So it should come as no surprise to ya'll by this point that I LOVE camp. As a kid, I grew up going to Crossways' Imago Dei Village. That was the one thing I looked forward to every summer, and through those years as a camper then as a staffer, I met some of my best friends who have stuck with me ever since.
This summer, Crossways IS planning on operating at all three of their camps (Pine Lake Camp, Waypost Camp, and Imago Dei Village)! It'll be an unusual summer for sure, as they'll be operating at 50% capacity with pandemic-safe modifications made, but what's important is that this summer our kids will have the opportunity available to them to attend camp.
This summer, for those families who are ready to send their kids to camp (pandemic life has us all in different places), we are hoping to send kids from Christ the King to Pine Lake Camp the week of June 27-July 2. To register, please visit www.crosswayscamps.org .
Since this blog is all about ways that God's love comes to life, I figured I'd offer you my list of the top 5 ways God's love comes to life at camp:
#5) Through the Food- It might seem silly to have this be in the top 10, but food is important! The food at camp is REALLY GOOD, and more importantly, it nourishes the bodies of campers to experience community. There's a LOT of life and love that happens around the meal table, and camp is one of the few places these days where kids stop to eat at a table to share stories, to laugh, to explore new foods, and to experience how God works to sustain us through the gift of bountiful food.
#4) Through Challenges and Risk-Taking- Just coming to camp is a challenge and risk for some. Being in a new environment with with a boat-ton of new peers is a risk in an of itself. It takes a couple days to settle into that, then while at camp, there are multiple opportunities to take risks through vulnerability in conversations, through physical challenges on the challenge/team-building course, to just continuing to try new things. These challenges and risks help build up and empower young people. It shows them how God is at work in their lives, and it strengthens their faith through showing them all the ways the Holy Spirit is walking with them.
#3) Through Play- Play is holy work for people of ALL AGES. Play lets us explore and imagine the world, not just as it is, but as it could be. Through play, campers get the opportunity to utilize all their senses to dive deep into scripture, creation, healthy competition, and growth. At camp, play is serious, holy business!
#2) Through NATURE- We live in a time when so much of life happens indoors. Camp gets people OUTSIDE though! God's love comes to life just through breathing in fresh air, through the rustling of leaves on the trees, through the warmth of the sun, through the wetness of the rains, and through the hooting of owls at night. Camp allows campers to enjoy and explore these things rather than pass them by or look at them through screens. Life is different when we get outdoors, and God's love starts to look different and lovely when we do!
#1) Through Christ-Centered Community- Something really incredibly special happens when we get a group of campers together for a week of praising God. It happens through worship, it happens through small group discussions, it happens through large-group campfires. The Holy Spirit has a way of working her way into the hearts of our young people who showed up on Sunday as a group of individuals, and leaves on Friday as a bonded group of equipped and energized children of God who have been reminded of the sacredness of their baptism. Christ-centered community is about FAITH. It's about faith that God is working through an entire community of people to bring about God's work in the world, and at camp kids get to EXPERIENCE that. It's uplifting, it's challenging, it's beautiful, and a week immersed in it has HUGE impacts on the faith of people of all ages. God's love truly comes to life in community, especially at camp!
I could go on and on, and honestly it was hard to limit my list to 5, but I'll stop here. If you have questions about camp or if you just want to share a camp memory of your own, I'd love to hear from you!
Peace be the journey,