Updated: Mar 6, 2022
“What are the benefits of summer camp for my child?” This is a question with which I was recently confronted. After 25 summers serving at Frontier Camp, I’d like to submit the top five benefits that I have seen come from camp in the life of a child or teen.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of houses and on your gates.” To paraphrase this for camp, we ask our staff to “Spend time personally with the Lord daily, talk about your relationship with Him as you walk down the hill or ride on a horse, talk about Him with your campers when you lie down and let them see you reading His Word when you get up. Encourage them to memorize His Word and get familiar with His promises.” Watching staffers live for Christ, seeing other campers singing to the Lord, watching the Bible come alive before your eyes…all these things spur campers on to growing spiritually. Some will respond to Christ’s offer of forgiveness for the first time and others will deepen their relationship with Jesus maybe even starting a habit of their own daily quiet time. Spiritual growth is the number one benefit of camp.
So you’ve heard about the spiritual growth, independence, interdependence, time away and outdoor experiences that camp can give. I haven’t even mentioned the friendships, problem solving, learning new skills or dose of patriotism that a camp experience offers. And, sure, I freely admit there is a big cost and even some risk in order to receive these benefits. Try looking at camp as an investment… one that pays big dividends in your child’s growth. If your own kids are too old for camp or if they are already signed up, then you know what to do—tell that family in your church about Frontier Camp and the benefits of a camp experience. They’ll be glad you did.
What about you? How have you benefited from your own experiences as a camper? Or, as a camper parent, what have you seen are the main benefits of your child’s time at camp?