Values of Christian Camping
GENUINE COMMUNITY IS EXPERIENCED
Camp contrasts with familiar life. Labels, expectations, mindless daily routines, influences of parents, teachers, peers, media, and friends are left behind in favor of a special temporary community with focused purpose: presenting Christ and nurturing those in the faith toward maturity. Campers are immersed in a loving community, free to embrace the values and lifestyle of that community. Aldersgate can be a clear model demonstrating how Christians should live.
Separation from home removes the familiar physical and social supports that provide comfort and security. Campers are forced to transfer trust to others or depend on someone more secure and mature, and ultimately Christ.
MINISTRY TO THE WHOLE PERSON TAKES PLACE
Camp powerfully communicates spiritual truths and spurs spiritual growth among campers in the midst of God’s creation, by experiencing teachable moments, through worship, relaxation, and reflection times.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE BUILT WITH GOD AND WITH OTHERS
The activities of daily camp life teach social skills. Camp is foremost a highly relational experience. At camp, spiritual mentors are always present. They are visual examples of how to live when tired, how to be kind when others are unkind, how to control anger, how to discipline with love, how to ask for forgiveness, how to grow spiritually, how to deal with temptation, and how to live in community. The influence for change is great at camp, where relationships are valued. Jesus is our model for ministry.
MEMORIES AND MAJOR LIFE COMMITMENTS ARE MADE
Because camp is a contrast to everyday life, and because this contrast causes the camper’s senses to be heightened, time takes on new meaning. Events at camp become more engaging, alive, and vivid; they are filled with energy and totally absorb campers. Camp experiences provide moments that render campers ready for learning.
Struggling with new games, adventure activities, difficult peers, weather, heat, darkness, disappointments, camp duties, and separation from home all add to the variety and intensity of experiences. These teachable moments open doors of opportunity where spiritual truth can be presented.
TOMORROW’S LEADERS ARE DEVELOPED TODAY
Very few opportunities exist for young people to be given significant responsibility for others, especially responsibility to minister to others. Emerging leaders will discover the value of self, learning, and God.