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Most people are aware of the benefits of Christian camp for young children. Camp is a chance to explore, get away for the summer and do some fun activities. Young children, however, are not the only ones who can benefit from Christian camp.
There is much that teenagers can gain from camp as well. For them, a Christian camp can be a very important step in their spiritual and social development by encouraging the following:
1. Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone
For many teenagers, camp is their first experience of being away from home for an extended period. They are in a new place with few, if any, people they know. While this can seem daunting at first, most teens settle quickly and easily into the camp environment.
The numerous camp activities and events offered help make this transition easier and aid in the formation of friendships. By the end of their time at camp, teens are filled with a sense of accomplishment at having faced and conquered challenges, formed new friendships and made personal discoveries without the assistance of their parents.
2. Utilizing Teamwork
Camp is a great resource for instilling the value of teamwork to teens. At an age when most teenagers are “me-obsessed” camp can provide ways to get them working together as a cooperative unit. Often, campers are divided into groups and given tasks and challenges and expected to work as a team to meet a goal.
The goal may be the completion of an athletic challenge, a service project or a competition. The teens involved learn to work cooperatively, utilizing the strengths of each individual in order to come out on top. Here are a few teamwork focused cooperation games to get you started.
3. Forming Lifelong Friendships
The Christian camp environment easily lends itself toward the formation of lasting relationships. Teen at camp often feel more able to let down their guards and be themselves than they do among their school peers. Such open and honest relationships carry on past the commencement of camp, and they aren’t formed only between campers.
Teens many times find a friend and mentor in their camp counselor. Well-trained counselors are more than chaperones. They become respected leaders and guides who are able to foster conversations that teens would be hesitant to share with church leaders, teachers, or even their parents.
4. Finding New Interests and/or Talents
Christian camp can also be a wonderful place for teens to try new things and explore their talents. A change of scenery and the formation of honest friendships can give teenagers the initiative and courage to explore a new interesting activity or display a previously hidden talent. Often new interests and talents are discovered through the wide range of unique activities and various projects offered at camp.
5. Encouraging Spiritual Development
The most important benefit of Christian camp for teens is that of spiritual growth. Camps are designed to not only help young people strengthen their personal beliefs, but to also put those beliefs into action. Teens are given opportunities to take part in many faith-building activities such as Bible studies, but also service work and missions projects. Through these activities, teens learn how to apply spiritual precepts to their school, work and social lives. Do you have trouble balancing Spiritual time and fun times?
While Christian camp affords teens a chance to play and socialize, it is more than time away from home and mom and dad. A good camp will help teens to foster new, lasting friendships, work in cooperation with peers, explore new interests outside their comfort zones and will encourage spiritual growth.
For many teens, the lessons learned and the friends made at Christian camp continue to benefit their spiritual and social development throughout the rest of their lives.
Special thanks to WOL Christian Camps for making this article possible.