Is Church Camp Worth It? Part 3: Older Teens

ByAngie

Is Church Camp Worth It? Part 3: Older Teens

This blog post is the third installment of a series on church camp. You can find the first post about Kids Camp by clicking this link here, and the second post about Junior High Camp by clicking on this link.

Is Church Camp Worth It 600 Blog Size Senior Camp 2

Third… Last, but definitely not least, there was Teen Camp B.

I think you know me well enough by now to know that I’m just going to lay it out for you right here: We called it Senior Camp when I was growing up. By the way, I wasn’t the only one that couldn’t ditch the “old names”. So I’m not going to stress over it.

Senior Camp was for 9th-12th grades and teens that had graduated from High School but still attended Youth Group. Camp began on Sunday afternoon and ran through Friday morning with chapel, again, in morning and evenings. Though camp did not end until Friday morning, due to a conflict in schedule, I returned on Thursday night and brought our kids home at about the time of lights out. Since the “last day” of camp is actually just waking up, eating breakfast, packing up, cleaning your dorm/cabin, and leaving… I thought leaving 9 hours early wouldn’t hurt.

Our church only sent 2 kids to Senior Camp, my son Jeffrey (15) and another girl from our church the same age. This camp had the largest attendance of all, with 200+ kids!

Unfortunately, I began getting sick the last few days of Junior High Camp after a bad allergy attack. Only a few hours in to Senior Camp and I was laying in my bunk, curled up in a fetal position, and shivering. While everyone was at their first chapel service, I reluctantly went home with the intention to come back. However, my Doctor insisted that I not… something about early bronchitis, double ear and sinus infections, and my being crazy. I decided I should listen, for once.

So instead of giving you a full run down, I will tell you what I have gathered from my son, the girl from my church, posts on Facebook, things I heard when I returned to gather our kids (I did attend the last service), and so forth.

Altar Call Senior Camp
Kind of like Junior High Camp, but more mature.

Many of the activities were the same or similar. Jeffrey says that the afternoons were mostly free time. There were more options of things to do. Basketball, throwing around a football, pool, ping pong, horseshoes, baseball, volleyball, etc.

Again, this is Jeffrey giving me the information… my 15 year old son… Chances are if it didn’t catch his eye, then he didn’t take note of it. It is entirely possible that there was much more.

Before the evening services there was a Lip Sync Battle. I caught the last night and it was hilarious!

The majority of what I heard about from the kids was about chapel. I feel that speaks volumes!

Chapel was much more intense! (That’s a good thing!)

 

Instead of little kids who are just learning how to worship or tweens and young teens that are concerned with who is standing next to them and watching… these kids are ALL in. Altar calls after evening services lasted HOURS. Chairs had to be pushed back to make more room so that everyone could fit in the front of the sanctuary. They wanted all of God that they could attain, and then more after that. The Holy Spirit poured down and there was a strong presence of the Lord in every service.

Mark McGaffin, Youth Pastor at Higher Vision Church in Valencia, CA, was once again the speaker at this church camp. Sermons had themes such as “You are more than a #hashtag”, “Let It Out” in reference to worship, “Sin is like cheating on God”, and more… But these were the sermons that stuck out most to Jeffrey.

Senior Camp Last Night

A bit more of a competitive atmosphere…

As it always has for as long as I can remember, Senior Camp involves quite a bit of horsing around. Similar to things that go on with kids at school, mostly done in good fun, one cabin pranks another and then that cabin tries to figure out who did it so they can retaliate, and so forth. More than a little annoying, but it seemed that the leaders did their best to keep it under control and have plans to reinforce rules and keep the pranking to a minimum in the future.

Really, if you get this many people together… there is going to be “schtuff”. Not everything is going to flow as smoothly as the smaller camps with the younger kids.

When you have this many kids crying out to God, the enemy is going to attack with confusion and division. You have to FIGHT IT and not become hateful or negative.

Considering everything, while it would have been nice for the kids and workers that did not want to be a part of it to be picked on, when looking at the big picture… We have to remember this: The enemy is angry and we need to not let him win… both by not acting like teenagers should be expected to act like angels and dwelling on what happened, and by taking measures to lower the incidences of drama next year. After all, not every person that attends church camp is a Christian. Can we expect those that are not saved to behave as we would? For the most part, everything went smoothly and a good majority behaved Christ like.

Continuation of great leadership

Our District Youth Directors from SoCal Youth went above and beyond this last week of church camp. Nancy had her baby the second morning of camp. Everyone seemed to step forward and do what they could to help Roque out as needed. Once again, youth pastors were taking part in the services.

Roque with Quote 600 Blog Size

When I returned the last night to pick up the kids, I was able to attend the last service. A memory that I will NEVER forget is that of Roque pacing as he prayed on the platform in front of all the kids. He seemed to be warring in the Spirit so that the full Glory of the Lord could fall upon each camper, declaring victory before it happened, and praising God for the victory when it did.

Who wouldn’t want a leader like that for their kids and teens?!

So was church camp worth it? More on that tomorrow… Come back for the 4th and final post in this series!

Seriously, because I’m going to talk about the food and other (much more) important stuff…
And then keep coming back, because Thursday we will finally celebrate the 5 year Blogiversary of RSHTH with a GIVEAWAY…
and then more posts and stuff… Some in reference to church camp… Some completely random…
Probably some at some point in time about cheesecake, KidMin, sewing, or homeschooling…
I mean, the options here are really endless…

P.S. My sincerest apologies to Mallorie for bailing! I’m sorry you had to eat/drink the gross stuff.

About the author

Angie editor

Angie, a mother of 5, currently lives in the Inland Empire area of Southern California with her husband of 19 years, Bobby, & 4 of their children. She is a non-custodial mother of 1 that lives with her during the Summer. Angie is a stay at home mom, homeschooling all 3 of her younger children. (She plans to homeschool her children through high school graduation.) She’ll be the first to admit she is human & full of flaws. Every day she praises God for His grace & mercy on her life. She’s lived in 5 different states, loves to craft & sew, and is what you would call a “Disney Geek” since birth. Dreaming of one day returning to school, her free time is spent studying and attempting to play piano. If you have any questions or for any other reason need to contact someone about this blog, she is the one to contact. You can email her at Angie (at) RaisingStickyHands (dot) com.