These next 8 days will involve me surrounded by plenty of my under 18 friends as well as a couple who are over 18. Yes, I am going to youth camp. Leading a group of kids halfway across the country in large vehicles, our goal is the Tennessee Outreach Project, or MT. Top.

These trips wear you out, shut down several work weeks before departure and tend to disrupt normal life.

It is totally worth it.

I am happy to see many churches have continued to encourage some sort of camp experience as part of their programming. I think any church should at least offer this, and build the rest of a yearly program around camp. You can never go wrong with setting time apart and focusing on God.

Here are a few reasons Church Camp Matters

1. It creates a new experience.
You could say this is the reason all others spring forth. Camp is a sociological experiment. In it you take tons of kids our of their element. You mix them up, change their schedule, deny them the level of privacy they are used to and generally give them a much more rigid schedule than normal. Camp puts attendants (adults and youth) in an unseen sociological phenomenon crafted to change everything.

It throws them off.

In the middle of this chaos their is one stability. They hear about Jesus a lot. They become receptive to the Holy Spirit in new ways. People begin to contemplate and feel the love of the Father in ways never sensed before. Since distractions are eliminated and

In short, camp allow people to experience God.

2. It builds unknown relationships
One of the things I always appreciated about camp was meeting new people. The youth at St. Paul’s LOVE this part of our trip. They look forward to the relationships they begun last year and hope to see their friends again. They consciously voice how they want to be around different people. Trust me, the kids from different parts of the country are really different from ours and it makes our experience stronger.

But the students also socialize amongst themselves in new ways. They make friends they might have not encountered during school. It might be age, grade, location or social circles. Camp allows relationships to begin and flourish in unexpected ways.

3. Expectancy is taken home.
This is the hard one. Everyone is familiar with the post camp high. Some people loose it after a few days. Others are changed eternally. They sense the world with different emotions.

They start to expect to see God move.

They start to assume you will see God in the world and begin to pattern life after that assumption.

They start to expect to see God move.