It is that time of year again. Load up the luggage, mountain dew, Bug Spray, Sun Block, and Neon Study Bibles. We are going to Camp!
Our students just returned from the best camp in the universe. We had 49 campers go with us and we hope for more next year. Their saturation in the powerful Word and passionate worship really transformed many students lives. In our first week back, I have seen students step up in leadership and demonstrate a clearer understanding of the Gospel. Still, if you are like me, you want that camp experience to last ALL year!
Here are some suggestions to help support your students to sustain the fire this summer:
Note to Parents
- Get them resources. Go to the Christian bookstore and buy them a new Christian CD, book, or study Bible. If you don’t know where to start feel free to ask me or a youth volunteer.
- Share the testimony and transformation of your students to church staff, other parents, and youth leaders. Parents, also be sure to attend any “post-camp” activities your youth ministry may plan. Specifically, our youth ministry is doing a recap service that will be like a talk-show with guest panelist including campers and parents.
- Schedule time for your student to meet up with another camper. Your camper made new friends at camp. Help them cultivate into life long friendships.
- Study the material they learned during camp as devotional material throughout the summer.
- Utilize the the camp website. Find out what songs they played, get audio from the teachings, and make these resources available to the campers. We have audio of the messages and pictures from the week. Ask your students about the messages or the pictures. Let them serve as launching pads for conversation.
Note to Volunteers
- Pray for them- Tell the kids you are praying for them and their commitments. Encourage them with the truth that the youth team is praying for them and their success.
- Resource Students with tools to encourage their Spiritual Disciplines. Add fuel to the fire. Get them devotionals, scriptures to memorize, and books that may encourage their faith.
- Encourage Students to Organize Camp Reunions- Remind students of the great relationships they built and help them remember their need for community. This community can be strengthened by frequent meetings organized by the students to recommit themselves to the friendships made at camp. Praying together, sharing verses, or even outings could help.
- Stress the importance of mission- Give the teens a chance to serve and utilize their gifts that were stirred up in them at camp.
- Have them share- Allow times where students can share what they learned at camp. This can be applied in various settings. At pur recap service we will also display a student made video that demonstrates all the activities of the camp. Create outlets where they can tell the church about camp.
As a youth ministry, we also had the students write letters to themselves about their experience at camp. We will mail these out on the first day of school as a reminder about their new commitments.
How do you sustain the momentum after camp? What creative ideas have you utilized? Join the convo!
For God’s Glory,