So Summer Camp has once again wrapped up for your kids. They have returned home with new friends, new memories and hopefully, for the boys, a few more scars to impress the girls with. Additionally, they have a reignited passion for Jesus and have talked your ears off about all the amazing Chapel times and answers to prayer. Although we can’t really expect the spiritual energy to last forever, there are a few things that will really help your child to water the seeds that were planted in summer.
1. Get them back together with their friends
One of the reasons that camp is such a great experience is because of the community and when that is over and done with it can be a shock to the system. Suddenly, the worship that felt easy at camp is hard at home on our own. This is human nature. So have your child’s new and old friends over a couple of times and encourage them to talk about camp and what they learned.
2. Host a cabin reunion
I know, I know, there is a reason you giggled to yourself as you dropped off your child at camp and saw his cabin… those kids get a little nuts when they hang out together; poor counselors! Well, now it’s your turn to be the counselor and have the kids into your home for a few hours. This can be helpful for your child, but especially helpful for the kids who were very connected to church before camp – they also need someone to advocate and help them!
3. Keep the schedule going
Another reason kids do well at camp spiritually is that they are sort of forced to take it seriously. There are morning and evening devotions, plus chapels and cabin times. Instead of just getting back into summer holiday mode, why not keep a bit of the camp schedule going and encourage your kids to get up with you to do devotions.
4. Ask them what their favourite worship music was and download those songs
Very likely, your child fell in love with a song or two at camp. They may have known them from church, or they may have been brand new. Regardless, get the name of the song and download that worship album. This will reinforce those great memories and will give YOU a window into their experience.
5. Write their counselor a note
Take some time and write your child’s counselor a thank you note and include some memories from your child. Make sure you are specific and tell them exactly what your kid was talking about when they got off the bus. Remember, the pillow-fights were in many cases just as important as the prayer times because those experiences built positive memories and friendships that could last a long time! (Incidentally, I can’t believe how awesome our staff and counselors were this year! They let kids absolutely abuse them in order to help them make a great memory!)
6. Go to church and keep your kids involved
As fall approaches and school begins with new schedules and sports teams and all the other stuff that takes up our time, make an effort to keep church on the weekend and mid-week youth programs a big part of their life. It is our job as parents to help our kids to be more than a summer camp Christian!
Remember as with all things, summer camp is about the long perspective. Many seeds take a long time to germinate and even longer to grow to the point of producing fruit. Pray that God does the work He has promised to do for those who love Him!
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