Our high school ministry summer camp is six months away and I’m already thinking about this year’s camp and praying about it. For the past two years I’ve seen lives changed in that week at camp, I know how powerful it can be for students who meet Jesus for the first time at camp. I’m taking a freshman group this year, so I’m also praying for me and hoping I can find a good co-leader for camp this year.
I have a friend who I work with at Saddleback Church and he just got involved with being a student ministry volunteer this year and I want to con him…I mean convince him into coming to camp this year, I think it will grow him and be a great thing for students to have him there this year.
As a camp veteran now, there are some things I want to be sure I do. I want to make sure I make the most of cabin time at night with my group. Our camp is one week long so I have four chances (Friday we are on our way home and there is no cabin time) to share God with students and help them along in their walk. I look at it as each night 25% of my cabin time is going to take place and I need to make the most of it.
Activities during the day with students are super important. I learned that last year when I had a group that I hadn’t met until the day we left for camp. I made a concerted effort to spend as much time with them during the day and find some one-on-one time with each student during the week. It paid off; those guys are all in my small group now and I thank God every day for each of them. However I will stress here, it’s important to find some time during the day for a quick quiet time with God. Don’t get so wrapped up in serving God at summer camp that you forget to spend time with him yourself!
I also think it’s important to find some time during the day to slip away and have a quick few minutes with other leaders:
- After about 24 hours of total immersion with students I need to have a conversation with someone that where every sentence does not start with the word “dude”.
- I want to hear how other leaders are doing, how they are handing problems with their groups. I might be having the same issues or someone else might be dealing with what I am. Two are stronger than one; we need to help each other out.
I’m also praying for the students I’ll have a camp this year, who I don’t even know yet. I’d love to hear how you start preparing yourself for summer camp.