center


PO Box 91
McDowell, Virginia 24458


6 Job’s Hill Rd
McDowell, VA 24458


Retreat: 540-396-3650
Information: 703.477.5670

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2