Longer days, hot weather, the fridge constantly opening and closing - it’s summer time, which means summer camps are right around the corner! With advertisements for summer camp after summer camp flooding your inbox, it can get hard to figure out which camp is the right one for you and your teen. So we want to help you figure that out by answering four common questions you might be asking yourself!
1. Does the camp offer activities that my teenager will enjoy?
Many summer camps boast an “all-age” program, but there are very few summer camps designed specifically for teenagers. When looking at the options, check to make sure that the activities and program will engage and enrich your teenager. You don’t want your child to spend a week in boredom! Age-appropriate programs should include unique material such as exciting camp games, devotionals, interactive classes, free time, crazy counselor skits, and team building activities. Also look to make sure the camp instructors and counselors understand how to work with high school age students and know how to interact meaningfully with them.
2. Should I send my teenager to a Christian Camp?
Secular summer camps can be a lot of fun, but the quality of the camp and the staff rarely compares to what Christian camps have to offer. Christian camps have an increased level of intentionality when it comes to relating to and encouraging your children. The counselors will be ready to invest in and minister to your teenager while caring about your child as an individual. Additionally, your teen will engage in the experience with other like-minded teens who want to learn and make new friends just like them. At a Christian camp, your child will think deeply, have fun, and most importantly, grow in the Lord.
3. Am I comfortable with sending my teenager to an overnight camp?
Day camps are great for your younger kids who still aren’t mature enough for an overnight camp, but for a teenager an overnight camp can be a wonderful experience! As long as you trust the camp staff with your teen, overnight camps have a lot to offer. These camps encourage maturity, personal responsibility, and the development of lasting friendships. They also give teens a chance to visit places that they may not otherwise be able to go. And as a benefit to the parents, overnight camps mean you no longer have to stress over drop off and pick up times each day!
4. What makes a camp “the right one”?
There are a lot of Christian summer camps out there and it can be hard to distinguish between them. When you are comparing different Christian camps it can be helpful to see what else the camp does. It is easy to find a Christian camp that offers scripture and adventure, but there are very few camps that offer more. Do they teach students to apply the things that they are learning about their faith? Do they learn how to work together with other believers in a community? Scripture instructs us to love the Lord with our heart, mind, and body. Look for a camp that will engage your teenager’s heart, mind, and body – this is the kind of camp that really has the potential to change their life.
We hope these tips help you choose the perfect summer camp - both for you and your teen!