Hints of spring are all around us and our thoughts turn to sunshine and warmer days. Summer is just around the corner, and if you are a parent, guardian, or grandparent, you are probably wondering how your child will spend their vacation once school is out. Camps are a viable cost-effective solution that many turn to as a means for children and teens to be in a safe environment, make new friends, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and, of course, have loads of fun. With so many camps to choose from, why decide on a Seventh-day Adventist camp?
Choosing a camp that supports and reinforces the beliefs that are taught at home is vital to reaffirming a child’s faith in God. “Summer camp is important,” says Josue Feliciano, Southern New England Conference youth and family ministries director. “There is no other time in a child’s life when the gospel is put in a language they understand for a concentrated week of time.”
Each day a child has one or several opportunities for connecting with Christ. “Some daily spiritually-focused activities include prayer, devotion, scripture memorization, group worship, Bible study, mini devotions before activities, and worship through drama,” Feliciano adds.
“Many campers come to our camps who have never experienced worship in the home,” says Robin Venters, camp director and manager at Camp Victory Lake in Hyde Park, New York. “Every day they come together and have worship, sing songs, and share testimonies. Also, we always make sure we have an appeal on Sabbath to close out the week. Many want to recommit themselves to God or give their heart to the Lord. At the end of camp each summer, we usually have two or three that are baptized.”
Within the Atlantic Union there are four conference-owned summer camps operating this year: Camp Cherokee (New York Conference); Camp Lawroweld (Northern New England Conference); Camp Victory Lake (Northeastern Conference); and Camp Winnekeag (Southern New England Conference). Each camp is accredited by the Adventist Association of Camp Professionals, a ministry under the North American Division. While the camps may vary with activities and amenities, each is dedicated to developing and strengthening the whole person: physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Staff and counselors are carefully chosen who are experienced and committed to help each camper have a full, enriching summer while emulating the love of Jesus Christ. Nestled in picturesque, rural lake-front settings, the Seventh-day Adventist summer camps in the Atlantic Union are places where children and youth can get away from it all and come back with a richer experience in Christ.
The Atlantic Union Conference Adventist Youth Ministries Department