By Liz Alexander, Minister to Preschool & Children
Ah Kids Camp… early mornings, late nights, the smell of bug spray mixed with sunscreen, camp food, and bunk beds… bringing back memories?
I often get asked, “Why should my kid go to camp?” Apart from the obvious reason of unforgettable fun, here are the top four reasons to send your kid (whether a 1st grader or 12th grader) to camp. Consider it an eternal investment!
1.) A Christ-centered Focus
One thing I love about summer camp is that every aspect of camp is Christ-centered. Starting with guided quiet times, upbeat exciting morning worship, Bible study, rec games, parties, track times, and nightly worship--every part is planned and designed to point kids to Christ through a specific theme. For five days, kids are immersed in the Word of God in everything they do.
2.) Age Specific Worship & Bible Study
During the entire week of camp, each Bible study is planned specifically for individual age groups in order to reach them on their own level. Worship is also designed for kids to understand and be able to actively participate in. 1st-5th graders are taught how to worship through singing and motions, and are taught the meaning of the songs they are singing. Kids love it, and it's exciting to see them worshiping freely among kids their age.
3.) New Friends
Summer camp provides a new atmosphere for kids to meet new friends in their Bible study groups who are the same age, who like the same activities, and even who face some of the same challenges in life. Is so great when our kids tell us about a new friend they have met and understand that they have come together for the same reason… to know Jesus and worship God!
4.) New Activities to Try
Often kids have the chance to try a new activity at camp and realize that they really like it! A couple of years ago, we began to go to a new camp location where our kids were introduced to new game called "Gaga Ball." Our kids had never played it and really didn’t want to at first, but once they tried it… they loved it! (Now they are begging for us to build a gaga ball pit in our building). Kids sign up for "kitchen chaos" because they know they will get to eat something, but in the end they realize they may actually like cooking.
Trying new activities suddenly becomes easier for your child because everyone at camp ends up having to try something new at some time during the week.
I know it can seem scary to send your kid off to camp for a week. Maybe it seems too far or maybe your child has never been away for that long without you. But I can promise you that the benefits from the experiences your child has at camp outweigh any nervousness or concerns you might have as a parent. Our adult sponsors and camp staffers have your child’s safety as a top priority in every activity they do, camp is way too busy for your child to stay homesick, and remember, you’re only a phone call away.
Sending your child to camp is an important eternal investment you can make in your child's life!