1. Campers grow in Self-Esteem
Camp provides an opportunity for kids to grow in self-worth. By trying new things, making new friends, and accomplishing challenges, kids gain confidence. When this happens in the midst of a caring, Christian community, it has an even greater impact. Young people who share their camp experiences with us nearly always speak of the love and acceptance they feel in the Camp Luther community; something that may be missing in other areas of their lives. At camp we seek to love and accept every person as a unique, special child of God. Most importantly, we want every camper to know how much Jesus loves them. That's where real self-worth comes from.
2. Campers grow through Relationships
Whether we admit or not, we all seek to be in relationships with others. Imagine how your child will grow through interaction within a camper group: cooperating together, eating together, sharing new experiences, having fun, facing challenges, working through differences, and studying God's Word. This type of social interaction is vital in our world today where we often don't know our neighbors, where we separate into different rooms each evening, and rely on texting, Facebook, and Snapchat for communication. God meant for us to be in community with others. In the community of summer camp, children develop relationship skills as they have face-to-face interaction with fellow campers and their counselors. It's in these relationships where friendships blossom, hearts are opened, encouragement is shared, and Christian love is melded. And it's these relationships that will continue to be blessings long after camp is over.
3. Campers grown in Maturity
All children grow differently. Maturity may be one of those areas that lags behind as we watch our children grow physically. Camp helps children grow in maturity as they find themselves in real situations. Instead of relying on mom or dad, they begin to develop their own independence. Simple decisions like picking a canoeing partner or managing their canteen money for the week help children mature. Making the right decisions at camp with counselors as role-models can lead to kids making the right decisions at home, school, or the mall. After camp, many parents begin to see their children living out their faith and making the right decisions based upon their own belief systems, not just to please their parents. That is when parents begin to see real maturity.
4. Campers Grow in the Faith and Knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18)
We hope your child grows in many ways through their experience at Camp Luther, but
nothing is more important to us than your child growing in their relationships with Jesus. Daily Christian growth hour and devotions are just part of it. It's our goal to help children see how God is involved in all aspects of their lives. So we bring Jesus to the archery range, along on the hike for ice cream, and to the overnight camp-out. Counselors help children see Christ working in every area of our lives.
Parents often tell me they see real changes in their children after camp. The Bible promises the "fruits of the spirit" through our faith in Jesus Christ. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23)
As the Spirit works in our lives, those fruits become evident to those around us. As your child is immersed in God's Word and surrounded by Jesus' love at camp, they will be changed. They will grow!
Gary "Woody" Vought
Camper Parent, Former Camper