COVID put a halt to many of our plans for ministry last year, but I was glad to see that God has found a way to keep our camp ministries going. Although this year looked a little different than the other years that I have worked at summer camps, it still accomplished the same goal—to inspire the campers to have a personal relationship with Christ.
Unlike other years, we had entire families staying at Stuart’s Point, and then the campers were bussed over to Yarra each morning. This actually proved to be more of a blessing for ministry than a hinderance. While the classes and activities happened during the day, parents were able to relax and get some time for themselves. We had chaplains on both ends of camp (Yarra and Stuart’s Point) ministering to both children and parents, so ALL members of the family were able to learn more about the gospel—not just the kids. Another big difference was that we had all the age groups simultaneously in one camp. This also probed to be a blessing because we got to see kids in older age groups bonding with kids in the younger age groups.
From the icebreaker games to the music, the spiritual programing was intentional and powerful. Lawson (our camp pastor) presented the gospel to the kids in a way that was honest, exciting, and understandable. After each talk, the staff would break into discussion groups with the kids, and I was impressed to see how much the younger kids were able to gain from the sermon.
Despite the rain, activities happened as normal, and it was fun to see how different classes improvised around the weather conditions. I had the privilege of being the videography instructor along with my co-leader Michaela. Our first day as a group, we had the campers in our class brainstorm ideas for a video. I wrote a script for it, and then we used our second day to film it across camp with the campers as the actors. We had one more day to finish filming and editing, and at the end of the week, we had an 8-minute video to play at the last camp meeting.
All in all, despite the various restrictions, this camp was a blessing to both campers and parents. God has been leading our ministry this year, and I believe that He will continue to do so.