When you are planning a Christian camp program, a theme can tie the activities and devotions of the week together. As you consider themes, think of ways you can teach lessons of the Bible and the church using hands-on projects that will leave a big impression in the minds of campers.
Live to Serve
A service theme can be tailored to the structure and time line of your program, whether you are conducting a day camp, week camp or full summer camp. Before camp, brainstorm service projects that campers can carry out on campus and in the community. You might consider street cleanups, care package shipments to needy schools around the world or maintenance projects at camp. When campers arrive, have counselors speak with them about the importance of using God-given talents, strengths and abilities to serve others. Present campers with the list of projects for which they can sign up; offer them the opportunity to brainstorm and create their own projects. Throughout camp, focus on how campers can help others and why service is an important part of a Christian lifestyle.
In an age when children exist in a largely digital sphere (television, cell phones, computers and video games), it is easy to overlook small blessings. At a Christian camp, you can teach children gratitude by focusing on things they take for granted. You might hold a world hunger dinner at which each table represents a country and is served the amount of food a citizen of that country might eat; this is a powerful visual representation when children realize the relative bounty of their own tables. Campers might brainstorm things they are thankful for, and counselors can work with them on being grateful and overcoming the urge to complain.
Religion Around the World
Promote understanding and love for other religious traditions by using the theme of religion around the world. Assign each cabin or group a religion or faith and have campers research the beliefs and rituals. Children can develop skits, make posters or use arts and crafts time to express what they've learned. Schedule an all-camp meeting to present their findings, or have one group present each day. As campers learn about other traditions, encourage them to contrast those traditions with their own religious practices. With this type of theme, you can strengthen the faith and understanding of children while making them more open to other practices.
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