Sunday, September 6, 2015

Student Ministry Camps

The month of July was very busy for us as we were blessed to have our Student Ministry Kids Camp and Youth Camp in July.  These camps were back-to-back and we only had 2 days in between the camps but the Lord sustained us during these two weeks and we had a wonderful time at both camps with our students.  
The first camp was our Kids Camp and we took 23 third-sixth graders to Camp Zephyr in Sandia, TX.  The theme of camp was "Inside Out" and the spiritual focus was on learning how to be turned "inside out" for Jesus!  The theme was based off the new Pixar film "Inside Out" so the kids instantly connected to the theme even if they hadn't seen the movie yet.  On top of awesome times of large group worship and small group devotionals, the kids got to swim, kayak, play on inflatables, play baba ball and volleyball, have outdoor recreation each day, and much more!  One thing about camp is you go wake up about 6:30AM each day and head back to the cabin at 11:30PM (which means the kids stay up even later getting showers and talking) so you don't get much sleep or rest but you are having so much fun together as a church group that it's worth the exhaustion, lack of sleep, and extreme heat (as you are outside almost the entire time) in 100+ degrees.  The kids LOVED camp this year and we all made some great memories together too!  
2 days later, we headed to Camps on the Rio in Mission, TX.  This camp is actually owned by our local Baptist association and this year, we did our own Youth Camp.  We usually take the kids and the youth to Camp Zephyr each summer but this year, Camp Zephyr filled over 3,000 slots in a couple of weeks and we were not able to get out youth into Camp Zephyr.  The camp facilities at Camps on the Rio were amazing and they even had a 3 acre covered pavilion full of recreational games and activities so we didn't have to be directly in the 100+ degree sunshine!  The spiritual focus of this camp was on David Platt's "Counter Culture for Students".  We did six one-hour Bible lessons that covered this material and the topics discussed were so relevant and personal to issues these students face on a daily basis.  Because this was a smaller group and we had the entire camp to ourselves, it didn't take long for our group to quickly bond with each other and really start having fun together as well as feeling confident enough in Bible lessons to talk and share with each other.  In fact, several of the kids told us they liked going to Camps on the Rio instead of Camp Zephyr because they got to know everyone on a more personal level and really make new friends.  

We praise God for a great 2 weeks of Student Ministry camps this summer.  We thank God for His hand of protection over us as we traveled back and forth to the camps, for his protection over the students while they were at camp, the way He provided the necessary funds for these opportunities, and for His grace, faithfulness, and how He sustained us during these two weeks.  We are already looking forward to Student Ministry summer camps in 2016!  

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