What makes camp so awesome? Is it the cabins, the food, the games, the skills, the directors, the facilities, the counselors or the other campers? Ask 50 different campers and you will likely get at least 30 different answers. One thing is for sure, most every one of our campers would tell you that camp was a BLAST.
But what is it that makes camp so great? Truth is, it’s a huge combination of things and all of the reasons given, when put together, actually produce the end result. Regardless, the bottom line is camp is really, really cool and super fun.
Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Does it ever change? Absolutely. Flexibility is the name of the game when you’re dealing with campers and the camp setting. Anything can change with a moment’s notice, so we always have to have a plan B. Sometimes we even find out that plan B turns out to be more fun than plan A would’ve been.
But you know what I think is the coolest thing about camp? It’s the atmosphere that we establish that allows campers to grow and be challenged in a safe, nurturing environment. At the core of that is the opportunity for some very unique spiritual growth. I know that we set up this atmosphere and work hard to allow camp to be a place of spiritual discovery, but this fact was pointed out to me once again over the weekend as I talked with a few camp families and listened to what parents had to say about it. One mom went on and on about the difference our staff are making in the lives of campers and talked about how her own son was impacted as well as a less fortunate child that she had been able to sponsor and send to camp. She relayed how even months later the child she helped sponsor is still coming to her with spiritual questions that would have been totally foreign to him prior to his time at camp. Another mom whose kids have grown up in a strong supportive Christian environment raved about how camp made learning about God fun. Specifically, she relayed to me a story about her son who was eager to go to a special youth program at church. She asked him more about why he was so excited to go and he said that the guest speaker made learning about the Bible fun, just like they do at Strong Rock.
It was all I could do to hold back tears as these moms talked about the spiritual impact of camp. You know, I think that is what makes camp so cool. Sure we do all sorts of fun, crazy things that campers might not ever get to do back home and that makes for great pictures and great memories. But at the heart of it all, the core of why we do what we do is to share Christ with kids. All the crazy fun stuff is just a tool to help set the stage for building relationships with kids that encourages them to open their hearts and discover what the Christian life is all about. Surrounding them with solid Christian role models who are living out their faith daily and having such a wonderful time doing so helps set the stage for some unique spiritual growth.
That’s what makes camp cool to me.