Grow In Faith At Camp
admin | May 25, 2017
“Grow in Faith at Camp” is a part of our continuing Camp is More than Fun blog series, in which we’re discussing ways campers often grow while they’re at camp, through challenges, intentional teaching, and new experiences. Be sure to check out our Camp is More than Fun philosophy and access other posts in this series.
Covenant Harbor is a Christian camp, that is the most foundational part of our identity. It’s why we’re here. We treasure the opportunity to teach kids about scripture and the faith ideas that shape and guide the lives of our staff and our institution as a whole.
Our faith goal for your camper while they’re here is easy to say, harder to do. Our hope is to encourage them to “go further” in their faith journey, to grow in faith at camp. Every camper (and member of staff, for that matter) comes to camp with a different experience of faith. We’re privileged to serve kids who come to camp from many faith traditions, and many levels of involvement in church and faith: from kids whose families are actively involved in their local Catholic Church and community, to kids who grew up evangelical, to kids who have never been to church, to kids from entirely different faiths.
With that in mind, we train our staff and shape our program to offer as much opportunity to discuss faith as campers would like to take advantage of, without forcing or manipulating them into anything. We teach them that Jesus loves them and we do, too. We present the basic gospel and leave room for them to respond if they so choose. But, more often than not, campers’ growth in faith at camp happens outside a lesson or song, instead happening in a conversation with a peer or counselor who may see things differently or in a fresh way. This is where our “go further” philosophy comes into play. We try to meet campers where they are at and encourage them to take that next step or ask that next question.
We know we have campers here just for a short time. With that in mind, we strongly encourage growth started at camp to be continued at home. We encourage campers to tell the trusted adults in their lives about what they’ve learned and how they’re growing.
Camp is a prime place to learn and grow, especially in faith. It’s honestly wondrous to see how kids open up in attention and perception at camp. Being free from normal distractions and responsibilities leaves a lot of mental and emotional space for self-examination and spiritual growth. We all need retreat, and, as busy and crazy as camp is, it often acts as a perfect retreat for kids. Also, we believe being out in creation puts you in touch with your creator and makes room for new lessons and spiritual growth.
Blog series by Brad Hutchison.