A series of posts, highlighting how camp enhances the lives of our campers.
When Lutheran Outdoor Ministry started ascending into the ranks as an important faith formation activity, some camps adopted the idea of a “Four-Fold Life.” It was an idea that Christians should live a Christ-like life and was based on Luke 2: 52: ”Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature, and in divine and human favor.” To emulate Christ’s life at camp, campers were (and still are today) enriched mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. This month, we will look at how campers spiritual well-being is addressed at camp.
It seems like a no-brainer that church camp is a place to grow spiritually. Daily devotions, the study of the Bible, and worship are hallmarks of our program here. Campers open their Bibles and read God’s Word and apply it to their lives. They pray aloud, sometimes for the very first time. They sing praises to God through camp songs and live in community with other Christians. In the process, they encounter Jesus Christ in new and exciting ways, hopefully leading to a life of discipleship when they return to their homes and communities.
Sometimes that spiritual growth can lead to new callings in life. A large number of ordained leaders in the Evangelical Lutheran Church point to an outdoor ministry experience as the reason they took the career path they did. In other cases, an individual learns at camp about gifts and talents he or she had that they didn’t know. That, too, may lead them on new paths in their vocation or avocations.
At Mount Luther, we take seriously the role we play in developing children, youth, young adults, and families spiritually. We even developed a new way of doing this last year when we instituted GROW Time. GROW stands for Gathering and Reflect On the Word. It models for our campers and staff that theology should be part of their every day life and that God is in their midst in the middle of their busy school days just as much as when they attend church on Sundays.
Of all the ways camp makes you whole, spiritual growth is probably the area that we make the most impact. Coming camp can change your relationship with God and can make your life even better than you imagined!