Our world has been upside down for almost a year now. Hard to believe, right?! Weirdly enough, upside down has almost started to feel normal. (Quick reminder: It won’t be like this forever. Also, God made humans to be incredibly resilient, especially when we turn to Him.) Still, we feel the effects of everything that has changed, and it’s not all new puppies and quality family time. Each family’s experience is a little different, of course. Across our nation, though, kids are more isolated, more anxious, and on their screens more. It’s reality for many, but it’s not how any of us want it to be.
I’m a little (or a lot) biased, but the needs of kids today (community, social interaction, security, reassurance, fresh air, hands-on experience, and guidance) shout SUMMER CAMP to me! These are the exact things summer camp specializes in. Let me explain:
Interaction with peers!
At camp, kids are moving through their entire day surrounded by friends their own age! Bonding through new adventures, shared experiences, and unstructured play times, campers strengthen new and old friendships. With their counselor’s help, they navigate conflict in healthy ways and learn to get along with people who are different from them. Camp is a supportive environment where social skills grow!
Whether hammocking on the Cove or competing in a high stakes canoe race, campers experience the benefits of nature all day. What benefits, you say? (Has it been that long?) Fresh air, sunshine, and movement improve health and mood, and even lower stress! The Bible also tells us God’s character is revealed in His creation (Rom 1:20): His majesty in the heavens, his beauty in the details… Have you seen a mature Big Leaf Magnolia tree or eaten a mayberry off the bush? God’s creation is amazing and sometimes delicious!
Learning more about Jesus Christ!
It’s true for adults and kids: Through prayer, praise, bible study, and Christian community, we come to a better understanding of even His most simple truths. Take for example, God’s promise to be with us always (Matthew 28:20), His power (Luke 1:37), and His attention to detail (Matthew 6:26), and His love for each of us (Romans 5:8). This season seems to hold a lot more problems for everyone, so we practice taking our problems to the one who has the power to do something about ‘em!
Amazing Christian role models!
Mom, Dad, you are definitely still cool, and your kids certainly take all your advice and apply it immediately. Hear me out, though. What if a whole team of very cool teens and young adults were also investing in the growth and success of your children, and also speaking truth and encouragement to them? They could teach them fun games and keep them safe all at the same time, too. Sound to good to be true? Well, it’s not. It’s every single day of camp!
A counselor’s words and actions carry a lot of weight, and at camp your child is surrounded by an array of great role models, ready to share about their walk with Christ and encourage your child in their own relationship.
Doing new things!
Unless you have a 250 foot zip line, a five-sided treehouse, and a selection of canoes, funyaks, paddleboats, and paddleboards for your 7 acre lake, and more (umm, can we come over?), we guarantee there’s a fresh new adventure for your camper. This year, we’re adding a few new experiences for even more fun! Kids draw confidence from trying new things and experiencing real success. No one is amazing at everything (volleyball will never be my sport, and that’s okay). However, with so many different activities and coaching from a watchful counselor, each camper finds something they love (even if it’s not on the schedule.).
Campers are our priority! Everything is designed for the camper: fun games and activities for their age group, songs only an elementary schooler would love, appropriate bedtimes, and kid friendly delicious food. Counselors focus on the camper’s experience the entire time they are here, even praying for campers on their way to camp.
Camp is a screen-free environment, and campers are too busy having fun to miss their devices! We all know the blue glow of the screen is a little rough on the eyes. The constant attention-grabbing is exhausting. At camp, campers live their own story instead of watching others’ stories through a 5-inch rectangle. Real life is so much bigger.
Whew! Thinking about all of this makes me ready for camp right now! You too? ;) Even as the world changes, kids continue to need the unique qualities of summer camp, and this summer, it feels especially urgent.
Now, we know this list is incomplete (can the whole of camp ever really be captured in words?) so help us out. What does your camper need right now? What can camp offer your family?