A Church-Related Camping Program -- By: Dell G. Johnson
CenQ 16:1 (Spring 1973) p. 3
A Church-Related Camping Program
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Owatonna, Minnesota
The church camping program is the spiritual highlight of the summer for many young people. For some of the youth it provides the spiritual impetus that is needed to grow in the Christian life. To others, the camp provides a spiritual impact that brings them into a new and personal relationship with Jesus. The camping program thus is an important activity for the church. The church’s task is to organize the camp. There is no substitute for good organization in accomplishing the desired results. The spiritual goals are more likely to be obtained if the camp program is well planned.
This study will attempt to present aspects of a church camp that are important to its organization. The purpose is twofold: first, to present a general picture of what is involved when a church decides to establish its own camping program, and second, to discuss ideas and details that are involved in running the camping program. This study is neither intended to be comprehensive nor a compilation of material from many sources. But rather this study will largely consist of information that was collected and observed during the summer camping program of the Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1968 and 1969). Most of these sessions were conducted by Orris Refsell, junior youth pastor of the church. This study is limited to the discussion of the primary, junior and junior high age groups. In thus disclosing ideas that have worked in one church program, others should be helped who are considering starting a church camp or who desire to gain different ideas for one that already exists.
Camp is a place where the camper becomes aware, in a new and beautiful way, of the presence of the Creator. Camp is a plan where Christ is brought out in every element of the program such that He is made real to the camper’s everyday living. Camp is also an experience
CenQ 16:1 (Spring 1973) p. 4
whereby old lives are changed and made new through repentance and the power of the Lord Himself.
Christian camping is a Christ-centered program of small-group living in a simple, controlled out-of-door environment where the camper is enabled to develop recreational, educational, and social skills and to know Christ as Savior and Friend.
Fundamental, Bible-believing, church-related camps put the emphasis on evangelism. The express purpose is to lead each camper to a personal experience of repentance, receiving Christ as his Lord and Savior, either in a public meeting, private counseling session or at an activity.
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