If you haven’t taken your young people on a camp you’re missing out on great opportunities. If you do take the young people you serve to camp this post is also for you. Here are … reasons to take (and to continue taking) young people on camps:
A change of environment allows makes it easier for young people to disconnect and focus better. Jesus took advantage of times people took time out from their towns and environment to teach them. (e.g. Matthew 14:15).
A change in environment can cut the usual distractions allowing young people to be more receptive.
Friends of some of the young people in your group may not be willing to come to your Friday night meetings but it may be easier to invite them to a camp instead. There you can create opportunities for them to be exposed to the love and message of Christ.
Consider challenging your youth group and local church to giving so you can take young people who are not yet Christ followers to camp, to hear a message that will change the rest of their lives.
You can structure your camp with a theme or curriculum. Camps are a great environment to focus on a theme or subject with depth and intensity in a short space of time.
Series in your weekly meetings are great but with the interruption of school and other things during the week a lot of what young people are taking may not be sticking well.
Camping provides a great environment to go deeper in teaching some things. Young people can ask questions and you can give enough time to responding to them.
You can also use the time to check their understanding.
Shared experiences in an adventure environment can deepen relationships between you, the youth pastor or leader and the young people. This is important, as relationships are the basis of ministry.
The young people in your youth group also grow deeper in relationship with each other. Unity among your young people can be a basis for united action in reaching other young people in the community and serving in your local church.
Jesus taught that the world would know us by our love for each other. Where there is love and complete acceptance young people will flock.
Any youth pastor who has taken young people to a camp will tell you that some young people catch a passion for God and service at camp. There is something about camping that stirs passion in young people.
Youth for Christ South Africa (YfCSA) has run thousands of camps since its start. Our experience proves it is a great ministry tool. So much so that YfCSA runs two campsites, namely L’abri in KZN and CYARA (also known as the Training Centre) in Magaliesburg.
We have also been running Youth Week camp since 1963, where thousands of young people have become Christ followers.
Start planning your youth camp, trust God for changed young lives and just do it.