Summertime is here and as the season arrives so does the sun, swimming, and the spirit of camping for many teens.
Parents planning summer activities often find the most daunting challenge is figuring out what to with their teens.
Gregg Hunter leads the Christian Camp and Conference Association, which has set up and run camps since 1963.
Their mission is to proclaim the power and benefits of the Christian camp and conference experience. They also provide leaders within their association with ongoing encouragement, professional training and resources.
"We have so many Christian camps across the country...850 of them are members of our association but they come from all denominations, all sizes of camp, different kinds of amenities," Hunter said. "Just about any camp you can imagine there out there for parents and youth leaders looking for a place to go."
CCCA also facilitates outdoor activities. Many kids today could use the exercise. According to a study done by the Alliance for Childhood, those from ages 10 to 16 years old spend less than 13 minutes a day in physical activity. They average about 10 hours each day relatively motionless.
Technology fuels much of the inactivity. But CCCA gets kids out of their normal environment and enables them to focus on their faith without distractions.
"This is the most stimulated generation in the history of the earth, so when a kid can unplug from all that and go into nature and get into temporary community, they can leave behind the things that put pressure on them that kind of keep them binded up and keep them right where they are," Hunter explained.
Triple-R Ranch is one of the camps the CCCA serves located on the East coast. It offers a variety of adventure activity for campers.
"We have a lot of outdoor activities. We have the river, swimming, canoeing, zip line. We have team building and we like to work with mission groups that want to get up there high on the zip line and try that out," Duanne Plummer, Triple-R Ranch director, explained.
"Horses are a big part of Triple-R. We are a western motif right here on the East Coast, but were just trying to get kids out of their comfort zone," he continued.
In response to the growing demand for camp, CCCA just launched a national campaign called the Power of Camp.
Through raising awareness, the goals are to tell the story of how God is using camp to transform lives, create interest, and raise money to equip future camps.
In order to access information on finding a camp, CCCA offers a walk-through online process.
- The first step finds the nearest location based on specific needs and zip code.
- The second button offers the option to donate money to the association, sending kids to camp on scholarship who may not be able to afford it.
- The third step offers campers to tell their story about their experience at camp.
"I was one of those kids as well. My parents couldn't afford it and wouldn't send me to camp. But I got a scholarship and that's where I met Christ, so the scholarship effort is really important to me," Hunter said.
With many options to choose from, faith-based summer camps can be an effective way to help young people awaken their faith, build character, and instill moral values.