After months of planning and preparation, we saw God lead us through two wonderful weeks of camp! Before gearing up for the school year, we wanted to pause and reflect on what God has done in and through KIDS Inc. so far this summer.
Leading By Example
We set an ambitious goal of 60-100 students attending our week of SpringHill Day Camps, and reached 65 registered students the day before camp started. As the week went on, campers’ contagious excitement recruited more young friends, and by Friday of camp week we had 97 campers. The SpringHill staff blew us away with their adaptability and dedicated love for each camper throughout the week. In addition, the staff trained and empowered 8 of our high school students to help lead cabin groups. Watching these high schooler step up as leaders in incredible ways was a rewarding and joyous experience.
The camp environment drew out many parts of camper’s character that typically remain hidden. With many of the high adventure activities such as the rock wall, rope ladder, and euro bungee, students had the opportunity conquer fears, and encourage their friends to do the same.These activities broke down walls in campers that allowed for counselors to share Jesus’ love, the Gospel message, and truth about each students’ value as God’s children. Campers responded overwhelmingly well to these conversations in their small group discussion times, and 25 campers said they sincerely accepted Christ for the first time during camp.
We have been taking students to camp Allendale for over 10 years, and we return with new stories, friendships, and testimonies of God’s transformative power every year.This year, we were specifically struck with the strong sense of community that quickly developed among the student group. This unity spilled into family cabin time, and many students jumped into the discussion and demonstrated trust in sharing about their lives. These family group times were extremely fruitful for both campers and staff, as both walked away having seen God’s character displayed in each other.
Students Leading Students
This year we saw remarkable spiritual leadership among the students. Some of the returning students had accepted Christ since camp last year, and helped generate an attitude of eager participation in the spiritual aspects of camp. Students approached small group discussions, worship, and campfire with sincerity, enthusiasm, and a posture of learning. We were encouraged to see students take greater ownership over their faith and motivate their peers to do the same.
Each evening during campfire, a counselor shared their personal story of God’s transformative work in their lives. Counselors’ transparency paved the way for our open mic night on Wednesday, where students had the opportunity to share their own stories. Through all of the pain and brokenness shared, we were able to see God awaken their hearts and deepen their faith in Him. As many of these students spoke, their words were filled with hope that only comes form God.
Thank you so much for your prayer, participation, and support that made this opportunity for Gospel impact possible!