Smell the Marshmallows
From campfire sing-a-longs to water balloon wars, the memories of the Christian camp experience remain warm in the hearts of many.
2020 took an unprecedented toll on camp attendance. Christian camps shut down completely or radically modified what was offered. Many took their camps online. Not a great place for throwing water balloons. What is the 2021 comeback story?
The camping program renewal looks promising. A facelift of a sort is taking place to ensure the safety of both campers and faculty. (no "masking" pun intended)
A recent study by The American Camp Association reported that 30 of the 90,000 youth who participated in face-to-face summer camps in 2020 had confirmed cases of COVID-19 That is an admirable accomplishment. With more practical information about how to keep camps running safely, this should be an even better year.
“The reality is that camp will look different, but we want to make it as normal of a camp experience as possible. The things that are the most foundational to camp will still be there.”
The campers may not even notice the changes that have been made. There will be plenty of "outside time" which is the whole point of camp, anyway. Smaller groups of campers will be kept together as cohorts to minimize exposure. Increased sanitation measures will be implemented and some camps will no longer offer bus transportation. A bit more challenging is the requirement that one group of camps adopted, that campers must isolate and monitor temperatures for 10 days before entering camp.
Is it worth it? Is the relaunch too soon? An article in "Another Child Foundation" reminds us of the value of the Christian camp experience. Listed are: getting away and being in nature; children having new experiences and meeting new friends (especially important coming out of a socially starved year); Bible times, the campfire, and being taught Biblical truths in a setting away from home and parents.
Remember the smell of the marshmallows toasting and get involved. Help the comeback kid by financing camp for a child; volunteering; sending student interns from your churches to be counselors; promote camps in your churches and from the pulpit; drive a kid to camp; financially support the camp and pray for this valuable Christian ministry. It's time to gather again. Hebrews 10:25 says it so well, "not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
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 https://baptistnews.com/article/summer-youth-camps-and-internships-are-making-a-comeback-this-year/#.YKQ_cqhKjIU  ibid  }https://www.cpbc.com/summer/2021-summer-camp-changes/  }https://anotherchildfoundation.org/8-reasons-christian-summer-camp-is-so-important/