Our ministry does a fairly good job of this, but has flailed a little over the last couple of years.
Here are some ways to offer more options other than one summer camp:
- Offer a second week of camp if possible.
- Offer other types of camp (i.e.: Guys camping trips, girls getaways, whitewater rafting trips). These can be shorter if needed, but still offer students opportunities to have relational time with leaders and get challenged in their faith to take next steps.
- Have a discipleship retreat where students are placed in homes by grade and gender and meet at the church or around the community to learn about how to grow spiritually on their own.
Here’s the bottom line I’m getting at:
Please don’t be proud of a summer camp that sells out every year. Figure out how to solve the problem or offer more options. This will require some extra work on your part and creativity. You also don’t have to be at every type of camp offered. You could also have different options going on at the same time—like with guys trips and girls trips. Equip, train and release your leaders to take ownership of some of the opportunities.
Whatever you do, please never be satisfied with a sold out camp until you have other options for those who couldn’t go to sign up for. You’ll have some kids who go to more than one camp. Awesome! Even put the word “camp” in all of your summer events. You may see the main camp numbers go down a little and students spread out among all of the options. That’s a good thing, even if it hurts the ego a little that your camp doesn’t have a sold out sign on it every year.
Thanks for reading and for thinking of ways to solve the problem rather than wearing it as a badge of honor.
Volunteer Youth Worker
This article about summer camp originally appeared here.