As I was checking my Facebook news feed today, I saw all these posts about people sending their kids off to camp. Ah, summer camp! Every kid should attend at least one in their life.
Yes, camp is fun! You get to play all sorts of silly games, swim, sneak and stay up late, relax, get sun burned, eat icky food and complain about it, play pranks, and meet people from other churches. And yes those things are awesome experiences.
But oh, the spiritual aspects! There is something about being away from it all, being in a service with nothing but kids. I don’t know why, but God is able to show you thing about yourself there that we can’t seem to learn anywhere else.
For me, my first camp was when I was 9 or 10 years old. I was not going to go. Our pastor stopped by to visit (back then pastors visited congregants houses on Saturday afternoons) and asked my parents if I was going to camp and they made a last minute decision to allow me to attend. And I am glad they did, because at that camp I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life!!!!
I went to many camps through the years as a tween and teen but the other major life lesson I learned happened as an adult. I was a chaperone and God gave me a glimpse of what He had in store for my life. God told me some things about a girl in our youth group that were spot on that no one knew. The evangelist leading the camp laid hands on me and told me to go and pray for kids in the opposite direction he was praying, and God showed me His power in ways I had never experienced before.
So when it was time for the kids to go to camp, we wholeheartedly sent them. Jana was blessed every time she went but camp had the greatest impact on Jeremy. Jeremy went through some spiritual struggles as a young teen. But God came through in a big way one year at camp and he rededicated his life. God also dropped the desire to play guitar in Jeremy’s heart at camp. And as a matter of fact, Jeremy will be playing guitar at four different summer camps this month.
So do not underestimate your child’s time at camp. It’s a great experience socially, but most importantly it can be a life changer spiritually.
How did church camp change your life or the lives of your kids? I would love to hear your story.