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According to the American Camp Association, more than 14 million children and adults attend camp each year. In order to compensate for this many kids and staffers, you can imagine just how many camps it would take. We all have a favorite childhood camp where we made friends, learned about life, or just had a really fun time. The truth is that there are so many camps out there, it can be hard to find the perfect one for your child. While some camps only accommodate a few dozen people, others are built for hundreds. As you search for possible Christian camps for your child(ren) to attend, you may be wondering “What are some of the biggest Christian camps?” Judging by the number of kids who attend or by reputation, we’ve listed seven of the biggest Christian camps America has to offer. There may be a couple that we missed, but these fine institutions are clearly among the best.
Not only is Kanakuk one of the biggest Christian camps in the country, it’s also one of the longest-running. Since 1926, hundreds of thousands of campers have enjoyed one or more summers at this historic destination. Kanakuk is home to several different “kamps” that cater to unique ages and needs. The standard camp experience is broken to K-1 (ages 6-11), K-West (12-14) and K-2 (14-18). The cool thing about K-1 and K-2 is that they can be experienced for up to 4 weeks at a time! On top of these options are K-Seven (a 1-week sports intensive camp), a 2-week Scuba Kamp, and family and day camps.The majority of these camps are in the Branson, Missouri area at one of Kanakuk’s several impressive locations.
This camp has only been around since the early 90’s, but that doesn’t mean the Wayfarer staff lacks any tradition. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the facility features a beautiful lakefront, massive climbing walls, and room for all of the other fun activities one would wish to take part in at summer camp. Wayfarer’s young age hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the biggest Christian camps out there. The camp has several date ranges for campers between 5k and 10th grade and there are options for staying one week all the way up to six(!) weeks.
If you’ve ever been a kid in Texas, there’s a good chance you know someone who went to Pine Cove. This system of camps has been around for the better part of 50 years and has grown from one location in Tyler, TX to a multi-state organization. At the Tyler location are Towers (Grades 2-5), Ranch (6-7), Timbers (8-9), and Shores (10-12), while in Columbus, TX you’ll find Silverado (Grades 2-5), Outback (6-8), and Ridge (9-12 and brand new starting in 2018). Pine Cove also has a number of family camps in Texas and South Carolina as well as traveling day camps. Our fingers are tired just typing out all of those different camp options, so it’s clear that this is one of the biggest Christian camps in America.
River Valley Ranch
For families with children in the Maryland/DC area, you may be interested in the camps at River Valley Ranch. These rustic setting are great for kids with imaginations as each camp is themed after the Old West. Kids ages 7-9 go to Arrowhead Woods for 5 nights where they’ll get to sleep in giant teepees that have been modernized for comfort. If your child isn’t able to do the full week, River Valley Ranch does have some packages that are only 2-3 nights. Fort Roller is for kids 9-12 and has a similar atmosphere while Frontier Town (ages 12-17) lets the older kids live in dorm-style conditions. These camps share some of the same facilities, but each is a separate experience. You can sign your child up for the classic summer camp or get more specific based on their interests in horseback riding, paintball, or “extreme ranching.”
Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp
When we talk about the biggest Christian camps in the country, we usually go by the number of campers or the size, but with the Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp it’s all about big possibilities. Located in California, this camp has one of the most beautiful atmospheres you could ask for a camp to have. In addition to the scenic views and rich learning environment, the camp boasts a 1:2 ratio between staff and campers. As far as counselors to kids, the ratio is closer to the normal 1:6 or 7 that you’ll find at most of the biggest Christian camps out there. There are three grade ranges (3rd-6th, 7th-8th, 9th-10th) that the camp operates with and they offer 2-3 week packages based on your family’s preference.
Camp Ozark - Biggest Christian Camps
There are a lot of great options on this list of the biggest Christian camps, but we’d be crazy to ignore the 6500 kids who pick Camp Ozark each summer. Found in Arkansas, this popular destination stands on 400+ acres of land and uses every bit of that space to jam in as many activities as possible. You’ll find all of the water and ropes fun that comes with a traditional summer camp and so much more. For going on 70 years, Camp Ozark has provided a fun community for kids to grow and learn. Find out which of their 1-3 week(s) packages is best for your family.
If you want a camp with options, then Camp Westminster in Michigan is a great place to check out. Not only do they have the traditional summer experience, but they also offer camps specific to your child’s needs or interests. Want a summer camp that offers a focus in science or the arts? Camp Westminster has you covered. What about older kids who want to increase their sailing knowledge? There’s a program for that too! If your child has food allergies, the camp also has a special menu for dealing with those issues. Just be sure to ask about this beforehand as it may pertain to certain weeks/programs. With a variety of activities and interests, this is a great option for kids aged 7-17.
While these may be some of the biggest Christian camps in the country, there are many wonderful institutions that didn’t make this list. For starters, the folks over at Fellowship of Christian Athletes put on a variety of camps and clinics for kids who want to use their athletic skills to build leadership and spread the love of God in their communities.
Whether you’re looking for the biggest Christian camps in America or just the right camp for your child, you’ll see that there are so many wonderful places to send your kids for an unforgettable experience and Godly teaching. At Camp Electric, we use this same approach for helping the next generation learn how to use their skills in music and the arts to serve the Lord and be a positive influence in the world today. Find out more about Camp Electric and what we do by clicking below.