When my parents signed me up for my first CYC primary camp, I’m sure it was simply a matter of wanting me out of the house for a few days of the holidays. And I was on board as soon as I heard about the waterslide, so it was a win-win!
What they didn’t expect was the way I would fall completely in love with camp, now itching to sign up for however many school holiday camps they would let me go on. Deciding whether a week of camp could be the right choice for a young person in your life can depend on several factors, but why not start by asking how camp could positively impact their growth and development?
Continue reading to learn about just five ways being on camp impacted by life and personal growth.
To ask any questions about our upcoming camp programs, contact CYC Ministries today.
#1 New Community
The temporary community created on camp is something that can be hard to understand if you haven’t lived through it. As an introverted kid, I didn’t expect to like spending five days with a group of strangers. And yet, I found a tight-knit community that welcomed me, accepted me, and had me excited to come back time and time again. The lack of phones and devices on camp left us no choice but to connect with this new group of people, in our cabin and camp as a whole.
The leaders took the time to get to know me, I bonded with other campers over races down the waterslide and messy games, and before I knew it I was sad to be going home again. The camp community gives young people of all backgrounds and personalities a place to belong, connect, and learn how to be a part of an interdependent community.
#2 Personal Growth
Camp pushed me out of my comfort zone. Not only did I have to make friends with new people, but I also got the chance to conquer activities that I’d always chickened out on before (namely the flying fox). Going on camp time and time again transformed me into someone that was happy to try new experiences, comfortable jumping into a group of new people and getting to know them, and spending time away from my usual community. All of these skills have definitely shaped me into the person I am today!
On top of that, being on CYC camps gave me an opportunity to explore issues around life and faith in new ways. The leaders that guided me through these discussions had a profound impact on my life, and camp became the place where I could explore who I was and who I wanted to be. From primary camps through to teen camps, I learned a lot about the Christian faith and got to make choices around what I personally believed.
#3 Lifelong Relationships
When you go on a school holiday camp, you’re going to meet people you never would have met otherwise. Even if you attend camp with friends, there will be other people in the cabin and wider community to get to know and befriend. There are people from my very first primary camp that I’m still in contact with, and I can’t even count all the people in my life that I know from doing camps together over the years.
I met people with different backgrounds and stories than my own. Building relationships with them helped me broaden my perspective and gave me loads of friends to catch up with throughout the school term. One of the highlights of camp is always scrawling emails and contact details on pieces of paper to try and stay in touch with the other campers!
#4 Leadership Development
One amazing aspect of the CYC camp structure is that it gave me room to continue growing as I got older. My first primary camp led me to go on teen camps as I grew older, and rather than ‘ageing out’ of camp I decided to explore what it might look like to try to lead. I attended the Leaders in Training program, which taught me a lot about life, faith, and being a good leader.
I never expected to really enjoy camp when I started out, let alone leading on camp, but I ended up falling completely in love with it. The opportunities to grow as a leader and get encouraged by the leaders around me spanned across my initial days as a camper to my leadership training, and has continued on every camp I’ve ever attended. No matter when your involvement with CYC ends, every young person is given the opportunity to step up and grow in their ability to connect with others.
#5 A Heap of Fun
Look, I’ve saved the best for last – camp is fun! I could spend hours listing off all my favourite memories from being a camper. Sliding through foamy slip n’ slides, soaring down the flying fox, racing around the campsite on a scavenger hunt, canoeing, board games, classic camp-wide competitions, discos… I could go on and on. I kept coming back to camp because I loved it! There was something for everyone, and I never had a dull day.
Who knows how many events and invitations I turned down because I was determined to spend my holidays on camp. I think everyone who knew me growing up (and knows me now) would say that “Sorry, I’ll be on camp!” is one of my most common phrases. Some of my favourite memories all take place at CYC campsites!
Sign Up for Camp Today to Secure a Spot
Whether it's their first camp or their tenth, there is always going to be something new to experience at a school holiday camp. If you’re looking for kids camps or teen camps in Victoria to impact a young person in your life in any of the above ways, you should definitely consider signing up for a camp with CYC Ministries. Browse our upcoming camps at the link below, and feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.
Spots can fill up quickly, so lock in your place on camp today!
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