Life for me radically changed when I was twelve years old. The change started when my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to go to Summer Camp like my older siblings had done. It also really helped that my mother bribed me with twenty dollars to go (when weekly allowance is just $2 this was an easy choice to make). So off I went to spend a week at a Christian Youth Camp. After hearing the gospel message that week I was forever changed, and now wanted to share what I had found in Jesus. My life was impacted in a great way by the experience, and I had come to know Jesus and have personal relationship with Him. God used the experience in my life, and He also helped develop other aspects of my identity and self-confidence. I started to take an interest in Basketball and started to excel in certain areas because I had a greater sense of confidence. My ability to learn in school also improved. You could say, “A week of camp changed a life!”. But a deeper look would show that it was God at work using the camp setting and people as ’tools’ to draw me to Jesus.
I, like many, got to experience the special tool of camp (used by God). It’s not the only tool out there that Christians use to share Christ, but I would say it’s a really good one. God can draw anyone at any time, though it seems to me that often camp is a significant and powerful ministry opportunity to utilise and enjoy. So why not Camp?
Here are some reasons ‘Why’ camp is a great opportunity for life change:
1. Transformed Lives
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…“
At camp, people have a ‘circuit breaker’ from the normal, a moment in time where they have the mental room to consider some of the most important issues of life. This break from the craziness of their regular routine (and tech) allows them to think about their future, to evaluate unhealthy patterns, and to discover the truth about God and the truth about themselves, and most importantly how they can be transformed spiritually through Jesus.
2. Nature and Adventure
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.”
When at Camp people get to explore nature and participate in ‘new adventures’ in a healthy environment surrounded by the grandeur of God’s creation. A fun way to say it is that campers get to enjoy playing together in their Father’s backyard! Outdoor activities, times of laughter and singing around a campfire. Come and enjoy these gifts and make memories together!
3. Forging Friendships
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Friendships with other campers are forged through ‘shared experiences’ through the rare gift of time to relate and relax with each other. Often camp friendships go deep and can provide a lasting connection that helps back at home. Fellow campers can support us and help us by becoming the friends that help us navigate the challenges and blessings of life.
Why Camp? Why not! For Camp offers us the blessing of a ’shared experience’ to grow closer to God and others. It’s not the only means of blessing for us as a Church, but I don’t know of one that uniquely helps us to ‘get away to get right with God’. For I’m still benefiting from the week of camp I experienced all those years ago and I’m excited to see how God will use the HBC Camp this year! Register and get ready for some life change!