Who Benefits the Most from a Christian Camp Experience?
Fortune 500 consultant Bobb Biehl believes that fourth grade is the most important year of a person’s life. He has asked Fortune 500 leaders when they first discovered that they were leaders. The resounding answer (80% of those surveyed), “In the fourth grade.” He cites that people learn who they are the most on the playground where they rise to leadership. Peers accept that they are the ones who should make the decision on what activities will be played.
Biehl also says that a huge part of that development came as a byproduct of peer relationships. He explains that parents tend to want what is best for their children, and they think the best of them. This potentially distorts where a student is particularly talented. Peers, on the other hand, don’t have agendas for each other. And tend to be brutally honest in telling what they believe to be true.
Enter into this scenario a summer camp experience at Lake Ann Camp. Just as a greenhouse creates an ideal climate for optimum plant growth. We spend 175 hours training staff to create an ideal environment for the spiritual and relational growth of our campers.
Our passion is to create experiences that will accomplish the following priorities:
- Growth in an understanding of God and a camper’s relationship with Him
- Growth in a camper’s ability to relate to their peers
- The development of healthy independence as an emerging adult
- New skills that test the boundaries of their fears and abilities
- Communication and leadership skills with peers and adults alike
The Environment at Camp
The environment at Lake Ann Camp will help campers start to explore the parameters of their personality and skill sets in life. It is often that we hear a parent say, “I got a whole new kid back when I sent my son/daughter to your camp.” We hear from parents that their returning campers are more confident in life and one who now takes appropriate risks in life and relationships. This new skill set begins a new pattern of growth in other areas in life where appropriate levels of risk push campers on to higher growth and development.
At Lake Ann Camp we painstakingly research age characteristics before any activity is chosen or program is laid out. This approach places campers together with peers that are dealing with the same developmental challenges, and minimizes the bullying that happens when older students belittle younger peers.
Counselors & Speakers
The counselor and speakers also set the tone for growth by minimizing negative interactions and validating constructive conversations. In the end, what really happens is a camper hears many of the same value discussions that their parents have been telling them at home, and the new voices they hear strengthen the message that the parents have already instilled in the camper’s life.
Who gets more out of a camping experience at Lake Ann, the camper or the parent? The real answer is BOTH. The camper grows up rapidly, much like a plant does in a greenhouse, and the parents have their voice strengthened, enabling them to have deeper conversations with their children when they return home. If the goal of parenting is not to raise up children, but rather adults, then a week at Lake Ann Camp will be one of the most impactful options available to a parent who is serious about the maturity of their children.