Summer camp can be one of the best experiences of a child’s life! It’s a much-needed break from the school year where adventure, creativity, laughter and good times are the priority. I still remember those sticky nights, sleeping under the stars in a wobbly tent in the woods. Crickets sung melodies in my ears, and thoughts of horseback riding and too much candy flooded my mind as I drifted off to sleep. Away from home for a week, I was pushed outside of my comfort zone. I was definitely a shy kid, and it forced me to make new friends and find my comfort in God. It was still those early, pivotal years of learning about what it meant to walk with God and have a relationship with Him.
You may not be ready to send your child away for a week but whether you choose an overnight camp or a day camp, Christ-centered Summer camp is invaluable for children.
8 Reasons to Send Your Kids to a Christ-Centered Summer Camp
It introduces the child to mentoring relationships.
Your child may not be the fastest swimmer, or the next American Idol in a singing competition, but chances are that a good camp counselor is going to help your child find something they can be proud of. There is an intense vulnerability that comes with being away from home on a new adventure. When a child is put in this type of safe and challenging environment, it can change their life forever! A godly mentor that will instill Christian values in your child’s heart is amazing to hear about after camp is over.
It teaches them to value what they have at home.
Living without parents for a week (and even daily) can teach a child to appreciate what they have. Living out of a suitcase, sharing a shower with a bunch of strangers, and learning the value of selflessness can speak volumes to a growing child. For the most part, children are selfish by nature. Getting them away from their comfortable homes will teach them to appreciate and be thankful for what they do have.
It forces them to rely on God.
You can only learn so much from your parents and one day it just “clicks” and you must make your relationship with God personal. My famous saying to my parents growing up was, you just don’t understand!
If only I knew what I know now. They most certainly did understand! They had walked in my shoes and were looking out for my wellbeing (physical, emotional, and spiritual).
Camp is a perfect place for your child to get alone with God and hear from Him in a very intimate way.
It is a safe place for growth and independence.
At camp, a child can learn a lot through making their own decisions. In a safe and structured environment, they learn valuable lessons about ways to spend their own money, quiet time alone in the wilderness and the wisdom of counselors and staff to guide them in these areas. Campers can take risks that they most likely would not take back at home, given the chance. The environment enables kids to rely on their peers and quickly overcome their need for constantly relying on their parents.
It helps reinforce teamwork and kindness.
With guided mentors and counselors, children away at camp can learn valuable lessons about teamwork and kindness. Camp teaches children to work as a team and step up and be a leader. Rooming with a bunch of strangers forces them to be friends with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Without the stress of school and organized sports, kids learn how to work together in a stress-free environment.
It creates lifelong friendships.
Lifelong friendships are made at summer camp. Tearful goodbyes after a week of togetherness says it all! Exchanging of addresses and becoming pen pals proves to be true repeatedly.
It’s a safe place to challenge themselves.
What better place to try new things and challenge yourself than at camp! Without the security of a parent, a child may be more apt to accept that challenge to climb a rock wall. Perhaps they would have never had the opportunity to go horseback riding, or go tubing in a lake otherwise?
It allows them a week of tech-free living.
No television, gaming systems, phones, or social media! Just the good old great outdoors, a lot of physical activity and probably the best week of sleep they’ll get because they are so exhausted. According to several studies, being close to nature and away from technology can boost a child’s attention span. Creative play outdoors for an extended period might be just what your child is secretly craving. We are a technology-driven society who are raising children to be so. There is so much freedom and joy experiencing God’s vast creation.
With fun, high-energy activities, new friends, trusted counselors and vital faith experiences, a good summer camp will keep young ones coming back for more.
Do you send your children to summer camp? If so, what things do you look for in a camp?