Camping experiences offered to school-aged students provide a unique experience that can have a lasting impact on the formation of faith.
We often refer to camping as a peak experience. These camps provide a journey often through a specific topic such as identity. They offer an opportunity for young people to ‘go deeper’ than they can at a once a week youth event.
Faith is deepened through the mixture of meeting new Christian people, hanging out with leaders who have a passion for service and living in community. It is a place where the presence of God can be felt in a real and tangible way through others. Young people often report a camping experience as a turning point for them in the formation of their faith.
Camping so important in the faith formation process because they:
- Create mountain-top experiences. A mountain-top experience is a “temporary uncommon encounter with God that is meant to give us a fresh awareness of His reality and nearness.”
- Create memories.
- Create shared experiences.
- Allow time away from the pressure of day-to-day life to focus on God. They are often away from the ordinary and can sometimes help young people listen to God more clearly.
- Provide opportunities to have times of quiet reflection.
- Provide a safe place to try new things.
- Encourage young people to see God in everyday experiences.
- Provide exposure to nature, where God is revealed in a significant way.
- Provide opportunities for young adults to be involved in leadership, according to their gifts.
Research shows that parents continue to be the single greatest influence on their children’s faith.
It is important you take an active part in the faith formation of your child. Give them an opportunity to experience all that camp has to offer and share in the journey by talking to them about the experience before and after camp.
- Discuss with them their expectations. What might they do, see and hear?
- Talk about who else is going.
- Ensure they have all they need to be successful.
- Pray for them on the lead up to camp and in the car on the way there.
- Tell them you missed them.
- Let them have space to process.
- Pray for them.
- Create space and allow them time to talk about their experience.
Some great starter questions could be:
- What new things did you discover about God and your faith?
- What commitments did you make on camp, to yourself or to God, how can I help you?
For more ideas download the following equipping sheets: