Top 10 Reasons Christian Camps Should Happen And Be A Priority!

1. Life Change.
Camp is a time that so many people make lifelong decisions for Christ. I’ve had the privilege to see this with my own eyes. Another thing that is awesome, it’s not only students that make these decisions, but sometimes adults will as well. The truth is, salvation never gets old to watch and church camp is a place that it happens often. Years ago I was leading a camp in a different state and as a part of the time there the group leaders asked their students, “why do you like to keep coming back here?” I will never forget what they told me that one of their high school students said as her answer. She said, “because every time we come here we get to see salvation take place.” It just never gets old.
2. Disconnect From Chaos.
There’s something about just getting away from
the craziness of life and disconnecting for awhile. Sometimes camp leaders will even have their students leave their phones at home or at least check them in to minimize time on them. I remember one year where we asked students to leave their phones at home for the week. At first there was a bit of push back but one student was asked later what her favorite thing about camp was and she responded, “to be honest it was nice not to have my phone for a few days.” I was shocked but it makes sense. Not only is it a break from phones but with so many things that young people face today, getting away from the many distractions of life can be a good thing.

3. Fun and Being Active.
This one is short and simple. Camp is fun. It’s a time to get to be a part of activities and have the opportunity to get outside and be active. Many camps that are out there offer outdoor activities and just times for kids to play. It may be a sport or it may just be taking a hike. Part of the camp experience is just to go and have some fun. It’s also a blessing to see the Lords creation in the process.
4. Build Unity Within The Ministry.
Unity is a powerful thing. I’ve seen this so many times that one of the end results for a camp week is watching your ministry not only gel but become unified. The Bible talks about unity for the body and that it’s an important thing. I love watching student ministries return home with this in place. Knowing that life can be tough but to have those around you with the same mindset and values. It’s just cool to see.

5. Memories.
Some of my greatest memories as a student were based around camp. Starting as a child and then as a teenager, just great times. Not only did I have fun and grew in my walk with the Lord, camp was just something that I looked forward to going to. I even had the privilege to work at a camp during my college years that impacted me greatly. Fast forward into adulthood, I have taken students to this camp as well. Honestly this summer will be the 37th year in a row for me to attend Falls Creek and talk about making memories! What a privilege it has been to go as a child, then a teen, working as a young adult followed by taking students there for years to now getting to actually preach there. What a blessing camp has been in my life.
6. Worship.
Some of the most powerful times of worship for me in my 46 years of life have been in and around camp settings. I’m not talking about who the worship leader or band was but rather talking about getting around people of the hundreds and even thousands to worship God together. Wow!! There have also been times where it’s been only dozens in regards to the amount of people there. The number of people isn’t the key. Going “all in” in worshipping and giving honor to Jesus is the key. Oh worship the King!

7. Strengthening Relationships With Other Believers.
Friendships are important to me and most likely to you as well. Speaking of, some of my deepest friendships have been bonded around church camp. This took place especially in my college years when I worked at camps. To this day some of the people that I stay in contact with in my life have resulted from either going to camp with them or working at camp with them. It’s been such a blessing to develop strong relationships with people in my life around one thing and His name is, Jesus. Someone actually sent me a picture this week of our Recreation Staff from 1995. Great times. Greater friendships.
8. Deepening Individual Faith.
My walk with the Lord wouldn’t be where it is today without times in my life to where I chose to take it to a deeper level. I believe, as you read the first point in this list, that salvation is the greatest decision that a person can make. Another great decision following that is to take that choice of following and surrendering to Christ to a different level. How do we do that? We do that by desiring and choosing to go to deeper levels with Christ. As I type this out today I can remember those times at camp that helped me in this area of my life. People that walked with my in this journey helping and discipling me. Thankful.

9. An Investment In Eternity.
When we surrender our lives to Christ it is a decision that is one of eternal value. We make decisions and choices daily most of which do not deal with eternal things. If someone goes to a camp and surrenders their life to Christ. What an investment. Does someone have to have a camp to make that decision? No, but giving children and students those opportunities is something that is priceless. There are all kinds of camps to attend. Some of which cost way more compared to say, church camp. I’m not saying that those other camps are bad. I’m just saying that some camps have eternal value and some don’t. My son will attend multiple camps this summer. They are all going to be good experiences for him I hope. I pray that one though will equip him to be a difference maker when he attends the others. Church camp is an eternal investment.

10. An Opportunity To “Be Still”.
This probably could have gone in the #2 section but I wanted to end, sort of, this list with this last one to think about. Being still and quiet is sometimes something that is awkward or foreign to us. Especially when we are saturated with noise. It is so important though to get alone with the Lord and allow Him to speak to us. Many that read this article will not be going to camp this summer. It will be in the schedule to have times there to get alone and be still with the Lord. I encourage you to also do the same, daily. Taking time to listen to the Lord and engage the Word.


11. The Food.
You might say, why is food in the bonus category? Well the truth of the matter is this. Food is an important part of camp and I guess it just depends on who’s cooking to determine if this makes the list or not. I’ve been to camp to where the food is absolutely incredible. I’ve also been to camps that…..well you get the point.
I hope that this article has helped you see why I think church camp is important for children and students. When you think about it, a person only has so many opportunities to go to church camp. I will say that it is also a blessing to go and serve as a sponsor as well. Does it wear you out? Yes for sure, but it is a blessing as well. I’ll end with these ways you can be a part of camp while not attending:

Pray for camp. Take time to pray when your church attends camp.

Sponsor a camper. This is a huge need. Ask your leaders how you can pay for a kid to go for free.

Attend a camp follow up service. If your church offers this. Go. Attend the service to hear about what the Lord did.

Have a blessed summer!

In Him,
-Ryan Young
Collegiate Minister
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