What We Teach
Every night at camp, we have what we call “Roundup,” or most commonly referred to by most campers as their “favorite part of the day”! This is a time in the evening, after dinner, when all of camp gathers together to sing, laugh, participate, worship, and listen to a relevant talk from one of our leadership staff. Then after Roundup, we disperse into Cabin Time. This is where the campers and their counselors debrief the Roundup, discuss, ask, and answer questions. It is an opportunity for people to open up and be vulnerable with one another, talk about struggles, concerns, confusions, etc. Every session follows a progression of topics. From night to night, they build on one another, and differ a bit dependent on the age group (Singing Hills vs. Echo Valley). What your camper is learning right now looks a little something like this:
Who Is God? – We discuss about his character, his creation, his loving nature, his perfection, his plan, his greatness, the common and false perceptions about God.
Who Are We? – We discuss what it is to be human, what our relationship with God looks like, our free will, our sinful nature, the definition of sin.
Who Is Jesus? – We discuss his life, his character, his sinless nature, that he humbled himself, came to earth and was fully human and fully God, that he came to be in relationship with us, minister to sinners, heal and restore the lowly, pursue and love all people.
The Cross of Jesus and Resurrection – We present the answer. The choice. The Good News! We talk about the death of Christ on a cross. Why did he choose to die in my place? We talk about the relationship that is at our fingertips if we choose to accept a life with him. We talk about the promise of our future with him. We don’t end with just the death. If we did, his death would just be like everyone else who has ever suffered and died. We continue with his resurrection, passing from death unto life! We recognize that he rose from the dead, just as he had promised.
The entire second week (or second part of the week for Jam Session campers) focuses mainly on relationship, lifestyle, our role, our purpose. We begin to define how having a relationship with Jesus can affect and change our lives completely.
The Holy Spirit and Our New Life – We look at the Holy Spirit’s role as a counselor and guide. We talk about being a new creation, transformed and how we are now different. We talk about the Great Commandment (loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind and then loving people) and how that can be played out in our lives.
The Word and Prayer – We talk about the Bible being alive and active in our lives, that it is a map for our life, a guide for everyday moments, that it is relevant and can be applied. We discuss prayer and how it plays a huge role in our relationship/friendship with God. It’s the way to follow him, to talk and listen to him.
The Journey – We talk about what it really means to “follow” Jesus, taking the Gospel seriously and applying it to our lives, and being different. We talk about having the relationship and experience rather than just knowing all the theology and knowledge.
The World – We discuss the idea of being in the world, but not of the world, that we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. There are temptations, trials, and negative influences all around us and how we should respond. How do we choose right? How do we let those things influence us or not?
The Body – We begin to talk about the “body” of Christ (The Church), what it is, its importance, the role it plays, etc. We discuss where each of us fits into that body. How can we join in and serve? How can we benefit from it? How does it give us accountability and sharpen us?
Going Home – (specifically at Echo Valley) The last night of the session actually gives the campers a night to have an opportunity to articulate what they have learned, great memories, how they are leaving different than when they came, things that have been significant to them, relationships they have built, adventures they have had, etc. We call it “Say-So.” “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” Ps. 107:2. We also discuss the role of camp in their personal journey and the “spiritual high” they may be experiencing, explaining that there is clarity on the mountain, but real life most of the time is spent in the valley. We give encouragement for the journey heading back home, recap their session at camp, and recall important things to take away.
We hope that providing you with a little more detail in what is being discussed, talked about, and taught might give you opportunities to build on this foundation with your campers this coming year. It may even give you ideas on what questions to ask, concepts to discuss, and truths to be explored more deeply.