by Crystal Chiang
When I was in high school, my church attended a big youth camp at the beach and it. was. awesome. I bet you’ve experienced something like that. You’ve attended or led students at an event where God seemed different, more personal to them. It’s incredible . . . for a week.
But why is it that things seem so different when you return home? No matter how great the camp, it always seems the return causes a mini-culture shock.
Back home, they begin to notice . . .
- Their band is okay, but not that great.
- Their youth room isn’t as cool.
- There aren’t as many people.
- It just feels different than it did at camp.
Little by little, numbers decrease. Decisions are forgotten. And as school starts, that momentum from camp feels long-gone.
But what if you could take the camp experience home?
- What if you didn’t lose momentum the moment you pulled into the church parking lot?
- What if your students’ greatest connection was someone they could stay connected to?
- What if camp was a starting point and not just a high point in your ministry?
Those are the questions we began to ask when we started talking about High School Camp. And those questions lead us to the decision, that if we are to ever create a camp that doesn’t fade, an experience that lasts, and have influence with staying power, we must begin to plan camp in reverse. We must begin by thinking about what is happening three weeks after camp at your church, in your town, with your students.
And that means . . .
- We focus on what you can take home. The truth is, your student ministry may never have the same speakers, the same band, or the same entertainment as camp. But they will have their small groups and the adults who lead them. At High School Camp, small groups aren’t an after thought, they are the main event.
- Fun happens in small groups. Shared experiences bring a group closer. That’s why we believe free time shouldn’t mean “every man for himself.” The HSC “free time” is strategically designed for small groups and their adult leaders to enjoy together.
- Decisions happen in small groups. If your student makes a decision about their faith, we want them to talk it through with an adult that they will see again. In fact, everything that happens in our large group is designed to set up small groups for great conversations that can continue even when camp is over.
- We celebrate leaders. We believe that anyone willing to lose a week of sleep and vacation time to lead students is a rock star. So, we will celebrate leaders from the stage. In training, we will equip them. And, in every way we can, we’ll give your adult leaders the VIP treatment so they can feel refreshed and ready to continue leading after camp.
Planning camp in reverse is harder. But like any other area of life, when you plan with the end in mind, you will have a much better shot at reaching your goal.
For more information about High School Camp, visit www.HighSchoolCamp.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @Highschoolcamp
Be sure to sign up before March 6th, 2014 for the lowest pricing.
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