In NeedApril 13, 2016
4 Reasons Why I Still Go to Youth Camp…and you Should, Too
We’ve interviewed a lot of people on this podcast. They come from all different backgrounds, are doing all sorts of different things, and they all are making a noticeable impact on the world around them. With just about everyone we talked to we noticed a theme in their lives. They had an encounter with God at some point in their “growing up” that changed everything after that moment. What caught our attention even more was how often our guests, including our most recent guest, Jessika Tate, mentioning that encounter happening at the same place:
Have you ever been to camp?
I’ve been going for 15 years. Yes, I’m 31 and I still go to youth camp. Granted, I’m obviously not a camper anymore, so the experience is a bit different now, but I still go. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Here’s 4 reasons why I still go to youth camp, and you should, too.
Camp is “Away”
There’s something interesting that happens to us when we get out of our normal day-to-day of life and get away. Take a vacation, go camping in the mountains, travel to a foreign country, or simply take a break from everything electronic for a few days and you’ll notice a huge difference. You’ll feel refreshed, clear, and much more “aware” of the things that are important in life. Being away jars us out of our normal, comfortable surroundings and forces us into a different state of mind. Camp has a way of reprioritizing life, and being away is a huge part of why that happens. But Camp is so effective because the “away” effect is compounded when you add the next ingredient.
Camp is Community
Have you ever been to a playoff game? Baseball, basketball, football, it doesn’t matter. There’s something about those games. You can feel the energy, the hopeful expectation in the air. It’s different than sitting in your living room with the same expectation. Being surrounded by a lot of people who share your hope and anticipation seems to amplify the feeling. It’s electric. That’s what happens at camp. People show up with high expectations for the week. Not everybody at first, but after the first day nearly everyone has it. That type of environment seems to make each individual experience even more powerful. Some of my best friends are from camp. I don’t see them a lot throughout the year, but every time we reconnect, we pick up where we left off. Camp has a way of strengthening relationships. Sharing a powerful, life changing experience with a group of like-minded individuals serves to build comradery on a new level. It also helps us remember…
Camp is a “Memorial”
A memorial is proof that something worth remembering happened. It’s a sign that points to something that occurred in the past and helps us remember and recapture why it was so important. After camp, when you “come down from the mountain”, you’ll start to return to your normal life, with all its cares and responsibilities. It’s easy for what happened at camp to work its way to the recesses of our mind and be lost in the fray of day-to-day life. But no matter how far off the path we go, we’ll always remember what happened at camp – how God showed up and we felt him on a deeper level than ever before. We can never escape that, and that remembrance serves as one of the most powerful tools to always bring us back to God.
Camp is a “Starting Point”
Go to camp and you’ll immediately notice something when you get home. Things are different, and they can’t just go back to the way they were. Something new has started. What “it” is, exactly, is hard to express, but it’s there. I’ve heard countless stories of how camp was a launching point for young people and their calling in life. Camp has a way of clarifying things, and removing the fear and confusion of where we’re going. I’ve noticed every year, that I was starting something new after camp. I could just feel it. It’s like a divine discontent for doing things the same way, to stay where I was.
Come to camp. It’s that simple. If you’ve been, you know how life-changing it is. If you haven’t been, then you’re missing out. It will change your life, I promise you. If you don’t know where to start, I encourage you to check out eycamp.com. It’s the camp I go to. You don’t have to come to this one, but I encourage you to find one that you can plug in at.
Camp has been a pivotal moment in so many people’s lives. It could be the same for you.
[This article was originally published on uncommonlegacy.com]