10 Things I Learned as a Youth Camp Chaperone

It’s been on our calendar for the last several months. Youth Camp.

Six nights on a bunk bed in a cabin filled with teens.

Late nights. Camp food. Bonfires. Bug spray.

Our family (hubby, two teen boys, and myself) spent this past week at Hickory Cove Bible Camp with 93 Youth from 3 area churches. For three of us, it was our first time attending camp.

I’m still trying to process it all. There were high, highs and low, lows.

It was at times exhausting.

It was joy-filled and the spirit of the Lord was present and active.

Youth Camp Baptism in the Lake

Five teens were baptized in the lake and dozens came forward – either to accept Christ or re-dedicate their lives.

I’m still grasping for words to convey how powerful and how just plain fun the week was…

10 Things I Learned as a Chaperone at Youth Camp this Summer

1. There will be drama.

My cabin with 9 teenage girls

2. Girls can be messier than boys, but not near as sweaty or stinky.

3. Activities and heat necessitate 2 outfits per day.

4. Even if the shower trickles in comparison to yours at home, you will look forward to showering at the end of a long day.

5. Snapchat after lights out creates a nightclub-like effect in a dark bunk room.

6. Hair should be worn up at all times – sweaty, sticky hair on the back of one’s neck is just plain uncomfortable and hot.

At the altar - youth camp 2015

7. The heat won’t be the only thing that causes your mascara to run. Tears will fall as you witness Holy Spirit moments, deep worship, teens filling the altar, and walls crumbling down.

8. God’s got a message for you too!

Attempting archery at Youth Camp 2015

9. Your campers will be impressed and surprised when you joyfully participate in the activities with them. You may find the game of paintball and ride on the tube to be a whole lot more fun than you thought they’d be!

10. Teenagers have some heartbreaking stories (cutting, suicide, depression, self-harm, bullying, step-parent struggles, alcohol, confidence issues, peer pressure, etc.) and desperately need positive, Christian women and men to take an interest in their lives.

I share all of this to encourage you, to plead with you really, to be intentional about building relationships with the young women in your church. They need you. Some of them desperately.

Spirit-filled moments at Youth Camp.

Please pray for women to boldly step forward to serve as counselors next year with your Youth.

Ask God if He wants you to go next year.

Examine your women’s ministry calendar and see where you might add some activities for your Youth girls. Look at what events might interest them and make sure they know they are invited.

In just a few years many of these young women will graduate from the “youth” or “college” ministry into “women’s ministry”. Those that have already built relationships with older women in your church will be much more likely to participate in “women’s ministry” activities.

Imagine the impact we could make if we began ministering to them now!

Imagine the impact we could make if we began to minister to them now!

Your turn to share: What does your women’s ministry team do to reach the young women in your church?

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