How LifeWay’s Summer Camps Help Children in Their Spiritual Growth

CentriKid campers interact with children of the same age group from different churches as they enjoy recreation and Bible study. LifeWay photo

When Meghan Dukes first visited a LifeWay summer camp as an elementary-aged child, she returned home telling her mom she wanted to work there one day.

Several years later, Dukes made good on her intentions, becoming a LifeWay camp staffer. This July, she’ll come full circle — chaperoning 18 kids from Redeemer Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., to a CentriKid camp in Linden, Tenn.

“I’m so thankful for how the Lord has used LifeWay camps in my life from childhood to the present,” Dukes said. “I’ve been influenced by the gospel-focused intentionality of camp as a fourth grade student, as a staffer and now as a children’s ministry director.”

Meghan Dukes, children’s ministry director of Redeemer Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., attended LifeWay camps as a fourth grade student and later served as a camp staffer. This year, she’ll chaperon 18 children from her church to a CentriKid camp in Linden, Tenn. Submitted photo

Dukes’ journey illustrates how Christian summer camps and mission projects can often link generations of Christ-followers. A 2018 LifeWay Research study on predictors of spiritual health in young adults found 44 percent of Protestant churchgoing parents of 18-30-year-olds sent their kids to church camps and retreats when they were growing up.

This year, LifeWay anticipates more than 122,000 kids and students will attend one of their summer camps or mission projects. Expected enrollment in camps represents approximately 5,400 churches from more than 40 states.

“Lots of people think of summer camp as a milestone experience,” said Logan Meek, team leader of Student Life For Kids. “Many times, summer camp is the place where God causes children and students to have ‘lightbulb’ moments about concepts parents and church leaders have been teaching them all year. These spiritual moments can become faith markers we look back to for the rest of our lives.”

Here’s an overview of LifeWay’s 2019 summer camps and mission projects.

Kids

— CentriKid

A CentriKid camp staffer helps kids connect their outdoor activity with a devotion from Scripture. LifeWay photo

An overnight camp experience for 3rd-6th graders. Camp staffers lead Bible study and activities in which kids interact with children of the same age group from different churches. This gives church leaders and chaperones the opportunity to focus on building relationships with kids and making every moment count.

Churches who participate in CentriKid often transition kids to FUGE when they enter into student and young adult ministries. The 2019 theme for CentriKid is “All Access” and focuses on God’s wanting to be known. The key verse is John 17:3.

— Student Life For Kids

A camp for 3rd-6th graders in which church groups remain together and church leaders facilitate small group Bible study sessions with their kids. Many churches enjoy the discipleship opportunities that flow from this format.

Churches who participate in Student Life For Kids often transition kids to Student Life Camp when they enter into student and young adult ministries. The 2019 theme for Student Life For Kids is “Transformed” and focuses on 2 Corinthians 5:17.

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Source: Baptist Press