By Kevin East as Originally Posted at Crosswalk.com
This post is one of many that I wrote last spring on summer camps. Having worked in camps for over 20 years, and now with a full house of kids myself, I hope to equip parents across the country that are looking to send their children to camp.]
My first post in this series was: Is Your Child Safe At Camp? 5 Questions Every Parent Should Ask
Summer camp is almost as American as apple pie and baseball. Movies have tried to document the uniqueness of this experience. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see one that came close to pinpointing why a healthy week at summer camp is so good for a child.
When I simply take the words “summer” and “camp” and use them in the same sentence, my mind quickly jumps to mosquitos, tents, canoes, smores, and Kumbaya. Sadly, I think most picture the same thing, which falls way short of what a week of summer camp could be.
I realize for many with small kids, the idea of allowing your child to camp can be scary. Over the years, though, I have seen far too many success stories. A child who was scared, fearful or just simply didn’t want to be at camp, often turns into the camper who loves it the most. There’s a reason for this.
Originally posted on The Greg Hunter Blog by Tom Beaumont
Photo courtesy of The Firs
Our day camp summer staff are often challenged at the beginning of the summer with the story of Jesus as he welcomed the little children to his knee. Metaphorically, the Fircreek corral (gathering place) would become known as the “Lap of God,” welcoming all kids and parents, loving them and serving them, thus clearing a path to Jesus.
During a recent summer season, the Fircreek kids were being taught the Lord’s Prayer and worked together on memorizing it section by section. As Darell, our Fircreek director, was teaching on the words “give us today our daily bread,” he clarified the difference between asking for what we want and asking for what we need. He made it clear that God answers our prayers of need. At this point in the lesson, Darell gave the campers the opportunity to come onstage in front of everyone and to ask God for what they needed. Six campers were chosen randomly from hands raised. One at a time, they made their way to the front, and with all seriousness and sincerity, brought their need to God.
- The first prayer was, “Dear God, please give me a family where I am loved, where I will be safe and where I can stay for a long time. Amen.” (This came from a foster child who recently learned he would never go back to his birth parents).
- The second prayer was, “God, please help my Grandfather. He had a heart attack, fell and broke his neck. He needs to live.”
- The third prayer was, “God, I pray that my parents would respect me and approve of my life,” (from a sixth-grade girl stuck between parents during a very ugly divorce).
There are very few times at Fircreek Day Camp where it is quiet enough to hear a pin drop … this was one of them. These kids were not simply praying a prayer to be heard by their peers, they were talking to God, and everyone there knew it. Camp is where we get to help them find a solution through hope in Jesus. This story is not only reflective of the needs children are facing today but a clear example of the power of camp.