This past Friday marked the last day of Base Camps, which are any camps that happen up in our cabin area, lodge, etc... After we say goodbye to our campers we set to a GIANT clean of the site. The evening concludes with our staff doing their own Testimony Sticks at the creek.
Our campers aren't the only ones experiencing life change here at camp. Many of our staff experience it too but one thing is often talked about during the last campfire...how do we go on from here?
Camp is this crazy place where the world seems to fade away for the week (or sometimes multiple weeks) - all there is in front of you is camp. Games, challenging speakers, lasting friendships that form overnight, and "ah-ha" moments where God takes something as simple as the Leap of Faith and uses it to speak to you about your faith in Him. There really is NOTHING like camp.
As I listened to the Testimonies from the staff and remembered so many of the campers who shared throughout the summer - there were so many amazing things that people learned. Near the end of the staff testimonies I got up and told everyone that we can't say that we've learned this great things and get up the next day and forget them. If we say that we have learned these great things and understand that God has done something amazing in us and for us - then tomorrow, we wake up and say YES to God all over again. We do this because following God and continuing to have our lives transformed by Him - remaining in Him like we learned through our theme verse (John 15:5) this summer means making daily decisions to walk closer and closer to him.
So the question is - how do we survive after camp? How do we make it the next 10 months without camp in our lives? How do we keep learning things about God so that when we meet again in Summer 2017 - we can say that we have grown in our walk with God rather than losing step with Him? Here are three easy steps...
- Find a community of believers. In other words - get connected to a Youth Group! You can find a church that we're partnered with and where a lot of our campers go. Also - there's a bunch of churches listed on the right hand side of the blog. Youth Groups will get you connected and might just be that piece of camp that you're looking for. As we tell all of our staff - don't do it alone. If you're still unsure - email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) about where you should connect.
- Do devotions. Every. Day. Read your Bible. This is how you get to know God firsthand. He'll be a better teacher, better friend, better everything. You just have to spend time with Him.
- Talk to Him. Yes - I'm speaking about prayer. There are no right words - no magical formula to pray correctly. God just wants to hear you. He wants to hear you speak about the good things in your life, what you're learning, your questions, and what is hard in your life. Straight up, just talk to Him.
Keep connected with us on our blog, Facebook, or our App. We also are running come Church Connection events at Manifest Church (Coventry in Calgary) and Dalhousie Church (right by Dalhousie Station in Calgary NW) in September. Come see us there!
Our Blog will return to Wednesdays starting next week...stay tuned for when we introduce each of our new German Volunteers and some other new additions to staff.