As we have been using our new indoor high adventure center this winter, the question has come up about the use of the high adventure activities in the summer time. The response we give is that our indoor course will only be used if it is raining outside. That underscores a huge value of the camp and that is to get campers, who are largely “nature deprived”, out in the woods.
Why do we feel outdoor is better in the summer? Roman’s 1:20 states: For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. There is something about being in God’s creation that inherently points to our Creator God and we seek to embrace that and enhance a camper’s experience using God’s creation as part of our tool to point campers to God. Not only that, but the walk to our outdoor courses provide time for our counselors to single out a camper and to have a conversation with them about their life and the priority they place on God as they live their lives. Those moments are not lost in our camp experiences.
While we are super excited to use the ARC high adventure throughout the year to enhance Freeze Out, Exiled and other Lake Ann sponsored retreats we still prefer being out in God’s creation. Now, the advantage of having the ARC during rainy weather is that we can stay on schedule during the summer. Up until now, when it rained or when we had lightning in the area, we shut down our courses for safety purposes. This caused us to have to find other times to do the events that were missed and that often put time pressures on the experience. When you rush high adventure event your campers may still get to experience the activity but they get rushed on processing what they learned. That really hurts because it is in the processing that campers solidify what they learned and how that applies to life back home.
Will campers be disappointed that they can’t do the indoor activities? Possibly, but that may just encourage them to attend a retreat sometime in the year!