“The impact of camp is not program or facility but people…long after games and adventure are forgotten, campers will remember their counselors.” –Lloyd Mattson, The Camp Counselor
I believe there was an essential reason that Jesus “would withdraw to deserted places and pray” (Luke 5:16). There is something about getting out of our usual routines and surroundings that helps us to get in sync in our walk with Jesus. Disconnecting from our cell phones and other devices also enables us to connect with God in a fresh way. When we are clear of distractions and renewed in our faith, we can also forge relationships that last a lifetime.
These reasons are why a church camp experience is so essential for the youth of BMPC. This being my fifth year of having the privilege to lead Camp Kirkwood, I’m reminded how significant this week at camp is in the faith journeys of our teens. Much like Jesus did with the disciples, our adult leader team is able to take campers to a place where they can grow in faith.
This year, our theme is: ENVISION. We’ve been talking about seeing God’s vision for our lives and for the world. We began the week with the idea of seeing ourselves as God sees us, and we’ll end the week with seeing others as God sees them. As we do every year, we’ve had vibrant worship, with familiar camp and worship songs. It is always a joy to see brand new campers cautiously wade into camp at the beginning of the week and then splash into all our activities as the week goes on.
One of my highlights of the week is seeing our seniors lead the final worship service on Friday night. Together, they lead the other campers and adults in scripture, testimony, and prayer. They set up prayer stations that include prayers for the world on a large map, personal concerns that are read aloud, and prayer partners as the seniors take time to pray for individual campers.
While there is a strong faith-filled spirit at camp, there’s also some good old-fashioned camp fun! During the week, campers enjoy swimming and kayaking, archery and lawn games, crafts and woodshop, high ropes and hiking. Even after our activity time, there is never a dull moment with our camp dance and lip sync battle, campfire, and talent show.
Amid all the memories made at camp, the friendship and relationships are what truly last. Camp is a true expression of what fellowship means in the church. We share Christ’s love together as campers and leaders create forever friendships.
Want to see for yourself? Visit the Camp Kirkwood video blog: www.bmpcyouthcamp2015.com