I believe in the platform known as Summer Camp. Personally, summer camp was one of those things that God used to really grow and stretch me in my faith in Christ during the most formative years of my life. I surrendered to God’s call on me into ministry at summer camp. I met some of my best friends in life at summer camp. I learned to really read my bible at summer camp. I was baptized as a result of being at summer camp. The list goes on and on. Here are a few reasons why I believe summer camp matters for the next generation and our Student Ministries:
- It’s an onramp: Too often we treat our approach to summer camp as a dead end of sorts. We build it up, hype it up, but we don’t use it as a means to the next step for our students. Camp has been one of the greatest springboards for us into the next season of life for our ministry and our students walk with Christ. Proper planning, execution, and diligent thought into camp should always lead you to the “next step” for every student. It can be baptism, small group connection, counseling, a meeting with parents, etc.. Don’t waste your camp by creating a dead end, create an onramp.
- Unplug: We have been really taking the call to provide our students an opportunity to unplug from the chaos of the day to day they have at home while they are with us at camp. That means we forfeit the immediate instagram photo of camp with the hashtags from the students, but we gain that time they would have spent on that and force them to interact with other kids (Imagine that!) This seriously has been one of the biggest blessings for our students at our camps. They learn to unplug and slow down which leads to deeper conversations with others, get rid of all the demands they have on them at their very fingertips each and every day and allows they to put themselves at the foot of the cross a bit easier. Your students don’t get to unplug at home, help provide that for them at camp.