By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
There’s no question about it: attending summer camp is a life-changing experience. Since 1974, Joy El has been a Christian camp and retreat center in Pennsylvania, where children come to have a lot of fun, make a lot of friends and have experiences that help them to build strong spiritual foundations.
Here are five great reasons that your child should attend a Christian summer camp at Joy El Camps and Retreats. Of course the list is much bigger, but let’s start with these five:
5. Learn New Skills
Camp is a safe place where children can move outside their comfort zone and try activities that they have never done before: archery, swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, the climbing tower, zipline, giant swing, mini golf, drama, public speaking, singing and more. Sometimes they may be uncomfortable as they begin new activities, but the sense of accomplishment as basic skills develop can’t be matched.
4. Experience the Great Outdoors
Children are experiencing “Nature Deficit Disorder.” Studies show that nature fosters creativity and calms children struggling with information overload. Water, trees, bushes, flowers, woods, and streams are the best kind of toys because, unlike action figures or collectibles, they can be anything. Many parents enroll their kids in summer camps that focus on technology and indoor classes. I recommend that you sign up your children for camps that focus on time in God’s creation. Where they can lie down in the grass and look up at the stars. Or pick up that fuzzy little caterpillar. Which child will forget the frogs or the fish that they saw in the creek?
3. Exercise and Activity
In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. There are so many things to do at camp, and so few couches. Group games, cabin games, sports and nature hikes. Children who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle emotional and physical challenges. Camp is a great place for physical activity.
2. Solid Spiritual Foundations
Joy El is committed to teaching God’s truth from the Bible. Dynamic speakers and loving counselors are committed to helping campers of all ages find insights that will fill them with joy. We place an emphasis on memorizing God’s Word. The benefits of memorization reach into every area of life.
1. Fun and Friends
Every Friday when parents pick their children up from camp I hear these two questions: 1) Did you have fun? and 2) What did you learn? (Almost always in this order). With great enthusiasm children respond YES! and then they fill in the details. They tell about the things they learned, the fun they had outside (perhaps a rain story or two), the things they learned about God and the friends they made.
Now that you know these five great reasons, register your children (and grandchildren) for a week of camp. Three primary options are Day Camps, (grades k-5), Overnight Camps (grades 2-12) and Adventure Camps (grades 2-12).