Camp is More than a Four Letter Word
Directing a youth camp is a little like running a three-ring circus. There is always activity in one arena or another captivating your attention. You have the rapid movement of students from one event to the next and, like the circus, not all the animals cooperate. It requires a special type of person to be a camp director.
This week I spoke at the Christian Camp and Conference Association (Northeast Section) Conference held at The Lodge at Word of Life. It was exciting to spend three days with key leaders committed to reaching students through the camp ministry venue.
Having directed camps, I greatly respect leaders involved in camping ministry. They endure long days and short nights week after week. They are taxed physically, emotionally, and spiritually by the demands of working with students at this level of intensity. Additionally, they minister to the leaders who bring the students to their camps and conferences.
Camp directors who survive and thrive maintain a consistent daily relationship with Christ. They realize they can only replenish the constant drain on their lives by a refreshing time with Jesus in His Word. This is a priority, as they understand the “Why” of personal growth.
Beyond the priority of their personal walk, they also understand the value camping ministry plays in:
- Serving as an ignitor for life-change.
- Getting students away from the norm to gain a Biblical perspective.
- Separating students from negative peer pressure/worldview.
- Creating opportunities for intense godly influence.
- Focusing students’ lives on the Word of God for a block of time.
- Initiating platforms for discussion about real life issues.
- Addressing multiple issues and instituting life-principles.
- Establishing life-patterns for students to continue after camp.
- Mobilizing student accountability within the group.
Although, many of these things happen within the context of the local church, numerous local church leaders have told me for years how camp gives them a “jump-start” for their youth ministry.
Tell me about your experience with camp and your student ministry.
BTW . . . if the camp you are taking your youth to is not meeting these expectations, then it is time to find one that will. I address this in my post: 10 GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING A SUMMER CAMP