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When it comes time to decide on summer camp for your kids, you have some great options. Two of the big ones are church camp and individual camp.
Most churches have some type of getaway planned for the summer. Hopefully it's near a lake in the forest, replete with log cabins and fire pits. Just thinking about it makes you want to break out the marshmallows and an acoustic guitar.
Speaking of guitars, if your child has found their passion in life, and it involves six strings and mahogany, it may be time to look into an individual camp. There are specialty camps that facilitate pretty much any skill that your child might like to hone. Everything from music camps (like Camp Electric) to basketball camps are being done at a very high level right now, often involving the professional players that make their industry great.
This is an invaluable experience in the lives of many young believers. We're instructed as Christians to "forsake not the gathering together of the brethren." (Hebrews 10:25) When we "dwell together in unity" we're given this promise: "for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." (Psalm 133)
We see that over and over again at church camps. Young people come together for camp, but somewhere in between morning devotional, evening worship sessions, and being surrounded by like-minded believers, there is an awakening. Many people give their heart to the Lord for the first time at church camp, and it seems like even more rededicate their lives to the Lord. It's a great time of personal and corporate revival.
So this is an easy call. Church camp it is!
Except many of the individual camps offered today provide the best of both worlds. Your child can have a great experience learning from the masters of their chosen craft, while at the same time reaping all of the benefits of submerging themselves in a faith based experience replete with morning devotions and corporate worship times. Take FCA sports camps for example. Plenty of time for learning about Jesus and becoming a better athlete.
The best of these camps have chosen professionals in their industry who exemplify faith on a national or international scale.
One important benefit of attending church camp is that your kids will strengthen their relationships with your church family. These are the people you do life with. Building the fundamentals of trust and familiarity will be important as they face the barrage of peer pressures that are so prevalent in our society. We can overcome any obstacle together. The Bible refers to us as the family of faith, and church camp is an indispensable way to get closer to your family.
While church camp is a fantastic option for most people, not everyone attends a church with a vibrant youth ministry or the resources to host a camp. Perhaps you are even financially blessed to the point where you can consider a 2nd week of camp in the summer.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered too.
One thing to keep in mind is that the family of God is vast. People of all different cultures have found hope in Jesus. Individual camp is an excellent way to broaden the scope of your network. It's amazing to see the kids at camp, from all different backgrounds come together and lift up their voices to our Savior.
When attending an individual camp, children will often experience an accelerated growth as they encounter many firsts.
First time traveling alone. First time being at a university. First time being surrounded by 1,000 complete strangers. And most importantly, their first time bridging all of those gaps and succeeding at things they've never tried before. It's an experience they'll carry with them for a lifetime.
Aside from all of that learning and growing as an individual, there are plenty of chances to grow in their craft. This is a great example of peer pressure at its finest. Some of these children are excelling in their hometowns. So much so that they can become complacent in their talents. But like Tim Tebow says, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work as hard." This is a great chance for the best of the best to come together and challenge each other, not to mention the skilled instructors who set the bar exceptionally high.
When you combine all of that higher learning with morning devotions and evening worship, you create the perfect environment for young minds to flourish. If it's time to take your child's talent to the next level, then it's time to research individual camps. Thankfully there is a virtual smorgasbord of great Christian camps that focus on very specific skill sets. So whatever your child is into, there's a strong chance that you can find a camp to nurture that interest.
Best of both worlds
It's been said that when geniuses are given several options, they often choose both. Which is why I get chocolate and vanilla swirl whenever there's a soft serve machine. Heck, I might even do it twice. Double genius.
Hopefully you won't be put in an either or situation this summer. Church camp is a great experience and it's not just for the kiddos. Make sure you plan a marriage retreat, or a men's/women’s group outing. Or both... because you're a genius too!
Family trips to the lake with Uncle Buck create those memories that will last a lifetime. Youth group camps form ties with your church family, and individual camps hone your skills and form relationships with family you never knew you had.
Life's too short to limit your options every summer .
So there you have it. Start planning and saving up now. Do your prep work and find the best lakes/ waterfalls and rivers out there. Start googling away and find the highly specialized camp that will take your favorite kiddo to the next level. Help them discover their passion early. Feed into that!
Whether they go on to become a rock star, a ballplayer, or decide to get a real job, they'll always remember how you supported their dreams. It could be the determining factor for whether or not they put you in a group home when you’re elderly...think about it.
But really, invest in your kids dreams and your family's quality time. It's one of the best investments you will ever make.
If you do have a child that shows an interest in music, Camp Electric might be the right fit for your family. Click on the link below to find out how your child can attend our next session.