by Lauren Sack— Camp Counselor and Lifeguard 2017 & 2018
Summer camp gives God a unique opportunity to work in the lives of young people. Not only do campers have a good time and learn new life skills, but at Kidder Creek they also encounter Jesus through real adventures in God’s creation. Here are 6 ways that Kidder Creek uniquely helps campers meet Jesus and have a life changing experience.
1. The Environment
At Kidder Creek, everything is built on the purpose of knowing Jesus and making him known. With this purpose at the heart of camp, the environment the campers are immersed in is also centered on Jesus. This environment allows campers’ time away from daily distraction to have a life-changing week that guides them closer to Jesus. The presence of Christ in camp is seen through the joyful faces, friendships made, and many stories and testimonies shared.
2. The Community
The staff are all people who love Jesus, and that makes Kidder Creek a place that is full of joy. As a body of believers, the staff work together with a unified purpose: seeking God’s kingdom and helping kids learn and grow in their understanding of the Bible. Staff working to show Jesus’ love and kindness to campers is a big part of lives being changed at camp.
3. Rec Activities
Campers have the opportunity to participate in various
recreation activities like archery, laser tag, fishing and more. Fun and challenging activities create teachable moments where counselors help them understand more about the Bible and the gospel. An example of a teachable moment that we may share after archery is that “sin” is actually an archery term meaning the distance that an arrow is from the bulls eye on the target. We will ask how many campers have been able to hit the bullseye every single time they shot their arrows, and all will admit they were not able to hit it every time. We then explain how in life when we sin it is the same idea, we are missing the mark from perfection and we are imperfect. However, in order to be in a relationship with God we would need to hit the bullseye every time, but we clearly cannot do this. God sent Jesus who could take our place. In our story now, if we commit our lives to live for Christ, Jesus comes to stand in front of us, taking our place to shoot his arrow which hits the bullseye perfectly every time. These teachable moments allow us to reach kids at a perspective that may be easier for them to understand and as a result they may grow closer to knowing Jesus and having their lives transformed by the gospel.
4. Small Groups
At Kidder Creek, there is time set aside in the daily schedule for counselors and campers to dive into God’s word and see what the Bible has to say about life. Campers are given journals for the week that are filled with questions the cabin goes through after having time in God’s word. This is a valuable, and often life changing time for campers to get their questions answered and think about what living a life committed to Jesus looks like. Having this time to read the bible and think about what they have read also gives campers an idea of what to do on a daily basis to seek God and meet with him.
Three times a day campers sit around a table and share a meal together as a cabin. Mealtime offers a chance for cabins to talk about their day and grow in friendship as they pause, eat and enjoy getting to know each other. These friendships can lead to campers feeling a greater sense of belonging and may even enable them to be more comfortable talking about thought-provoking questions during small group times. This sense of belonging in a community of Christ followers is life changing.
6. Off-site Exploration
Many campers go to the river, into the wilderness and forests at some point in the week. This is a chance to see God’s beautiful creation and for staff to share more teachable moments. It is also a chance to trust him as many campers enter into their “adventure zone”, which is what you reach when you push yourself outside your comfort zone. By pushing themselves into their “challenge zone”, they can experience adventure, God’s creation, and trust in God (maybe even for the first time), which has the power to change lives!
These six, seemingly simple, things are a part of every campers experience at Kidder Creek. We hope you’ll join us this summer and encounter the living Jesus in powerful new ways.