It’s summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime here in New England and kids can’t wait to shut their books and head outside! With the prolonged winter storm closings this year, summer vacation got a late start.
Growing up here, always meant a short summer, so we jammed it full of outside fun, family trips up north, and a week or two away at summer church camp. Nestled deep inside our Connecticut forests or along the southern Maine border, my husband and I attended summer church camp or brigade camp since we were ten years old. And, we passed our love for camp onto both our children.
Camp not only offered time away from home, new friends, and fun, but with every camp stay we gained confidence, independence, life skills, and experienced spiritual growth spurts like no other time during the year. Maybe we felt more of God’s presence because we had fewer distractions and were given concentrated time alone with Him. Maybe it was because we surrounded ourselves within a Christian community in a relaxed setting. Either way, camp offered us opportunities where God met us intimately and profoundly; so much so that camp affectionately became known as “God’s summer home.”
As our children moved into high school and camp tuitions skyrocketed, camp became their first employer and the camp staff their spiritual mentors. Six weeks of relatively free spiritual guidance from dedicated young Christian adults poured into our children while they learned leadership skills and life skills they use today. Their focus now shifted from receiving to serving. We found no other experience for ourselves or our children that matched this opportunity.
While many of our friends wondered how we “made it” without our children under-roof for weeks, my answer was, “How could I NOT want them under God’s roof?” After all, camp was God’s summer home. Not only that, it afforded my husband and I refreshing times alone to reconnect and regroup.
If you’re not affiliated with a Christian summer camp program in your area, you may need to do some research and speak to other parents whose children attend a local church camp. Here’s a few links to Northeast U. S. Christian camps that I would recommend (ones where I’ve attended and taught): Lakeside Christian Camp, Pittsfield, MA, Camp Wightman, Griswold, CT, Mission Meadows, Dewittville, NY, Camp Spofford, Spofford, NH.
So, how ’bout it? Are you ready to send your children to “God’s summer home” in your area? If you know of a reputable Christian summer camp in the U. S., won’t you share your experience with our readers in the comments below?