Youth ministry has a great symbiotic relationship with camps. Youth ministries and Christian camps both strive towards the goal of the next generation knowing and growing closer to Jesus, but we each have our specific platforms in which to accomplish that. That being said, there are many ways we can complement each other in attaining that goal. (You can see specific ways Kwasind, Kids and Youth do this as CBOQ Next Gen in our onboarding guide.)
- Resource Sharing: God has equipped each of our individual churches and camps with various resources. When we can synergize some of those (personnel, finances, or other assets), we can have a deeper kingdom impact. Wherever common items are used, try to “bulk buy” to help save costs.
- External Leadership Development: Your youth ministry provides many leadership development opportunities for your students. However, you can’t do it all. Camps, through our Leadership-in-Training programs or camp staff, provide youth with experiences that stretch and grow them in their walk with Jesus.
- Personal Leadership Development: You can grow as a youth leader by spending some time serving at a local camp (whether as a speaker, helping with maintenance, leading a cabin group or so much more). Opportunities like these give you a vantage point not usually available in a local church setting.
- Being Established in a Local Church: Some campers (and sometimes staff) do not have a local church family. Be open to ways your youth ministry can be a receiving site for some of these campers as they continue to explore faith.
- Retreat Sites: Many camps (not currently, but post-pandemic) offer their camps as rental facilities where you can host your own retreat gatherings. These range in affordability and amenities.
- Broader Youth Culture Understanding: Between camps and youth leaders, there’s a broad range of understanding of what youth (both locally and regionally) are experiencing. Collaboratively, we can gain a deeper and clearer understanding of how to reach this upcoming generation.
- Extending their Networks: Having youth involved in different spheres (whether in their own neighbourhoods or in another location like a camp) expands both their personal networks and their worldview.
There are many ways, together, we can extend and solidify God’s work around us. If you already have a camp connection, great! Continue to find ways to elaborate on that relationship. If not, let us know and we’ll help connect you with one that makes sense for your context.
Let’s continue to bring the person and message of Jesus to the next generation together!