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Youth Group Summer Camps: 3 Reasons They’re Vital

youth group summer camps

Now that summer’s here, youth group summer camps are right around the corner. With everything else that tends to get packed into these precious months, you might be tempted to skip camp this summer. But I encourage you not to make that mistake!

I could go on and on about how much fun I had as a teenager at Crossroads Summer Camp. But that wouldn’t answer the question, “Why should I bother with youth group summer camps?” So instead, let me share three reasons I believe these outings are important—maybe now more than ever.

Youth group summer camps still matter for at least three key reasons:

1. Truth

Youth group summer camps provide a chance for teenagers to hear the gospel truth in a different way from their past experiences. Speakers share personal stories, counselors interact with students, leaders encourage questions, and, most importantly, they present the gospel message.

After hearing the truth presented many times during church services in a similar fashion, the words can sometimes go in one ear and out the other. But at youth group summer camps, people present the gospel in ways that are often more relative and relatable to teenagers.

2. Community

There’s nothing like getting together with some of your closest friends and spending a week in a college dorm or campsite cabin. Plus, camp counselors can be pretty fun! Summer staffers build relationships with students and really get to know them. Dorm time at night is perfect for that. Wind-down time offers a chance for asking questions and engaging in deep, meaningful conversations. It also encourages community and fellowship within your youth group.

I created many memories at youth group summer camps. One year we performed a skit for the dorm Talent Show. At other times, several of us woke up early each morning to read devotions together. And I’ll never forget all the card games we played on the floor. I’ll always cherish memories like that from my own youth group summer camps.

3. Opportunity

Youth group summer camps are a great opportunity for students to bring along their friends who don’t know Jesus. A friend dragged me to camp, in fact, and that’s where I heard a clear presentation of the gospel for what felt like the first time. A couple of summers later at Crossroads, I indeed fell in love with Jesus, and the people around me encouraged me in my Christian walk.

Although these are only three points, they’re very solid reasons for why you and your teens should go to youth group summer camps. These outings aren’t just a week away for kids to have fun; the experience is much more than that.

Yes, youth group summer camps are fun, with lots of things to do. But young people also create lasting memories, build friendships and hear the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ.

This article originally appeared here.