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Connection


One of the great benefits of summer camp is that it allows children or young people to experience themselves in a safe environment that is filled with opportunities to connect with God and with others. Sometimes we can view the formation of children’s spirituality solely as instruction or information about God. In doing so, we may teach or read Bible stories so that children can learn facts about God. Or, sometimes we may feel pressured to entertain children to get them to want to know about God.  Yet if we consider and truly believe that human beings are made in the image of God, that children are made in the image of God, then we must acknowledge that our spirituality, their spirituality, is about more than entertainment or mere information or having the right answers about God. If we are created in the image of God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a Holy Trinity, a Holy Community of Love, then we must understand that we are created as relational beings. God has created us out of His great love to have a relationship with Him. In other words, we are created to have connection with God and with others. Children are created to have connection with God and with others. From our very beginnings as human beings we are seeking connection. Babies will always choose to look at faces over anything else, and if they don’t then we recognize that something is amiss in their development.

 

When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replies in Matthew 22:37-40 that it is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…and to Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus, who is the Author and Perfector of our faith, the revelation of God in the flesh, tells us that love for God and others is the most important thing. The audience He is addressing in this scripture is the Pharisees who believed that they had all the right answers, all the right information, and Jesus is essentially telling them that they’ve missed the whole point - LOVE. And Love is not something you can just read about. It’s something you must experience, and even surrender to. It is something or Someone that you must give yourself to.

 

At King’s Camp our mission, our prayer, is that when children and youth come to our camp, they will experience the love of God. Our main goal is to create an environment in which they feel seen and heard and know that they are loved. We want each camper to know that their true identity is a beloved child of God. We are intentional about keeping our camp small because want our campers to have the experience of being a part of a community, a family. We are intentional in having time away from electronics and making space for outdoor fun and laughter as well as relaxation and contemplation because we want them to have room to experience themselves in undistracted ways in real time. We intentionally spend time in Scripture and worship because we want them to connect with God and learn what it means to be disciples of Christ. Throughout each day of camp, we are inviting our campers to experience God’s loving presence and friendship as individuals and together as a community. For Nolan and me, one of the greatest satisfactions of being involved with King’s Camp for over thirty years and stewarding King’s Camp for the last fourteen years is to watch the connections that our campers make with God and with one another. To see campers come to understand that theirs is an identity of beloved child of God and to commit to loving God for a lifetime is an indescribable joy..And to see it tangibly displayed in the love and connection that our campers make with one another is one of our greatest rewards. Over the years we've witnessed countless campers from different high schools and cities and states connect at camp and become college roommates and lifelong friends. Many campers commit to a life of sharing the gospel with others in ministry and various careers. In a world where isolation and loneliness are the norm and even declared by our government as a national health crisis, we seek to be a haven of connection…with God and with one another. So, coming to camp is about more than mere entertainment or knowledge about God, it’s about experiencing the love of God, understanding one’s true identity as a disciple of Jesus, and experiencing community and lifelong friendships.

 

If you were a camper or currently are a camper that would like to share your story about connecting with God and others at camp, we would love to hear from you. Email us at kingscamp@gmail.com We want to feature camp stories of connection so that individuals can know that they don’t have to feel alone and isolated. God has created us for connection and continually seeks to have a relationship with us.

 

We still have spots available in Session 1 and Session 3. Please go to our website www.kingscamp.net for more information or email us at kingscamp@gmail.com

 

To hear an interesting conversation about children’s spirituality and how we can be intentional in the discipleship of children see the link to this podcast interview with professor and author of Forming Resilient Children: The Role of Spiritual Formation for Healthy Development, Dr. Holly Catterton Allen.

 

 

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