330772_10150972377864790_982651022_oWe are away at high school camp this week! We head up to Canada…rent out some houseboats and have a week of great camp.

I love camp. We get more hours with students at camp than we do all year with our weekly programs…it is kind of a big deal.

3 ways we maximize camp:

Significant Conversations
We encourage all of our leaders to have at least one significant conversation with each student in their small groups. Find a moment during free time or after one of the services – whenever but just make it a priority to connect. Talk about life, what is happening in their home or where they are spiritually. These significant conversations are often more important than any message they may hear or song they may sing.

Memorable Moments
Memorable moments are included in our services or in our quiet times. We provide a physical challenge or an action that requires the student to physically move in a way that aligns with a spiritual commitment. For example, last year we had students cross a line about moving forward with their faith in Jesus. These moments give students visuals and words to remember and communicate their commitments. Students still talk about when they crossed the line. It’s simple and memorable.

271161_2228045025877_4406837_nClear Next Steps
What should a student do once they get home? Based on a student’s spiritual level, what does their commitment at camp mean for their life back home? The steps have to be clear. How do they continue forward in their spiritual growth? We want students to move from an outsider to a small group member. We want them to serve and give back. We want them to make a commitment to spiritual disciplines. Do our students know the steps? Do they have the tools to get connected to these steps. We try to provide all of them at camp before they get home.

I love camp and I do believe in what happens but I want it to matter for the long haul…beyond the week. That’s why we do these things, what do you do to make camp commitments stick?