How many baseball games will be you be sitting at this summer? Having a couple of nephews who love and live for baseball, I’ll be attending a few games. I have watched their games from T-ball through high school. Sports have been a huge part of their lives and have given them much joy, and their parents have done everything they could to give their children that experience.
How many of you will take a vacation as a family this summer, wanting to give your child an experience to remember, whether at Disney World, a week at the cabin up north, or a road trip across America? Those are precious times for bonding and making memories as a family.
It has been a long winter in Minnesota. We tend to try to jam so much into our summer, seeking to get the most out of each and every day. Much of our summer activity centers around our children. We want the best for them and want to take advantage of every opportunity for learning, growth, new experiences, and just plain fun.
Here’s a great place for all of those opportunities: summer camp.
Did you know that the United Methodist Church in Minnesota has over 100 camp or retreat experiences for children, youth, and adults? There is something for everyone.
Want to ride horses or learn archery? We have a specialty camp for you. Want to leave the cell phones and computers behind and go where you can see the stars at night? We have a wilderness adventure for you. Want to get your hands dirty making someone else’s life better? We have a mission camp for you. Want to sing around a campfire, roast marshmallows, make friends that last a lifetime? We have a classic camp for you. Want to spend quality time together as a family at the lake and have someone else cook for you? We have a family camp for you.
Why camp, as opposed to other summer attractions? Did you know that most people who come to faith in Jesus Christ do so before the age of 18? And did you know that one week at camp equals a whole year of traditional Sunday school in terms of hours spent in faith formation? Did you know that many people who heard a call to full-time Christian vocation heard it at camp?
If we want our children to have the best, which I believe includes giving them a faith, a way of life that is strong enough, true enough, and deep enough to sustain them all their life, then camp is a great way to provide it. Give your child the best. Yes, give them baseball, and a fun vacation. But also give them an opportunity to connect to Christ, creation, and Christian community at camp. It will be a wonderful summer memory, but even more, it will shape them for life. Find a camp or retreat for your child—and for you—at Camp Minnesota.
Cindy Gregorson is director of ministries for the Minnesota Annual Conference.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church