In the era of summer mission trips to exotic places and high energy, huge conferences at the beach, is there still a place for summer camp? Has the whole summer camp-thing seen its day?
Here are 10 Quick Thoughts, on WHY YOU SHOULD STILL TAKE YOUR MIDDLE YEARS (5th-9th Grader) STUDENTS TO CAMP?
10. Freedom to Worship, Sing and Celebrate!- Nowhere else but at camp can you sing as loud and as wild as you want with all your heart…with Hand Motions!! (* middle years students still are willing to get into it)
9. Being Out in God’s Creation!- You want your students to get close to God the creator, take them somewhere they can hang out in what he has created for a while?
8. Interacting with New People and Making New Friends!- Only at camp can you really interact, bond, and make real friendships with people from other churches and places that will last a lifetime.
7. History, Tradition, and Legend.- Conferences and Mission Trips have just not made it there yet. When you go to camp you are walking on the “holy ground” of generations of people before you who gave their lives to change the church and the world because of the time they spent at that place.
6. Random Silliness and Campy Humor! We all need some good clean fun sometimes. Christianity and church have all got a bit too somber, serious, and stuffy. We were created with a sense of humor and the ability to laugh…Skit Night! Flag Pole Songs!! Singing for Seconds at Dinner Time!! Stupid Human Tricks for a Letter from Home!! Where else do you do that???
5. Camp Snack Shack/Bar/Stand/Shop… Think of it as a Crash Course in stewardship and money management! A tasty….tasty lesson in life skills!
4. Growing Up Time Away from Mom & Dad. This is HUGE in the life of 5th-9th graders. A week away from home and from parents maybe for the first time! Besides a couple of sleepovers at grandmas house, it is the first REAL time away and on your own! Sorry, it is “helicopter-free” fly-over air space moms and dads!
3. Eight to Ten Chapel Times inside of 5 days! For young people who between vacations, summer sports, summer activities, and just outright being part of families who are taking the summer off from the church and God...Call it Makeup!!?
2. Morning Quiet Times By The Lake/Pond/Creek/Other Body of Water! John 4:14?? Something spiritual and significant??
1. DISCIPLESHIP. Old-school and simple. Life on life, face to face… You and a student talking about life and God. Or one of your students finally coming out of their shell sitting talking to a counselor/small group leader over God’s word. The late-night questions and discussions, where students are too tired to put on the “church show” and finally admit their doubts, fears, and real-life stuff.