Why Camp? Why LuWiSoMo?
Summer camps, like Camp LuWiSoMo, are places where children learn a variety of skills to help them for the rest of their lives. While they are challenged each day through activities such as fire building, hiking, identifying trees, or playing a hard fought game of Capture the Flag, they are also challenged with the more complex tasks such as getting along with a new group of peers, learning how to work as a team, relying on and asking for help, and learning how to take some risks without a parent right there to help them. Children at camp are also called to look deeper at their own faith and how to continue growing and understanding their faith.
Camp LuWiSoMo is the perfect place for children to grow in all these areas. At camp, children will be surrounded by counselors and staff who know what the kids need to grow, are trained in helping kids grow, and want to help kids grow.
Michael Ungar, Ph.D. cites seven things an experience at camp provides that all children need:
- New relationships, not just with peers, but with trusted adults other than their parents. Just think about how useful a skill like that is: being able to negotiate on your own with an adult for what you need.
- A powerful identity that makes the child feel confident in front of others. Your child may not be the best on the ropes course, the fastest swimmer, or the next teen idol when he sings, but chances are that a good camp counselor is going to help your child find something to be proud of that he can do well.
- Camps help children feel in control of their lives, and those experiences of self-efficacy can travel home as easily as a special art project or the pine cone they carry in their backpack. Children who experience themselves as competent will be better problem-solvers in new situations long after their laundry is cleaned and the smell of the campfire forgotten.
- Camps make sure that all children are treated fairly. The wonderful thing about camps is that every child starts without the baggage they carry from school. They may be a geek or the child with dyslexia. At camp they will both find opportunities to just be kids who are valued for who they are. No camps tolerate bullying (and if they do, you should withdraw your child immediately).
- At camp kids get what they need to develop physically. Ideally, fresh air, exercise, a balance between routine and unstructured time, and all the good food their bodies need. Not that S’mores (marshmallows, chocolate and graham cracker treats) don’t have a place at the campfire, but a good camp is also about helping children find healthy lifestyles.
- Perhaps best of all, camps offer kids a chance to feel like they belong. All those goofy chants and team songs, the sense of common purpose and attachment to the identity that camps promote go a long way to offering children a sense of being rooted.
- And finally, camps can offer children a better sense of their culture. It might be skit night, or a special camp program that reflects the values of the community that sponsors the camp, or maybe it’s just a chance for children to understand themselves a bit more as they learn about others. Camps give kids both cultural roots and the chance to understand others who have cultures very different than their own.
In addition to children getting a better sense of their culture, children at Camp LuWiSoMo will get a better sense of their own faith as they learn about everyone else’s faith journeys.
Tim Elmore did research on children and created the infographic below. Notice the time the average U.S. child spends in meaningful conversations with adults and where youth ministry ranks for church leaders. At Camp LuWiSoMo, children are immersed in the Word throughout the day and have opportunities to have meaningful conversations with adults who love Jesus. Camp has a tremendous impact on the spiritual development of a child.
So why Camp LuWiSoMo? A week at camp allows children the time to consider some of the most important issues in life and develop life-long skills while being surrounded by other Christian campers and adults who love them. It allows for a child to take a break from the craziness of life and think about their future and the truth of the Good News.
Elmore, T. (2012, February 12). The Power of Camp [infographic] – Tim Elmore. Retrieved September 02, 2016, from http://growingleaders.com/blog/the-power-of-camp-infographic/
Ungar, M., Ph.D. (2012, February 5). Summer Camps Make Kids Resilient. Retrieved September 02, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/nurturing-resilience/201202/summer-camps-make-kids-resilient