I’m going to let you in on a little secret that not many people know about me: I am a semi-professional camper. Not the sleep-in-a-tent-under-the-stars type camper, but the church-camp type camper... I realize not everyone shares my love of “roughin’ it for Jesus.” But I believe every child should experience church camp at least once, and here’s why.
There was a time when the plaintive call came often, “What’s there to do, Mom?” You seldom hear that anymore. Before kids are barely out of diapers, they are bombarded with compelling opportunities for amusement. Little mites scurry about on ice rinks and soccer fields followed by rabid parent fans. The teams sport expensive uniforms. Soccer moms have become a voting bloc. Kid sports’ grip on the nation is amazing. Sports get kids outdoors, teach teamwork, build friendships, and burn energy, but there’s another grip on kids that’s scary.
The camp experience enriches lives and changes the world. Camp provides children with a community of caring adults, who nurture experiential education that results in self-respect and appreciation for human value. All of the outcomes — self-identity, self-worth, self-esteem, leadership, and self-respect — build personal competencies.
Don't think that these things just happen — campers don't grow and mature passively; what they get from their camp experiences depends on you. I'll let you in on a secret. I went to camp as a child, all kinds of camps, and I never really understood what I got out of it until I worked as a counselor one summer when I was in college. It was then that I finally realized what I had learned as a camper — because of what I saw my campers learn.
The Parents Place blog features tips, information, and advice from ACA, as well as other guest bloggers, on child and youth development, health and safety, and of course - camp.
Christian camping demands the investment of time, energy, and physical resources. Is it worth it? What benefits do participants — children and adults — receive from the experience?
Mom, I’m home!” Weary, wearing a week’s worth of dirt and a T-shirt bearing the camp logo, a child bursts through the door only to be greeted by “Where’s your laundry?” As a parent, you may consider yourself “set apart” from your child’s camp adventure because you aren’t in attendance. The success of the child’s experience, however, may very well depend upon your participation.
My journey to Operation Purple Camp Sandy Cove with Association employees Karen Cook and Simmone Quesnell started out early on a dreary, rainy day. I was a bit worried about going to a new camp and meeting everyone. As we arrived at Camp Sandy Cove, located snugly in the hills of West Virginia, the sun started to peak out and the fog cleared away. What a relief! A wet, foggy day might not stop a military kid at camp, but it would have left me feeling like one sad, soggy teddy bear.
Camp Sandy Cove is a non-profit, non-denominational, Christian camp for boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 15 - dedicated to sharing the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and to helping young people develop a relationship with their Creator. We'd love to keep you informed throughout the year!