For many living in the inner city, leaving the city, only if for a short while, is a once in a lifetime experience. As a result of poverty and lack of education some have a hard time grasping the simple concepts of the differences between a city and a state.
With this in mind, hopefully it helps us understand what a treat it really is for a child or young adult to leave the city and spend a week in a rural camp setting. It is here where many come to learn for the first time what it is like to run through the woods, and to think there actually is a real bear out there - somewhere.
For teen camp we take 30 to 40 teenagers to the Circle K Ranch in Dolores, Colorado. At camp in the beautiful San Juan Mountains we are able to go horseback riding, swim in the river, ride the mountain slide and most importantly of all cause these kids to think seriously about God and what He wants to do in their life.
Through small group devotions in the morning and a chapel service in the evening they are able to hear God speak to them in a personal way. We especially want to thank those who specifically sponsor youth enabling them to go without having to pay, as well as Circle K Ranch for their generous contribution in helping make this possible as well.
For the younger children we are not directly involved in their camp experience, yet through the generous provision of Youth Haven Ranch we are able to send 25-30 children to Picacho, Arizona for one whole week of camp. We are involved in selecting the children and transporting them to and from the camp. This is definitely the highlight of their summer.
Camps are being used with great effectiveness for Christian outreach, guidance and mentorship. Annually, millions of people, young to senior adult, take part in camps all through the year; hundreds of thousands make significant spiritual decisions during or following the experience of camp.
Here are some teens' perspectives about camp:
- "[Camp] really helped me figure out that God was really real. I always really believed but now more."
- "I finally accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior."
- "He has showed me that He loves me no matter what and washed my sins away."
- "God has healed my heart by being by my side and having all the people here that love us."
- "We witnessed God perform a miracle and save my friend."
- "Being in this camp changed my heart and my life. I couldn't go without the computer and the TV for a day, but since I came here, I didn't use anything."
- "Thank you....for letting me have this experience away from my troubles and struggles in the city."
Why are Summer Camps so Valuable?
Camping has long been considered one of Christianity's most effective mediums for impacting lives and growing the Church. For decades leaders in all denominations have realized that Christian camping is unsurpassed for igniting faith, instilling character, and implanting ideals in participants, regardless of age or background. Christian camping is also considered by many to be the best means for inspiring an individual to a life of service.
Most evangelistic funding, events and programs emphasize reaching adults with the gospel. However, two-thirds of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before they reach the age of 18.
- Sixty-four percent accept Christ before age 18
- Forty-three percent before age 13
- And most people do not accept Christ in a church setting
People accepting Christ before the age of 13 are more likely to remain absolutely committed to Christ in their adult years than are people who do so in their later teenage or adult years. They have a much higher percentage of tithing, teaching and being evangelical. Most people have their spiritual and moral beliefs in place by 13.
Seventy percent of all children in the US are born into Non-Christian Homes. Do you know some children that would benefit from attending camp this summer?