As summer approaches youth camps across the globe will commence. From sports camps, band camp, church camps and many in-between. For those thinking about attending for the first time there
can be some intimidation. Sometimes even the question, “Why should I go?” As an experience camper, camp counselor, and camp supervisor, I can tell you there are plenty of reasons to go. Especially to church camp. Here are five quick reasons to go to youth camp.
Basically everything about going to church, whether youth or family oriented, is about spiritual growth. Even the next four reasons are built on this principle. Going to youth camp is a great place to be introduced to intentional and structured discipleship. The camp may only last a week but the effects of it will last a lifetime. Having regularly scheduled prayer and bible study times throughout the day, multiple worship and preaching services each day, even serving, doing chores and participating in activities are a powerful way to place yourself in position for God to form your life.
It’s true that when you get out of high school that you won’t meet most of your classmates except at the occasional class reunion. Youth camp is different. You will develop friendships that are deep. You won’t just camp together, play sports together, and take on tasks together but you’ll experience a whole week of life together. Even more, you’ll worship and be formed by God next to a whole group of youth experiencing the same movement of God. Even if your shy you will find it easier to make friends in the youth camp environment than if you stayed at home during the summer.
Getting Out of the World’s Current
Things are moving fast. You are growing up and new responsibilities are being handed to you each day. Life demands a lot from even the youngest and as an adult there are fewer opportunities to step out of the world’s current. Internet, cell phones, and social media have increased the reach of life beyond natural limits. It can wear you out. Going to camp helps you disconnect. I’ve seen teenagers deal with a terrible nervousness at camps because they didn’t have a computer or game to play. That’s not where you want to be. If the camp is one week long then that is one week that you can slow down and look at what you really need to thrive and what extra things you have blessed with.
Going Beyond Yourself
Camp will challenge you. It will stretch you. It stretched me because of my shy nature. I had to step out of my comfort zone when I went to camp. I don’t regret it one bit and camps have truly been one of the biggest formative forces in my life because of that. You will be challenged not only to make new friends but you’ll be challenged to grow in God through the classes and sermons. You’ll be challenged by your leaders and friends to be a stronger in the faith and more committed to serving him.
It was at a camp that I started down the path of being a minister. It is because of many of the prior reasons that camp is an excellent place for finding direction in your life. Some of more worldly friends will offer distractions. The world’s fast pace will keep us running after things that do not matter. Staying focused on our self and in our comfort zone will never allow us to live for God. By allowing God to work in your life during camp and separate you from those roadblocks may just be the thing you need to find God’s vision for your own life. Maybe to be a pastor, teacher, missionary, or to work in a secular profession with a Christian witness. Why wouldn’t you want to have the confidence that what you want to do with your life is what God really wants you to do with your life?
Now, get the forms filled and sent in. Start packing. Anticipate and get excited about going to youth camp.