The Value of Camp
Is Summer Camp Worth It?
What do people look for when shopping for a summer camp? What do you look for? Pictures of kids with smiling faces? Maybe. How about the theme for the upcoming summer? Perhaps.
More often than not though, you’re probably looking for the price. ‘What is this going to cost?’ Once you see the price, you begin to make an evaluation. ‘Is this camp going to be worth it? What do I get for my money?’
As much as we all appreciate a good deal, I do not believe that this is the most accurate way of evaluating summer camp’s value. The value of a week at a camp like Mt. Lou San goes far beyond the dollars and cents. Consider these aspects which add invaluable worth to a week of camp.
- Exposure to the Word of God
We all understand what happens to our skin when we are exposed to the sun. The more time we are out in the sun, the darker (or redder as the case may be) the color of our skin becomes. In a very similar way, extensive exposure to God’s Word brings about life change. Campers will benefit from the chapel messages they hear. But the hearing of the Word of God is not limited to chapels. Morning quiet time, cabin devotions before bed, spiritual challenges at the low ropes course, Bible memory work after lunch, and devotional and godly music options at the Outpost are just a few of the ways we try to impress God’s truth on the hearts of our campers during a week.
Romans 10:17 reminds us that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that “the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword . . .” The intense exposure to God’s truth over a week of camp leaves a lasting impression.
- Removal of Distractions and Wrong Influences
Think about two concepts with me: Busyness and Easy Access. We live in a culture that is busy by nature. Our schedules are demanding - filled with things to do and places to go. We also live in a culture where things are easily accessible. While it is a blessing to have so many things and opportunities at our disposal, it can be a curse as well. With so many options available, children and teens can easily be distracted from living in obedience to God’s Word.
A week of camp removes a person from a regular routine and comfort zone. It also provides a unique setting for reflection and discussion of the truths of God’s Word.
Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds us that we are to set aside weights that hinder us. Camp helps us to set aside those weights for a time to more deeply focus on a relationship with Jesus.
- Connection with Concerned and Trained Staff
Hearing the Word of God is a great benefit, but observing an example that is living the Word of God takes it to the next level. The staff at Mt. Lou San are far from perfect, but they are committed to the mission of the camp: “connecting people to the truths of God’s Word for the purpose of life change.”
Interaction with young adults who reinforce the truths of the Bible is priceless. What a benefit for young people to hear and see that the Christian life really works!
The process described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:2 is what we are striving for: “and the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
As you contemplate the decision to send your child to camp, I trust these “hidden” benefits will ring loud and clear in your mind. As you ask yourself “Is camp worth it?” look beyond the bank account balance and envision your child or teen 5 or 10 years down the road. We look forward to the opportunity to invest deeply in your young person!
This article was originally published in The Encounter Story, a quarterly publication created to show how your involvement with the ministry is helping us to do great things for God and His people in the U.S. and the world! Read The Encounter Story