You know how it goes. You pick your child up from camp and they have that “glow.” They are exhausted but exhilarated. Tears spring up when they leave their camp friends and counselors. But, when you ask them, “So, how was camp?” They reply nonchalantly, “Fine.” YOU know that there’s a lot more to it. But, you may not know exactly how to get your child or teen to talk about it.
The Ohio Conference staff has collected some simple resources that will help you integrate your child’s camp experience into your everyday home life. Here are three simple ways to do that:
Talk About It
Make it a point to have a caring conversation. Here is a terrific list from Vibrant Faith at Home of questions you can ask. You can even start during the car ride from camp or at dinner the night after you get home. Here’s some of our favorite questions:
• What is something you learned about your counselor?
• What is something new you learned about God?
• What is one thing that surprised you about camp?
• Did you try something new? If so, what?
• What did you learn about yourself?
Does this caring conversation seem like it would be awkward? Well, it can be at first, but here’s some great advice from Vibrant Faith at Home (one of our favorite resources for practicing faith at home). Watch the video.
Learn About It
Set some time aside to have a family devotion. Maybe this is the first time you have done something like this; maybe you do it all the time. Either way, this will be a fantastic way to make that “camp high” last even longer.
Here’s a simple example of how to use scripture to help reflect on the camp experience. (Nicole Havelka, our Ohio Conference Minister for Resourcing, Networking and Creativity, wrote this one.)
Light a candle (if safe to do so)
“But the news about Jesus spread even more. So crowds of people came to hear him. They also came to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often went away to be by himself and pray.”
Discuss these questions: When do you feel the need to get away to be with God? How do you pray? What are some new ways you learned to pray at camp? How can our family incorporate those prayers into our life together?
Here’s some more great activities from Vibrant Faith at Home for your family after camp is over:
“Camp’s Greatest Moments” (young families)
“Camping with Jesus” (Older teens and young adults)
Pray About It
At dinner, before bedtime or any other brief “down time,” invite your camper to teach you/your family their favorite camp prayer or song. Incorporate that prayer/song into your regular family prayer time.
Want to do a regular family devotion practice? Try the Faith Five family practice from Faith Inkubators.