Is your child ready for summer camp? If so, then you are just as excited as we are here at The Vineyard Camp to meet our campers of 2020. Sending our kids to camp may the best present you could offer them. You are giving something invaluable, something that can help them become the best version of themselves when they grow up to become adults. One important question we get from the parents prior to camp is this—how can my kid make the most of his/ her days there or even after that?
Being one with nature.
Let’s face it—most of our kids nowadays seldom get the chance to get tuned with their outside surroundings. Remember us being youngsters when we used to play in the fields, build bonfires and sing songs with friends, trekking the hills and enjoying the day in the sun? Our kids today do not get much of that. Most of them are overwhelmed with schoolwork, busy with electronics, games, and gadgets, no longer minding the magic of the outdoors—and we can’t blame them for that. At present, learning and even entertainment can exist in one small electronic gadget, and our kids’ eyes are all set on those. The camp might be the only chance they get throughout the year to go out and have fun outside with other kids or with their mentors, to unplug and appreciate the fact that nature is in itself one of the best teachers in life. 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.
It’s a chance to make new friends.
Another thing that the digital age has taken away from our kids is the opportunity to do something hands-on, and even to socialize with other people face-to-face. Nowadays, social media and online communication have, for the most part, replaced personal interactions. For most of the adventure camps we know, kids are being unplugged from technology. They are given opportunities to bond with other kids and partake in collaborative activities that are fun and meaningful. Do you still remember some of your friends you met from camp? Many of the fondest memories we have are those we shared with friends we met there—teammates, teachers, mentors, fellow campers. Our kids will be able to make the most out of the camp if we encourage them to be open and to share what uniqueness they have with other people. In our case at The Vineyard, all children, regardless of their spiritual conviction, are welcomed and loved.
On discovering talents, skills, and interests, our kids didn’t know they have.
At school, our kids learn through academic interactions, examinations—they are being graded. The learning approach in camps does not just lie on discussions and communications; it also pushes our kids to experience things for themselves—and that makes camp learning more potent than any other. It teaches self-sufficiency, self-reliance, self-belief. For our kids to make the most of their camp experience, we have to teach them to set goals, one of which is to get out of their comfort zones during camp and try out something new. For example, at The Vineyard, one camper before arrival can choose one Major and two electives. On top of the things they are already good or interested in (which they can choose as their major), they can also tap on other interests. 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. We have to teach our kids to understand that everything that is done in the camp is made to make them better—to make them enjoy their break and be transformed. When the opportunity presents itself, encourage them to make the most out of it.
Gaining knowledge from the most passionate mentors
The camp is not just a place for campers who are eager to learn and experience adventure. It is also a place where the best guides and teachers converge—people who are PASSIONATE about the things they do and find so much fulfillment in imparting that passion to the generations following them. Our kids can make the most of the summer camp if we encourage them to interact with their mentors and instructors.
At the Vineyard, we are proud to raise our Leaders-in-Training (LIT)—the future leaders of our camp and communities—and they are the ones who ardently train, teach and develop our children in their respective fields. We encourage your kids to appreciate their time with these amazing people who are experts in their areas—not to shy away from them—to ask questions, and learn tactics and strategies not just in a given area but in life and faith in general. The parents and campers at The Vineyard can attest that we have the most caring and compassionate staff, LITs, and IAPs. When it comes to camper focus, do you know that we have the lowest camper to staff ratio (3:2) of any sports camp in the world?
It’s the opportunity to be appreciated and validated by their mentors and friends
Part of our children’s psycho-social growth is the process of being validated, seen, and appreciated by others. In any camp, our children will be given a chance to showcase their uniqueness and talents, their skills, and the things they are great at. It is not enough for our kids to have a personal opinion about what they can do, and how far they can go as an individual. It is essential for him or her to be authenticated, to be applauded, and even grow from constructive criticism. This makes them make the most out of their summer camp experience as it pushes our children to strive harder and become more inquisitive in ways that can make them better.
Sharing the camp experience to the community
For us grown-ups who had had camp experience when we were younger, do you remember how excited we were to go home after camp and share our stories with our friends? Sharing our most memorable moments to them—the fun, the laughter, the adventure—makes the whole objective of going to camp come full circle. Your children will experience that too, in fact, the more you encourage them to talk about the experience to others, the more it sticks to them—the lessons, the enthusiasm, the drive—it all gets magnified.
At the Vineyard, thousands of our happy campers throughout the years have become the bearers of our camp’s message of LOVE and FAITH to God. Their stories and feedback have touched so many lives and encouraged other people to try and see the great things our camp can offer.
Our registration for the 2020 Camp sessions is ongoing. Have you reserved a slot? Go to vineyardcamp.com to register today.