When it comes to planning events for our youth group, we youth ministers tend to busy ourselves thinking about planning “the best” retreat, trying to come up with “new things,” and worrying about all the details from lodging to food to talks, etc. And, why not? That’s WHY we do ministry! It’s certainly not for the pay or the great hours or the health benefits. Instead, we said “yes” to this line of work because we want to serve God by serving His youth.
However, as I sit here in the beautiful and peaceful mountains of North Georgia for the 7th summer in a row, I realize that there is one thing that I put on the calendar every year that’s as much for me as it is for the teens. And, that is our summer camp week at Covecrest. It’s a soul-changing, prayer-deepening, ministry reviving week for them and for me. Thanks to the hard work, energy and prayers of the amazing staff here, summer camp is great for teens and the adults who bring them. Here’s what makes Life Teen Summer Camps great for youth ministers & chaperones too…
Load = Lifted
All I have to do in preparation for camp is a little bit of paper work and organizing transportation. And, for a weeklong camp and retreat, that’s almost nothing! I can’t think of anything better than having incredible activities, intense worship and the sacraments all planned out by someone else! I get to come and just be with my teens instead of busying myself making sure the retreat is running smoothly. It’s wonderfully liberating and life-giving for my ministry to be able to focus my time to building relationships.
Important, not Ignored
The staff at Life Teen Summer Camp makes it part of their job to ensure that all youth ministers and chaperones feel valued and taken care of. There are times that are set apart specifically for adults to share, pray and be together. The staff recognizes the adults’ spiritual needs and they strive to serve those needs through prayer, sacrament and community.
The Inner Child
Admit it – those messy games, that mud pit, the ropes course and the giant Slip ‘n Slide look pretty fun. On a regular basis, those are probably not things we as adults seek out. But at camp, the staff and the teens have SO MUCH FUN in their activities that you can’t help but want to be part of it, too. And, at Life Teen summer camp you are encouraged to play as much as your teens do. Though it might be regretted while cleaning up later, the moments spent getting messy and wet with the teens can’t help but delight your heart.
Being at camp offers an opportunity for youth ministers to be in community with other youth ministers. Your personal network begins to grow as experienced and new youth ministers share their lives with one another throughout the week. The amount of wisdom, support and love found between youth ministers at camp is overwhelming. I always walk away from a week at camp knowing that I am not alone in the work I do and that there are so many others out there who I can lean on.
Home Away from Home
Whether it’s a person’s first time or their 10th time going to a Life Teen Summer Camp, when you walk onto the grounds, you feel at home. The staff welcomes you with open arms and is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure you are comfortable during your stay. On top of that, the grounds and facilities are well maintained and completely peaceful and beautiful.
Life Teen Summer Camps are part ministry, part vacation and ALL worth it! So, what are you waiting for? Make Life Teen Summer Camps a priority for your youth group next year! Not only will your teens love it, but it will make all the difference in your summer too.