While there are many different types of summer camps, one type that typically goes unnoticed is a Christian summer camp. While many campers at this type of summer camp tend to share a faith of Christian or Catholic origin, you will tend to find some kids who do not share this belief system.
Often, these kids come from youth groups that are affiliated with surrounding churches that are in the vicinity of the campground. These kids will typically have become involved in this church community due to the different events these churches hold, one being youth group.
Youth Group is an event many churches have established as part of their community outreach to kids and teens. Normally headed up by a youth pastor youth group, they'll invite kids from the surrounding community to come and partake in an evening of fun, friendship, snacks, a faith-based message, and breakout groups. Friendships are often quickly developed amongst children and youth leaders alike so that it becomes an anticipated regular activity regardless of a child's faith.
This type of event gives those kids who usually wouldn't have a place to go in the evenings a fun and safe environment where they can learn, meet new people, stay active, and are made aware of other types of activities, such as a summer bible camp.
While many kids at a typical youth group can afford a Christian summer camp, unfortunately, some cannot. This is where the youth pastor really steps up for their kids in helping raise awareness in the church body that there are needs within the youths that are left unmet. This typically will lead to a giving service or a fundraiser to help raise funds to provide scholarships for those kids who otherwise could not afford to go to a summer camp.
Once the funds are secured, they are divvied out, regardless of their belief system, depending on the needs of the child or teen. This allows those kids a fun summertime experience they will never forget. Memories will be made, lessons will be learned, and friendships will be forged for each individual who attends.
No matter what background a child comes from, churches see the remarkable impact a week at a Christian camp can have in the life of a minor. Even if the child's faith differs from what is being taught, the love, acceptance, and adventure they will experience can be enough to make an everlasting impact on a child.
Often, it is these children's youth pastors and camp counselors who want to reach the most. They want to fill these kids and teens with hope and show them some people genuinely care about them and their futures. They want to help set them up on the best path possible and leave an impression that will stay with them over the years.
And often, it does. There are many individuals who, when they look back, can attribute many good memories to such a summer camp experience. Some will even go as far as to say that summer camp changed their lives.
So even though bible camp isn't the most sought-after, popular, or well-known, it can and does impact every camper that walks through its gates. So next time you consider sending your child to camp, maybe look into your local bible camps. You never know what might be waiting.