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It’s kids’ camp time again. I’d like to address the importance of preparing your kids to go to and enjoy the camp experience. I spoke in Wisconsin camp a few years back. When kids entered the campground, they could read a huge banner strung up above the chapel doorway. The banner read, “Welcome to the Best Week of Your Life.” I wish that were true for all kids attending AG camps this summer. For some, the inability to cope with the culture of Pentecost presented at camp can result in a less-than-stellar memory.
I’ve been involved to one degree or another in summer camps for twenty years. I was a counselor during my college years, took kids to them (and retreats) for eleven years as a youth pastor, and have been involved in leading statewide camps for the past eight years. Now I am sending my own kids. And I can tell you from two decades of experience that there is a marked difference between kids who go to a Christian summer camp and kids who don’t.
My favorite element of Tru Fire is that it sets kids up with the tools they need to take hold of their faith. Lots of curricula are more interested in raising up good kids, but Tru Fire looks to train a generation of godly kids. Tru Fire helps kids interact with God’s Word, and it teaches kids to go to God with their burdens and to work things out in prayer.
A lot of great things can happen during a week of camp. It’s every parent’s (and every camp supporter’s) dream that the camping experience with the longest impact on a child’s life is a work of the Holy Spirit. However, there are some things that can end up short-circuiting the work the Holy Spirit wants to do.
I once heard what I thought was the perfect description of kids’ camp for a child. It was in an online article. The author was Dick Gruber. He described kids’ camp through the eyes of a child, as a week-long glimpse of what heaven is going to be like. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. However, in the running of kids’ camps, kids are not the only ones that are a part of the kids’ camp experience. It’s the children’s pastors, moms and dads, and volunteers that help you achieve that goal for our kids.