Don’t Waste Your Child’s Camp Experience!

“I’d Like to Stay Another Week”….

…so said one of your children to me a few moments ago in the “Mineshaft” snack area. I won’t say who, but it might have been any of them, and this in the midst of a cold, rainy day at camp! Never overrate the power of your accomodations! 🙂

Rainy days put me in a contemplative mood, and since I don’t have the camera (Grace wanted to record some memories of her own), I will share my thoughts with you.

As parents, we have the primary responsibility for the spiritual nurture of our children. As a pastor, I have the responsibility for shepherding you all in that nurture.  Camp has been a good experience for your kids in many ways–they have had to function on their own (with close guidance of course) for a week. They have had the Word ministered to them in a very concentrated fashion (three services, plus verses, devotionals, etc). They have come face to face with how they are doing in following the Lord.  They have been challenged about their salvation, their obedience to parents, their bible reading and prayer, their willingness to serve the Lord.  They have been brought out of the world-system in many ways for the week. Your child may not talk a lot about it, but that doesn’t mean they have not heard or learned a lot from this experience.

My challenge to you: Don’t waste their camp experience! I would encourage you to build upon it in a few ways for the eternal good of your entire family:

1.  Be Gospel-Burdened: I know personally that about all of the kids that came this week have professed faith in Christ, and most have been baptized. If your child has not, continue to share the gospel with them, pray for them, and encourage them to follow Christ. 

2. Provide Daily Word Exposure: If you haven’t made it a regular practice, try to set aside non-church nights to spend some simple time reading the bible and praying together as a family. Make this part of the camp experience (concentrated, daily exposure to God’s Word and will) less unusual to your child. The average church kid hears from God 2-3 times a week and from the world 4-5 nights a week. Let’s make an effort to help their forming worldviews and  tender souls in this regard (and help our own in the process).

3. Help With Habits: Your child has been challenged to read his or her Bible and pray regularly. Rare is the child who will do this on his own, but if we help them by providing good bedtimes and a simple routine, they are fully capable of spending time reading the Bible and praying every morning.

4. Objectively Evaluate World-Exposure: A benefit of Christian Camp is getting away from the World’s influence. No TV, no electronics, sinful music or other things that are pressing us into the world’s mold (Rom 12:2). Think about how the world is influencing your family as a whole through its media and mediums, and think of ways you could make changes for your family’s souls’ good.

5. Lead By Example: Showing interest in and obedience to the Word of God is the best way you can do this. Tell your kids what you are learning from the preaching and teaching you receive.  Let them know you are willing to follow the Lord where He leads you, just as they should be willing to follow Him. 

Don’t waste your child’s camp experience. Let it be an experience that provides an opportunity for the entire family to grow in their walk with God.  As CoBeAc’s camp verse says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Prov 3:6).


2 Responses to “Don’t Waste Your Child’s Camp Experience!”

  1. 1 nicole
    July 16, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    looked back at this…good reminder for us this year!

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