Hopefully it’s not too late!
“Camps make a huge difference in the lives of students.”
That’s what a Group Magazine survey of a thousand youth discovered. Students determined that the greatest change in their life happened through camps, retreats, trips, and extended times together. Here are 4 reasons why you should make every effort to get your students to camp.
1. Detox from Destructive Routines
Face it, students are spending between 6 – 9 hours a day in screen time. In the summer it’s even longer! We know that this isn’t healthy. We all know that we are what we consume —Garbage in/ Garbage out! Students take in all kinds of stuff and lots of it isn’t just kittens doing silly things!
Most camps either have no WiFi, have the students turn in their phones, or limit screen time. Unplugging from this online world is very healthy for a student’s mind. Over a week a student begins to enjoy the freedom of living life instead of observing it on a phone.
Another thing to consider is students home alone while parents are working. (I’ve written about this issue before.) Christian Camp provides a place for them to be with godly supervision.
2. Encounter God
When a student is free from distractions in a different environment, there’s a new openness to connect with God. Getting closer to nature helps some students recognize that they need a closer relationship with the Creator.
I’ve also found that in the campfire times, chapels, or cabin devotions, students get more teaching and more personalized messages than at church. They are also a lot more receptive to what they are hearing!
Students also have time to process. At camp they are consistently surrounded with Christian influence. I have seen many students afraid to return home to discouraging environments and negative friendship groups. Thinking about their life helps them to recognize the negative influences back at home.
It reminds me of Prison Fellowship International where they take inmates out for a week to experience the love of Christ and discipleship. Afterward they return to the prison to be a witness and to serve others. Camp can energize a student and motivate them to live for Christ in front of their peers.
3. Build Relationships with Counselors
Students also encounter God in close up relationship with camp counselors. Students often connect with their cabin leader or counselor. The bond can be very strong and the leader has the opportunity to connect with students during the year.
The impact that a young adult can have on a junior high or high school student leave a life time impression. For many camp kids it is their camp counselor who is their picture of what a Christian should be like.
4. Develop Christian Friendships
“There’s something special about camp friends!” Emily told me. “We share a connection that no one else understands.” Not every student has such an experience but many admit that there is a bonding that takes place when you live together in a cabin for a week.
Students who don’t attend camp don’t experience this same level of fellowship if they work all summer at a fast food restaurant. At camp, students share devotions and adventures together. They learn to pray for one another and respond together to the teaching.
And there’s much more!
This is just scratching the surface and doesn’t even touch all of the research. Of course camp won’t solve every student’s problems but it is an amazing addition to a student’s development!
We’d love to hear what you think of camp ministry.
Please leave a comment!
Ps if you want to read a great article about this at YouthPastor.com click here