If you have attended camp at least once in your life, you probably consider it as one of the greatest summers you ever had. The memories, friends, the fun nights making a bonfire, the long hikes, the games and laughter, and the songs probably stick to you even up to this day. Your few days at camp flew by like a breeze, but little did you know, the things you went through during your time at camp actually changed you positively on the inside. As kids, we never really fully understood how a fun-filled summer destination camp could change our lives considerably. It is only when we face real-life situations later on when we realize that we have brought with us some life-changing takeaways that made us better.
At camp, learning comes in 3 major areas: Skills Development, Teaching of Life Skills and Survival, and Values Formation. No two camps are the same, and each camp is unique on their approach in honing our campers, but we are guided in these three areas of transformation.
For us here at The Vineyard, for example, we have Majors and Electives that our campers can freely choose. This can range from activities such as Body Conditioning, Body Toning, Equitation, Fishing, Golf, Painting, Pocket Billiards, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Water Skiing, Wilderness Adventure, etc. and its geared to develop our campers in these specific areas. Others, such as tech camps, may be focused on teaching skills like coding or website design, and sports camps may have a more focused approach on certain sports.
Life Skills and Survival
Activities that range from simple life skills such as how to make a vegetable garden and how to make a bonfire, to as complex as how to do a CPR can make a lot of positive difference in our children’s lives especially when they become adults and no longer in our supervision. This is an important area of camp curriculum because children don’t get much exposure to these real-life survival skills in school, and even if they are, the amount of focus in teaching these survival skills may not be as intense and hands-on as they are at camps.
For us at The Vineyard, the Christian sports camp on Brown Mountain, North Carolina, a big part of our camp’s focus is in this area. More than just a sports camp, we are a ministry dedicated to relationships and discipleship. We instill not just appreciation to Christ, but an actual way of holy living according to God’s word, hence a big part of our day-to-day camp activities are formed around Christian teachings. We try to disciple youth using a “lifestyle approach” by spending most of the day with sports and recreation and offering evening worship services and optional Bible studies at night. Whether it is a gentle hand to teach a particular skill or taking time to reflect on nature’s quiet beauty in the forest, we teach by example and wait for the child’s response. A lot of other camps teach transformative values as well, with a focus on developing loving, responsible, independent campers.
We incorporate as much of these areas to the day-to-day activities at camp and make sure the kids do not get overwhelmed. At the end of the day, we seek balance in all these areas to make a child’s summer camp experience not only transformative but also fun and memorable.
The good combination of these three areas bring a positive impact in the lives of our camps not just during camp—it ultimately resonates in the years to come, in their early adulthood until they become the actual movers, stakeholders, and influencers of the society.
For us at The Vineyard, our mission is clear: to provide the finest programs to bring out quality and excellence to children of all backgrounds --to share God’s love, demonstrate holy living, and explain the challenge of discipleship.
“It is amazing how Dean and the Vineyard camp were a place I went to 33-34 years ago. The camp has weathered political, economic, social, religious, and so many things over the years and I think as we look at where it is now the mission and values the camp instills in our children and future leaders are more important than ever.” – A testimonial from Tommy Walker
There are so many camps all over the world all seeking one goal: TRANSFORMATION. Whether it’s a specific skill, or developing self-confidence and independence, or teaching them the basics of life, all of those things create a positive impact in the lives of our children in many ways. Wherever life may bring them, and whatever endeavor they choose to pursue, they must have a time in their childhood to anchor on—a camp that taught them connectedness, a sense of industry, faith, and a strong sense of self-worth.
Registration is ongoing for us at The Vineyard for Summer 2020. Are you guys excited? Register now.