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FIRST-PERSON: Amp your youth camp

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–Kids are leaving for church camp. What does that have to do with you — a church member? Youth camp and kids’ camp offer an amazing focus for Christian growth, building Christian friendships, and knowing God’s will. Small encouragements from you can enhance that experience. Need fresh ideas?

— A church can order vinyl write-on wristbands, add a camper’s name, and ask members to wear a band all week, praying for God to work in that student’s life.

— As kids depart for camp, show up with individually wrapped Rice Krispie treats for the trip.

— Your choir, deacons or Bible class could ask the youth leader for a camp-enhancing idea, then collect money to purchase it (i.e. camp T-shirts, ping pong table, contest prize, sports equipment, money for ice cream or pizza en route to camp.)

— You or your group could write and mail prayer notes to each camper.

— Mail a giant container of fireball candies for campers to share. Jot a prayer note right on the container and add an address label.

— Invest personally as a volunteer camp counselor, sponsor, nurse or sports organizer.

— Donate a partial camp scholarship(s). Even better, do it as a class or anonymously. Some churches provide camp for minimal cost using budget or a special offering.

— Prioritize camp on your family’s summer calendar if you have a child.

— Fill a pretty bowl with fruit and snacks for a cabin. Provide replenishments for the week, and gift the bowl to the cabin counselor.

— A youth worker who can’t attend could pack individual goodie bags for their students, with a small gift, snacks, quarters and Scripture note. Or write daily personal encouragement notes for the cabin counselor to distribute.

— Help the camp leader with last-minute details the week before camp or with check-in and luggage duties on send-off day.

— Invite campers’ parents to Wednesday prayer meeting that week. Pray for their kids.

— Attend worship or help behind the scenes one night, if camp is nearby.

— Celebrate the results. Ask campers to tell you about their experiences. Enthusiastically attend any post-camp report, testimony service or baptismal celebration.

How will you help make your church camp a highlight of summer for kids this year?
Diana Davis is the author of “Fresh Ideas,” “Fresh Ideas for Women’s Ministry” and “Deacon Wives” (B&H Publishing) and the wife of the Indiana Baptist State Convention executive director. Learn more at www.keeponshining.com.

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  • Diana Davis