Camp Matters

Written by Devon Bowman

Summer is such a wonderful time, especially if you are in school. Classes are out for summer break, you have all the free time in the world, and there is summer camp! I distinctly remember all the times I went to Springville Camp and Conference Center. I remember the services and the games. I remember how God met me in a tangible way. Camp truly made a difference in my life. 

It was at a youth camp when I was 13 years old that I first felt that God was calling me into ministry. I could take you to the spot where I was hearing this from the Lord. I could tell you that the person who came and prayed for me right after that was Pastor Matt Britt who did not know me from Adam and yet cared for a young student enough to pray for him. Camp truly matters. 

I had the pleasure of working camp for a summer when I was in college. It was grueling, long days of hard work for very little pay. So why did I and the other workers do it? We did it because camp matters. Camp staff members know that the joy of working camp is not the pay or the hours but it is the fact that everything you do can make a difference for a young child or teenager. The moments of camp can serve as pivotal moments in their walk with Christ. 

As our children are just coming back from camp and our youth will be leaving soon, I thought of how much it matters. We know that there is something special about camp. It is not that it is particularly state of the art. The speakers may be well known or unknown. The food is not always 5 star. Sleep is not the best. Alabama summers are hot and humid. But what I think makes camp so great is expectation. There is expectation of joy and fun. There is expectation of winning games and competition that is intense. Most importantly, there is expectation that God will show up. 

When young people get away from their homes, circumstances, video games, and other familiarities, they are more open to the things of God. Camp is a place where removal from the normal can mean entering the supernatural. I praise God for the difference that camp has made in my own life. I pray that generations and generations of students will continue to experience salvation, healing, deliverance, empowerment, and calling from camp. 

The sacrifice that leaders, chaperones, parents, pastors, and camp staff make are immense. However, I know that every single person who is responsible for putting on Kids and Youth camp will say that it is worth it. Why? Simply because camp truly matters!
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