As a teenager, I went to church camp once. While I have some good memories from my time there, the most profound experience at church camp did not come until last week. My roles at junior camp this year included teacher, chapel speaker, and, yes, a cabin dad. In other words, I was in charge of six boys, ranging from 8-14 years of age. It was a fun time, both teaching the Bible and hanging out with the kids. Yet, the greatest impact camp had upon me did not come until after it was over.
After all the activities were played and after all the chapel messages were taught, I was left with a burden on my heart. How many of these children and teenagers come to camp for this one week and that is that? How many leave camp the same way they came? Camp cannot be a one week retreat with no lasting impact. I praise the Lord three of the boys at camp attend the church where I serve as associate pastor, so I have the opportunity to disciple them and to see them grow in the Lord. But that still leaves me unsure of a good number of other campers. Therefore, my prayer for these kids is that God may use the teaching of His Word to prod their hearts and to cause them to turn to Him, changing their lives forever. The words of Ecclesiastes 12:1 especially come to mind, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them'”. May God do a work in these children’s lives that they see the wisdom in following Christ now. May these kids repent and trust in Christ now so that they will find rejoicing in the time to come, not regret. May they remember their Creator and live according to His Word!