Brian Baker, a Word of Life area missionary in North Carolina, posted a good blog over at his blog www.wolcarolina.wordpress.com. Brian and another North Carolina area missionary runs this blog. I was reading through a few of their posts and ran over one called “What Happened to Camp?” by Brian Baker and though I would re-post it on my blog so more people might come across it and read it. Brian points out some key reasons why summer camps are not as popular in our churches as they once was and he also points out why they are a good thing to keep up and take your students to every summer! Again, this is written by Brian Baker and I take no credit for it! Enjoy!
There is a growing trend in youth ministry over the last several years that I don’t particularly care for; fewer and fewer churches are taking their students to summer camp. Why is that? I think there are a variety of reasons. Here are a couple:
- We think this generation of students doesn’t think camp is cool. I am the first to admit that cool passed me by several years ago, but I do my best to stay in touch with youth culture and that simply isn’t true. Students of all ages love camp! Some of them have either never been, or never been to a good one.
- Mission trips have taken camps place. Before you tie me up and beat me over this one, let me explain. Do I think mission trips are vitally important? Absolutely! But think with me for a minute. What percentage of your students are going on your mission trips? 50% would be a high number. What are the rest of your students doing? Nothing! They are staying at home playing video games. Most of your mission trip students are majority Sr. High. What about your Middle School students? Give them a chance to go to camp.
Why camp? I thought you would never ask. I am going to use Word of Life Camp as an example (Word of Life is not the only camp out there, just the best!);
- Relevant Bible Teaching – Twice a day your students will hear the Bible taught in a way that is real, exciting and relevant to their lives. They will talk about issues that need to be handled with today’s students and they will do it Biblically.
- Clear Gospel Message with an invitation – Everyone of your students will hear the Gospel and be confronted with a decision.
- Great Counselors – It is amazing how your students will open up with their counselors (who happen to be Bible College students) and share their struggles with them.
- Campfire dedications – I was 17 years old, on Word of Life Island, at a campfire service when the Lord moved in my heart in such a way that my life has never been the same since. Each summer there are thousands of students and children that rededicate their lives to serve the Lord at the campfire service.
- Awesome activities – Your students will not get bored. There is constant activity and best of all, you don’t have to organize it.
- Jump-start your ministry – Camp will give your ministry the boost it needs to start the next year off with a bang.