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Monday, August 13, 2012

Advice for Camp Directors

Seven or eight weeks of camp ministry this summer.

Over 200 weeks throughout the ministry to which the Lord has called me (I am not now, never have been, and never will be a "numbers" person)

In Indianapolis waiting for my friend Chris and son Jacob to wake up so we can continue the journey home. It has been a great season, marvelous to watch Spirit work...

A few reflective observations, suggestions if you will, for those who oversee Christian camps.

In no particular order...

1) Good and healthy food. If you can't afford to do this, don't do camp. Find a way to provide salad bar for lunch and dinner, or at a minimum one of them. Lousy food, or unhealthy food (no matter how "good" it tastes) makes grumpy and/or sluggish campers. Sucks.

2) Great counselors. Committed to the Lord, ready to sacrificially minister to kids, not "only" during camp, but as long as ex campers stay in possibly for life. Not committed to "decisions," as in pushing campers to make a "decision" for Christ, to "pray the prayer" etc...Counselors who will hang with the goofy kid, the unwashed kid, as well as the "cool" and good looking campers. Counselors who will spend time, sit with, eat with the campers rather than the staff or other counselors

3) Speakers/teachers who will bring it...what?...the gospel, and how it is not "just" how we get saved, but "as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him."

4) Think through evening programming. Do we really need a "big" event after the worship/preaching sessions? All too often there is a move of Spirit of God but counseling is cut short because we "have" to get to the big game. Oh, but some kids will be disappointed (or is it the staff who will be disappointed?) Too bad. At a minimum allow adequate time for counseling/prayer after the evening teaching/preaching session.

5) Unless it particularly fits the "theme" or whatever, don't introduce new songs at camp. It is hard enough to get teens to sing the first few days anyway; use some songs (meaningful, biblical songs) that most know rather than try to teach new stuff...

6) Not suggesting burkas or however you spell that, but publish clothing guidelines and ENFORCE them..not "only" at the pool. Hard to teach on modesty etc when too much is hanging out and otherwise exposed. And enforce it for counselors (and staff) as well as campers!

7) Touched on earlier, but needs to be stressed..have counselors/staff sit among the campers, not among each other. Don't make the speaker be the cop.

There is more, but I'll work on it more before venting.

These are simply observations. The camps I was at this summer, for the most part, were excellent in administration, ministry, and so much more.

But we can all do better...

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