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Who knew there could be so many options for summer camp out there? If you’ve been trying to figure out your kids’ summer plans, you’ve likely run across day camps, private camps, retreats, sports clinics, and a thousand other options. Let’s say you’re settled on sending your child to a camp of some kind this summer. What’s the difference between Christian summer camps and their secular counterparts? We’re glad you asked. Before we talk about the differences, though, let’s discuss the common ground that can be found between secular and Christian summer camps.
Similarities in the Basics of Camp Life
If you were asked to write a list of essential camp activities, you would probably mention games, team competitions, skills or activities, and bonfires. For many camps that is what the experience is all about. We all think back on our time at youth camps and remember the friends we made, our favorite activities, and perhaps even an old crush we had. It’s a fun mile marker in the process of growing up that most of us look back on fondly.
As far as what happens at Christian summer camps vs. at secular camps, you might be surprised at how similar the daily schedule can look at times. Each style of camp will have three meal periods each day with activities like ropes courses, water games, or horseback riding interspersed throughout the day. Then at night there is a program where everyone in the camp will come together. A lot of the differences between the daily schedules of Christian summer camps and secular ones come in the nighttime programming and the interactions between campers and counselors.
A Godly Education at Christian Summer Camps
On the programming side, you can expect some sort of Christian education to be introduced in a religiously sponsored camp. How much and what kind depends on what the focus of the camp is, as there are camps designed to address leadership, athletics, and so on. At the same time, different Christian summer camps will have a predetermined curriculum that is likely unique to that camp. A camp that is aimed at younger kids will likely focus on the basics of Christianity like biblical accounts of David and Jesus, the importance of memorizing scripture, and understanding the story of the Bible. Teenagers, on the other hand, are often struggling with identity and learning how to reconcile their Christian faith with what the outside world is telling them so Christian camps focused on older kids are often dealing with these important issues.
The nighttime programming at secular camps mainly consists of lip sync contests, skits, and mini-games whereas a Christian summer camp will use the nightly assembly to share from God’s Word. We all love fun and games, but since the majority of the daily schedule is already focused on that, having a time in the evening to come together, relax, and hear inspired teaching is great for kids to wind down before lights out. This is only part of the Godly education that parents can expect for their kids to have at Christian summer camps. The next step involves the counselors and other spiritual mentors and leaders at camp.
Spiritual Mentors and Leaders
Counselors can have an amazing level of influence on campers. That’s why some of the best camps for teens have a pretty exhausting process for finding the best employees. When your child attends a Christian camp, he or she will come into contact with a number of great people leading music, serving as the camp pastor, facilitating the games, etc. but camp counselors have the most 1-on-1 time with your child. At Christian summer camps, this role goes beyond simply making sure that the kids are behaved and are in the right place at the right time. A counselor also serves as a spiritual mentor who leads Bible studies and answers questions that a child may have when it comes to God’s Word.
These counselors aren’t the only Christian leaders your child will experience at religious camps either. Everyone from the people preparing the meals to working in the office are there to help your child enjoy an amazing time at camp while also meeting his needs as a developing Christian. This creates a healthy environment for kids to grow and learn.
A More Fun View of Faith
Has your child ever fallen asleep in a worship service or spent that time turning the weekly bulletin into a canvas for all of his rudimentary masterpieces? Children don’t always associate faith with fun because church is a place catered more toward adults. There’s nothing wrong with a young child occasionally getting bored in church, but we should do what we can to help them understand everything that is going on. A great way to give them a spark for the Bible is to send them to Christian summer camps. There they can learn all about God’s Word in a fun community that is geared toward them. When you’re mixing Christian principles in with ziplines, horseback riding, and pool parties, kids are bound to be more receptive. This experience also surrounds them with other kids who are also learning and having fun. If the camp is one your home church puts on, you can also look forward to your child coming home with a strong support group of friends who are instilled with Godly teaching as well.
Parents Have Less to Worry About With Christian Summer Camps
We know for many parents it can be difficult to hand your children over to someone else for a week or more. Even after thoroughly researching a camp before registering your child, there can be some anxiety. That’s why you may find it better to stick with a trusted Christian summer camp to minimize any possible issues. There are plenty of great secular camps that take the welfare of their campers seriously, but Christian camps also immerse your child in a spiritual environment where there is very little to worry about. As kids get older, they are confronted with all kinds of beliefs and temptations that may draw them away from a spiritual upbringing, but at Christian camps they can develop a deeper sense of faith in a protected setting.
These are just a few of the reasons why Christian summer camps offer a different experience from their secular counterparts. As always, we suggest that you find camp options that interest your child and meet your needs as a family. At Camp Electric, we want to help your child become the best musician he or she can be and to use that skill in whatever way they choose to glorify the Lord. Our instructors come from the biggest bands in Christian music and they want to help your child succeed. Find out how your son or daughter can be our next camper by clicking on the link below.