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The importance of choosing a theme that will resonate with the youth attending your camp is paramount. One of the best ways to choose a youth camp theme that will resonate with teens is to have a few youth on your camp planning team. However, it may be difficult for your team to find a new spin on an old topic. That is why it is essential to have multiple experienced members on your team as well.
A few tips to remember when picking your theme:
- Make it catchy – The theme should be something easy to remember by your teens.
- Repetition matters – Throughout the course of the camp use games, messages and activities to help your youth remember it.
- Relatable – Try to focus on themes that will directly impact your the lives of your youth group. As a youth minister you are required to know the latest trends for teenagers. Use these trends to create a message that your youth can relate to and be compelled to talk about outside of camp.
- Plan, Plan, Plan – Simply picking a youth camp theme isn’t enough. Make sure everyone on your team is on the same page with the theme. As described above, repetition matters and the earlier each person can plan their part the better.
- Audio/Video help – We are a visual society. If you can create or find videos that help enforce a point that will go a long way towards helping teens engage with the theme. The Skit Guys have created tons of themed videos that can be purchased and downloaded.
- Pray – Really, no youth camp theme is worth doing if you haven’t prayed and sought after God’s direction for youth camp.
Within this website there are some great posts that will give you ideas surrounding themes and scriptural references. The top five themes this year include, but are not limited to, Fruit of the Spirit and Do Something. We also have the fifteen epic youth camp themes which include Preparing for the Future, Frenemies: Defining Your Relationships from God’s Viewpoint, and Engage your Culture. While we will be talking more about activities in future posts, here is another post from the past titled “Christian Youth Camp Themes and Activities” that is a favorite among the Christian Camp Pro community.
Outside of these themes you could also consider theming your camp around the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This theme can be particularly poignant to teens for several reasons. First, because we are all imperfect beings it is important to understand the process of repentance and how we can use it in our lives. However, what can be more poignant for teenagers trying to live a Christ like life in today’s culture is the message that Christ took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses (Matthew 8:17). The message that Christ suffered all of our pain, not only for our sins, can give great hope to teens who are especially vulnerable to feeling alone. Helping teens to understand that they are not alone is so important.
Another theme that can be particularly helpful to youth of today is a theme of service. Using John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another,” as a guide can help the youth attending your camp understand the importance of Christ like love and service to others.
As with choosing your camp team, approaching the theme of your camp with a prayerful and humble attitude will help you to have a successful camp that will enrich the lives of the teens that attend it.