Christian camp experiences are a valuable part of a child’s relationship with Jesus. These are times that are set apart and designed for students to center on Jesus, connect with supportive friends and leaders, and cooperate in the mission of God. Camp experiences have been designed to meet the student where they are and draw them into a deeper relationship with Jesus. I realize that there are many demands on your time and money during the summer months. I would like to encourage you to prioritize camp for your kids on the calendar and in the budget.
Reasons I love summer camps:
- Camp is a great place to take big steps on your journey with God. In the normal ongoing ministries of our kids and youth our leaders are committed to meet a child where they are and walk them one step closer to Jesus. With some time set apart at camp we can take more steps in one week of camp than we can in six months of “normal” ministry.
- Incredible friendships are formed. The friendships that are formed or grown during the camp experience have the benefit of being formed around a common focus on Jesus. These friendships will continue to give encouragement all year long.
- We get some intense time with God. The leaders spend months planning and preparing for the summer camps so that the environment is set to hear God speak into their lives.
- Students make life-changing decisions at camp. Many decisions that are made in a camp setting are life changing for the students. Some hear a call to be a missionary or a pastor, some are drawn more in love with Jesus, others make a decision to share the love of Jesus with their peers during the school year. These decisions play out during the school year and often their whole lives long.
- A unique learning experience. Kids who don’t connect with the classroom setting will be given opportunities to learn truths and applications about God while using their whole bodies and being outside. So many behaviors that are inappropriate in the classroom are perfectly accepted in a camp setting….running, yelling, jumping, dancing, and belly laughing. Most kids will learn applications in this setting, some kids can only learn those types of applications in the camp setting.
Believe me, as a parent of 3 camp aged children, I understand that the cost can be overwhelming and daunting. This is why I am attaching several ideas on how your family can start now to plan for camp to put this life changing experience within reach.
Ideas for raising money for camp:
Gifts: Your student can ask for money for camp or a mission’s trip for Christmas or birthdays.
Auction: Have your student think about some talents and abilities they can offer to friends and family such as babysitting, yard work, crafting, baking, etc. Auction off 4 hours of services to the highest bidder. Determine your time frame, publicize through email, Facebook and phone calls.
Work: Using the talents and abilities that we have talked about above, seek work with family and friends using these services. You can publicize an hourly rate or offer to work for donations.
Raffle: Is there something that your family can come up with that has value? A weekend away, a home cooked meal, a business service? Print up raffle tickets and directions. Determine a date to hold the raffle and sell the raffle tickets to friends and family.
Support Letter: Send letters out to your friends and family requesting support for camp. Draft a letter with an introduction paragraph describing who you are, what you are doing and the benefit that you see. Give a clear invitation to support you through a donation. Give clear instructions on the time frame and how to send money.
Bible-a-thon: Our KIDS ministry holds a Bible-a-thon each March. The kids ask for people to sponsor them to read the Bible. Sponsors can either give a set amount or an amount per chapter read. There are forms and instructions available at http://www.risenking.org. You are welcome to use the forms and do a Bible-a-thon on your own.
Save: Designate a container in the house to save money for camps and missions trips. Deposit coins and money throughout the next 6 months. You will be amazed at how much you can store away. Make some sacrifices and encourage your children to make sacrifices in order to go to camp.
As you are working toward saving for camp, involve your kids in the process all along the way. The experience of camp will be greater if they were involved in the sacrifice to make it happen.
Do you have an amazing camp testimony of your own or one of your kids? Do you have other ideas on how to raise money? Do you have other reasons that you prioritize Christ centered camps? Please share your thoughts to encourage others in their journey
Thanks for writing this! Yes, camp is very important and these are great suggestions for helping parents overcome the financial obstacles in getting their kids there. I’ll be sending this post out to the parents in our church when we start planning out next one.
Great article and ideas. Across dedcades from my first camp experience at 10 years, to attending during teen years, serving as counselor, director, even a Camp Manager, I totally agree with the value of Christian Camping.