Summer camp ministry can be a fantastic forum to dialogue with children and teens about Christianity and their faith. More than 2 million young people attend Christian camps in the United States every summer. Data from the National Study of Youth and Religion indicate that 39% of all American teenagers have been to a religious summer camp at least once. Christian summer camps are important for kids to attend in order to gain crucial social skills, obtain lasting memories, and deepen their faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith with Added Fun
Children don’t always associate faith with fun because church is a place catered more toward adults. There’s nothing wrong with a young child occasionally getting bored in church, but we should do what we can to help them understand everything that is going on. A great way to give them a spark for the Bible is to send them to Christian summer camps. There they can learn all about God’s Word in a fun community that is geared toward them. When you’re mixing Christian principles in with ziplines, horseback riding, and pool parties, kids are bound to be more receptive. This experience also surrounds them with other kids who are also learning and having fun. If the camp is one your home church puts on, you can also look forward to your child coming home with a strong support group of friends who are instilled with Godly teaching as well.
There is no question that Christian camps have a wide-ranging influence. There is an emerging body of research that demonstrates that camp is much more than fun and games. There is something deeply significant and deeply theological happening at Christian camps across the country. This research reveals the long-term impacts of camp, effects that go far beyond the “camp high” that fades quickly after the experience.
A study by The American Camp Association (ACA) shows there are lasting impacts of lessons learned at church camps. Diverse camp experiences lead to growth in self-confidence, leadership, social skills, and other important elements of positive youth development that last six months (or more) after camp ends.
Those individuals who have experienced outdoor and/or camp ministry gain an understanding of themselves and of Christ without the distractions and confusion of the modern world. These ministries offer a wide variety of programs that provide growth experiences for people of all ages, many of whom become leaders in the church and their communities. Youth, in particular, can benefit through camp, which helps growth in areas such as spirituality, self-confidence, independence, making friends, exploring and learning new activities.
The West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church proudly offers camp and outdoor ministries for youth in the Buckeye State. Our facilities include Camp Wesley in Bellefontaine Ohio, Camp Otterbein in Logan, Ohio and Camp Widewater in Liberty Center Ohio. To learn more about our camps head over to our website www.westohiocamps.com.