Some of my greatest memories have been made at church camp! This week, I am at Mid-South Youth Camp in Henderson, TN. Being here has reminded me of several reasons I believe kids need to be going to camp.
1. Build Relationships – Young people will have friends. The question is, will they be Christian friends? 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” Take it from someone who has ministered to young people for over a decade, one of the greatest ways to lose a great Christian kid is to allow them to develop deep friendships with those in the world. Instead, send your kids somewhere where they can build healthy Christian friendships.
2. Technology Fasting – We all need a break from technology; especially television and video games. I hardly ever hear young people complain of missing television while at camp. In fact, most young people at the end of the camp session say how little they miss all their gadgets. This time-out from technology helps teach kids they don’t need any of that stuff; they can survive without it. It teaches them that life is actually more fun without being in front of a screen all day. And most importantly, they have a MUCH easier time focusing on spiritual things when they are not distracted by texting their friends, killing digital zombies, and watching their favorite show.
3. Bible Time – Most importantly, kids have the opportunity to saturate their minds and their hearts with God’s word. Most young people come back from camp on a “spiritual high” because they have tasted the greatness of God and His word. Spending hours every day studying God’s word, hearing Bible lessons, and singing praises to God will do that to you! Unfortunately, this high is short-lived because their homes are a very different, and far less spiritual, environment.
4. Nature – As a bonus, let me say that spending time in God’s creation is one of my favorite parts of camp. To me, there is nothing like being in the woods, listening to the birds and the bugs in the trees, and breathing the fresh air. Of course, some camps are on the campuses of universities, or in other urban settings, and the campers don’t benefit from this aspect of church camp. Although it isn’t necessary to spend a week out in nature, I think it helps us all better appreciate the Creator!
I want to say that Christian camp isn’t just for kids. Adults need times like this too. In fact, parents need to make their homes much like church camp. You can make your home a place where your kids can hang out with Christian friends, be free from technological distractions, spend time studying the Bible, singing praises to God, and even enjoying nature. Why not, make your home a place where your kids can be spiritually charged up all year long?
I love you and God loves you,
P.S. What are your thoughts or memories of church camp? Feel free to share in the comments section below.