Summer camp is almost here! Please pray for us as we have orientation beginning on Sunday, June 11 with our first week of camp following on Sunday, June 18! As hundreds of campers prepare to come to camp at Big Sky this summer, I thought it would be good to write a bit about expectations.
As I’m sure most of you have realized, it is important to know expectations ahead of time before getting involved in something – in this case, attending camp. Parents, here are 3 things to expect at BSBC and 3 things not to expect (campers, you can read them to, just change the verbiage):
Things to Expect at BSBC
1) Expect the gospel of Christ to be shared with your child.
We are explicitly a Bible camp and we teach the Bible here! Expect your children to be taught about such things as sin, salvation, the holiness of God, mankind’s need for a Savior, etc. This is one of the primary reasons why Big Sky exists – to share the gospel with campers. We are very selective with the speakers and teachers that we bring to Big Sky and they will teach very clearly, what is in the scriptures.
2) Expect your child to experience new things.
At Big Sky, we pride ourselves in adding at least one new big item per year to our repertoire of toys and activities. This year we purchased a new water toy that is geared more towards younger campers and day campers. Many of these activities, such as our high ropes course, are intended to take campers out of their comfort zone. Of course, we are not forceful about it, but we do desire for campers to try activities that they may not be as comfortable with – they are usually the ones that cannot get enough of the very activity they were afraid of!
3) Expect your child to build some great relationships.
Whether it be counselor camper relationships or camper to camper, camp is a great place to build friendships that last. Our counselors are screened very carefully (many are scared off by the application alone) and they are here for one reason – to love and invest in the campers they have in their cabin. This is not limited to the summer either! We have seen many counselors and campers keep in touch for years.
Things Not to Expect at BSBC
1) Don’t expect your child to be entertained.
I have worked under leaders that believe chapel should be entertaining above all else and include all kinds of movie clips, etc. While boredom is definitely not acceptable, our desire, particularly for chapel, is Bible-centered activities, worship and teaching. Yes, we do goofy, fun things in chapel and we sing fun songs with great motions. However, there is a purpose behind every lyric, motion and teaching (with the exception, perhaps, being the orb of death).
2) Don’t expect texts.
Our no cell phone policy at Big Sky is implemented not simply because it would be a nightmare to have all of the campers on cell phones all of the time, but also because we desire to get campers out of the world of technology and into nature. We believe (although many campers disagree) that it is healthy to take a week break from the internet and cell phones and enjoy God’s creation. Don’t worry, of course we allow for emergency calls.
3) Don’t expect your child to be reformed.
Let me explain. While we do believe and hold to the transforming power of the gospel of Christ and we have seen this play out in the lives of campers, camp is probably not the place where a camper who is ill-behaved will transform into an angel before returning home. This may sound ridiculous, but we do have those parents who send their children to camp with the hope that camp will reform their behavior. We believe and teach that it is the heart that needs to be addressed and the behavior flows from the heart. We do our best to be faithful in addressing the heart and sharing the gospel, but the results are up to God.
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