Camp week is hard! If you have ever had the joy of taking a group to summer camp you know this very well!
Let’s start by talking about sleep… forget about it! From the terrible beds, to the ungodly hours and physical demands you WILL be tired almost the entire time. You will be forced to eat food that will undoubtedly give you intestinal issues. You will most likely have to deal with behavioral issues, mediate arguments, squash drama, and be annoyed by multiple students. You will miss your spouse and family terribly, give up a full week of the summer, and then spend the next week trying to catch up on life.
So why in the world do we do camp? Why do we put ourselves through this??
We all know why we do it. We take students to summer camp to see them accept Christ, rededicate their lives to Him, and get on track spiritually.
But what if none of that happens?
I just got back from a full week at an awesome camp, with a great group of students and for the first time in my ministry career had 0 students make decisions for Christ. That is right, zero, zilch, none!
So, was it worth it?
This is the question I found myself asking when we returned from a fun but exhausting week where no decisions were made.
The answer is YES!!! And here is why, even if you did not have any students make decisions for Christ, your week was not in vain because you…
1. Built relationships
Ministry is relational. You and your leaders have to build relationships with students, and camp is one of the best ways to do that. I was able to spend a full week with students I had barely spoken to prior to camp, and now we are buddies. So many relationships were built and strengthened this past week.
2. Showed them their value
Spending a week with students at camp communicates the value you see in them. We live in a world that rarely reinforces one’s value, and students desperately need to know that they are loved and valued. By spending my time and energy this week, I showed students that they are worth it! Students do have incredible worth and value and this week I was able to show them first hand that I truly believe that.
3. Laid a foundation
Camp is worth it because you are able to set the tone and lay a foundation for the ministry that will be done in the future. Whether it is through relationships, Bible content, messages, conversations, or simply being around other believers, you have laid a foundation for the future.
Camp is hard! But it is so worth it! Even if the normal measuring devices of a successful week are not used.