How to … see the benefits of sending your youth on camps
by Tirzah L Jones
During the summer months, there are loads and loads of opportunities to send your kids on summer camps, from the basic tent in a field to the slightly more civilised conference centres and a whole range in between.
Maybe you never went on camp yourself and so are wondering why bother? It costs money, what’s the big deal?
Over the years, I have taken many kids on summer camps (usually the basic type). So far, I have had a minibus leaving with young people full of emotions ranging from mega excitement to ‘will I actually persuade them onto the bus’; I have always returned with a minibus ready to book for next year.
In no particular order, here are a few reasons to consider sending your youth group on camp …
- Spiritual for the unconverted – A week of good solid Christian teaching can never go amiss and is often the time when young people make a deep and lasting commitment to Christ. It’s not a given, but it is a great opportunity for some real soul searching.
- Spiritual for the converted – Young people today attend school in a spiritually tough environment, with many battles on many fronts. A week of Christian camp is for many a haven and something they look forward to.
- Friendships – Sadly many young people are in small churches with very few their own age and this is a great opportunity for them to make some good Christian friends who they can form deep lasting relationships with. Friendships which in our technological age can be of huge benefit throughout the year. (Be warned … you may find this leads to you being asked to travel all over Britain to deliver your kids to visit their new friendship group!)
- Technology downtime – Living in a technologically advanced age has its advantage but equally camps are a great time for a bit of downtime and some variety, camps offering some great activities out and about
- Positive Role Models – It’s not unusual for the leaders of church youth groups to also be the parents of the young people. Camps offer the opportunity for them to hear
the same truths from someone else.
- A Wider Church View – Even as adults we can often become very insular in thinking. Camps help you see the wider church and fuel prayers and interest as well as encouragement from across the UK.
- Service – Often when they are too old to be campers, they will return as workers. They have seen the time and effort put in by others to serve and wish to reciprocate.
If you’re still unsure, find someone who has been on camp and ask them!