We’ve all probably been there or heard the stories of “that one moment” at camp. It usually takes place on the very last night of camp. There may have been emotion, a special time of calling, and mended relationships. The Lord’s presence was tangible.
It was a mountaintop. A mountaintop is not a bad thing, but it cannot be the only thing kids and adults take away from their experience at camp.
I want to challenge you to take experiences like this with your kids from being just a “moment at the mountaintop” and turn them into milestone experiences. This could be only the beginning of what God is doing in the life of a child. Put down a spiritual “marker” to remember the moment, but make sure to build on it back home.
We see in scripture the importance of spiritual milestones. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, God commanded them to set up 12 marker stones as a sign of His greatness and faithfulness. (Joshua 4:21-24)
Milestones are important, and we believe camp provides the perfect setting for kids to come, see, and learn about the greatness and faithfulness of the Lord.
Here are 4 ways to make camp a milestone, not just a mountaintop.
1 – Prepare. Know what to expect and set goals for the week. Handle your details before camp so the check-in is smooth when you arrive and void of unnecessary distractions. Set goals for connections you want to make with kids, conversations to seek out, and relationships to build.
2 – Go All In. Use the camp setting to your advantage for reaching kids. Paint your face, get messy at recreation, and show your personality! Kids will love it. You can do those things to break down barriers and kids will find you much more approachable.
3 – Follow-Up. Strike while the iron is hot, and plan to follow-up with every kid who attends camp. Prioritize visiting those kids who made decisions at camp and the visitors who came with a friend, but don’t neglect the regular attenders. Be sure to connect with each one to encourage and see how they are growing after the camp experience.
4 – Disciple. Help kids experience a meaningful faith journey. Invite them to plug into your church functions with their parents and siblings. Not all families are living out Deuteronomy 6, so the Lord may be calling you to be a catalyst in their lives to help spark revival in a family.
Camp is a rich environment for spiritual conversations and building stronger relationships, but it is a waste if leaders and adults don’t continue to challenge kids to grow when they return home. This summer, commit to making camp a milestone of spiritual growth, not just an annual mountain top experience.
JE (@coachechols) leads the @centrikid camps and events team for LifeWay Kids. He met his wife Emily working summer camp, they serve with kids on Sunday’s at church, and they are blessed with their daughter #BabyMadison who was born in 2011.