Creating Quiet Space for Campers to Consider their Faith

So many everyday distractions battle for our kids’ attention—some good, some not so good. As parents we try to help them navigate these life distractors, but we  could all use a little help (and a good dose of anchoring hope) on this parenting journey.

At  LLYC our kids have opportunity to be part of a unique community of peers, counselors, and caring adults. The emphasis? Having carefree fun, building friendships the old fashioned way, and talking intentionally about their faith journeys. All in a most special place—hidden away from those distractions that bombard and vie for our kids’ attention every day.

Parents and kids regularly describe LLYC as “a little taste of heaven.” What a beautiful, hope-filled phrase to reflect on.

Oh that this little taste of heaven would increase our kids’ appetite to know God more fully—not just within the walls of this beloved Canyon but in their every day, year-round lives too.

As parents, knowing more about the content shaping the conversations our kids are having during their Best 2 Weeks gives us great opportunity to engage with our campers when they come home and encourage them throughout the year. While Echo Valley spends time examining the various components of Lord’s Prayer during Roundup talks, Singing Hills focuses on the thread of Gospel narrative woven through scripture using stories from the Jesus Storybook Bible. The Roundup talk progression might give you some ideas for talking with your campers about what they learned at LLYC.

While it looks a little different at Echo Valley and Singing Hills, morning devotions provide another space at each camp for campers to consider their faith.  

Singing Hills Morning Time

During Morning Time at Singing Hills, campers gather with their cabin mates and counselors. The content focus of this time is the previous evening’s Roundup topic/passage. Singing Hills Director, Beck Marlar, describes it as “an experiential recap intended to provide campers another opportunity to think about the material on a deeper more active level.” Whether doodling favorite parts of God’s creation story, tip-toeing through an obstacle course, or reflecting on God’s qualities in a guided quiet time, each Morning Time looks a little different.

Be sure to ask your camper about their activities from Morning Time.

At Echo Valley guys and girls split up during morning time as the guys attend MOG and girls go to Rooted.        

Echo Valley Guys

During MOG—which is short for Man of God—the Echo Valley guy campers gather together learning about practical ways to engage with God while examining the attributes of a man who seeks to follow Him. Echo Valley Director, Tom Bowyer, has built a creative format for MOG to engage teenage guys. There are four MOG talks given by veteran counselors or Central Staffers throughout the session. They also spend significant quiet time in nature—focusing on God’s handiwork and our need for solitude in creation.

Tom also introduces the guys to spiritual practices of engaging with Scripture like Lectio Divina and experiential Bible study. They may read a passage from Scripture, participate in a physical challenge with their cabin mates, and then discuss the  connection between the two. When the guys leave Echo Valley, they take home their blue MOG bracelet, “What is MOG” bookmark, Lectio Divina bookmark, and MOG journal.

Spend some time in conversation with your Echo Valley son chatting about Lectio Divina or the MOG bookmark. What are ways to continue those practices at home?

Echo Valley Girls

In Rooted the Echo Valley girls gather with an emphasis on pondering scripture as a community of friends while helping equip the girls to carry out their own devotional times at home. Echo Valley Director Karla Heath and other veteran girls’ staff teach the girls a bible-study technique known as Ponder to help them engage in their own reading of scripture. Karla says, “Ponder is a way to encounter scripture and help the reader connect it in all areas of life–bringing greater meaning. It is easier to revisit or recall throughout the day or use in our daily prayer.”

Throughout the session, the girls walk word by word through several bible verses and the Lord’s Prayer. In practice, they spend time together talking about each word. What does the word mean? What does the word bring to mind? Do they have any personal connections or stories that relate to that word? The goal is bringing real life stories to spiritual times–bringing greater meaning to a verse. Personal connection helps bring every day experience to the reading of Scripture and vise versa while learning to not compartmentalize their own spiritual lives.

Ask your girls about this summer’s Rooted words: Name, Come, Forgive, Pray.