Camp has always held a dear place in my heart as I have been going to camp since I was a young kid. I always loved the outdoors, activities, preaching, and yes our camp had good food also! Growing up I made so many important life decisions at camp! Now as I have grown older I have the privilege of working at the camp I went to – Circle C Baptist Ranch. I have also been able to take our teens in the youth group to camp. I have seen the impact of camp on my personal lie but I also have seen it in the lives of the teenagers in our youth department. It is because of that I write this article on the importance of summer camp for teenagers!
1. Camp Is A Place Set Apart From The World
This may be the single most important part of camp. All worldliness has been removed for a week from teenagers’ lives. The wickedness of the world’s music, movies, immortality, immodesty, etc. is removed. At camp you do not have to worry about taking your teenagers somewhere and seeing inappropriate things, because it is a place set apart from the wickedness of the world. But it is also a place set apart from the distractions of the world. Cell phone are put away, video games are not allowed, and so many of the other world’s distractions are put away from the lives of your teenagers to the place where they are separated from the world. Many teenagers are taken away from God’s will by the distractions of life. The are not necessarily wrong things but just things that keep them from serving God! Not just the sin of the world and the distractions of the world are taken away, but they realize that they can have fun apart from the world! This is a huge factor that makes camp so important. Many times teenagers get a false impression that serving God is just some boring thing for old people, but at camp they realize that there is so much fun you can have and without worldliness!
2. Camp – Builds Your Youth Department!
It is hard to grow close as a youth department when the teenagers only get to talk to each other 10 minutes before Sunday School. So when they are together for a whole week of camp it helps them grow closer together. It is hard not to get to know someone when they are staying in the same dorm, eating at the same table, playing on the same teams, and sitting in the same services. Camp will bring your youth group closer. The quiet kid comes out of his shell a little bit. You realize the nerdy kid actually has some athletic ability to him. The 12th Graders get to help the 7th graders because they are on their team. It builds leaders in your youth department. In every area of camp your teenagers are coming together to accomplish something so it makes them closer. They get to know each other more than just on Sunday morning. So camp is SO important in the fact that it brings your youth department together.
3. Camp Is A Place Where Teenagers Can Make Spiritual Decisions.
I know from the many decisions that I personally made as a teenager at camp, to now as a counselor and worker at camp I get to see the lives of teenagers literally changed! What an exciting place! The separation from the world has helped the teenagers get closer to God. That paired with fiery preaching is the perfect combo for teenagers getting right with God and making decisions in their lives that they may never have made if the spiritual aspects of camp had never been there. So many decisions are made because Camp is a place saturated with God. From good singing to devotions, to split sessions, to preaching of God’s Word – every part of it works together to help teenagers make decisions in their lives for GOD! How many young people have surrendered to serve God fully, go to the mission field, be a pastor, be a layman in the church, read their Bible more, see more people saved, give their life to God, and so many other decisions – ONLY Heaven will tell how many. Camp is a place where teenagers can make spiritual decisions in their lives!
There are so many other reasons going to camp is good for teenagers, but perhaps these three are the most important! Certainly camp is a place every teenager should go! Because it is set apart from the world, it builds the youth department, and it is a place where teens can make spiritual decisions. If you are on the fence about taking your teenagers to camp – GO! It is always worth it. If you have some teenagers who are on the fence about going – encourage them to go! If you are looking for a camp come visit us at Circle C Baptist Ranch!
Assistant Pastor | Junior High YP | Activities Director at Circle C Baptist Ranch | Editor of YPLife