Growing up can be hard. Children and teenagers alike can deal with some big challenges as they get older, and navigating the different challenges and questions of life is no easy task. Coming on a holiday camp can be an amazing break from it all, a time to get out into the fresh air and have some crazy fun.
At the same time, however, camp can be a wonderful opportunity for young people to discover more about themselves and their place in the world. By running faith-based camps, we seek to help make this happen.
The power of camp is in the community. For five days, people of all backgrounds and different beliefs come together to build relationships. CYC camp programs are designed to engage young people in a variety of activities, and our Christian input is an important part of this. We aim to create a safe space for young people to explore life’s biggest questions about life and faith.
At the end of the day, I can only speak for my own camp journey and the countless campers I’ve gotten to spend time with during my time as a camp leader. If you would like to learn more about what to expect from a specific upcoming camp program, our CYC camp directors are always happy to help out.
To ask any questions about our upcoming camp programs, contact CYC Ministries today.
Asking the Big Questions
Camp serves many purposes. Fun, relationship building, personal development – the list could go on and on! One big aspect of what makes camp so impactful for young people is the opportunity to explore ‘big’ topics around life and faith. Regardless of your background or what you believe, camp is a safe space to ask questions about these topics.
Daily small group discussion times offer young people the chance to speak with both peers and leaders about the topics being brought up during session times. I can distinctly remember being twelve years old and writing down question after question for the Q and A box my camp leaders had set up for me. Getting the chance to step away from ‘regular life’ to explore different aspects of life and faith can be a major milestone for a young person.
Hearing From a Camp Speaker
On every single CYC Holiday Camp, there will be a guest speaker to present daily sessions. Our speakers come from church and/or ministry backgrounds, all well-equipped to create sessions that can engage young people in age-appropriate Christian input. This content is designed to be accessible to campers of all backgrounds, whether they’ve grown up in church and are looking to take the next step in their faith or whether they’ve never heard anything about Christianity in their lives.
I could probably name every single camp speaker I had when I was a camper… and there were quite a few! The intentional messages delivered throughout the week quickly became a central part of my faith development, especially as a young person who wasn’t attending church. Each camp became an opportunity to grow myself, and I hung on to every word from the amazing speakers we had on camp. On top of that, they were always so present throughout camp as a whole, always happy to have a chat or answer whatever burning questions I had as a young person.
Discovering Faith in Your Own Time
Maybe the most beautiful thing about camp is the fact that it can serve people in so many unique ways. For me, camp was where I got to make my faith my own – it was the place where I got to intentionally learn more and ask questions, and ultimately the key Christian input I got in my life as a teenager. As I’ve become a leader, however, I’ve gotten to see the different experiences every camper gets.
For some, camp is the only place where they can explore the idea of faith. Others may come from church backgrounds and be used to the Christian community, or others may have no interest whatsoever. Getting to lead young people on camp has shown me the power of simply giving opportunities. Some people may finish camp having taken very little away from the sessions – and that’s okay! Our job is to meet campers where they’re at, answer their questions, and model what living life in faith can look like.
Learning about faith on camp is tied closely to sharing stories. That’s part of what connected with me so much during my camper days. Having leaders willing to share their faith and life experiences with me provided a better understanding of the world. I got to share my experiences and challenges, hear from fellow campers who’d lived through similar things, and learn from all the different leaders throughout camp.
Having a team that each comes with their own church backgrounds, journeys, and lived experiences gives a unique opportunity to connect with young people in a way that best works for them.
Witnessing Camper Growth
Maybe the best part of moving from being a camper to being a leader is getting to expand my understanding of the impacts of camp. Seeing camper after camper grows in their faith and personal development over the years has encouraged me so much in my own faith. I’ve watched campers grow up from Primary Camps into Teen Camps, and seen how camp has gradually impacted their faiths over the years.
I’ve witnessed young people come on one camp and decide that faith is something for them. I’ve known others who have come every school holidays for years, who haven’t started to ask questions about Christianity until their tenth camp.
Long story short – I believe in the impact camp has on young people’s faith because I’ve seen it with my own eyes! Not only were camps foundational to my own beliefs, but I’ve gotten to watch countless campers learn more about faith and life with the support of a camp community.
Sign Up for Camp Today to Secure a Spot
Coming on camp can transform lives. If I hadn’t decided to spend my school holidays on camp, my life and faith would look completely different. If you have a young person in your life who could benefit from the power of camp, it’s time to sign them up! Click the link below to check out our upcoming camps, and sign up today to secure a spot.
Check out more great STORIES FROM CAMP at our blog here