5 Ways Camp Has Impacted Me 

Ever since I was 7, I remember going to summer camp. I remember always looking forward to it during the winter and when June came around, I was more than ready. However, not all my friends went to summer camps like Camp Nathanael as much as I did but I was eager to invite them because I knew that it was going to be a great time.

Fast forward 10 years, and I definitely do not regret spending my summers at Camp Nathanael all this time. Summer camp has impacted me greatly and if I had to sum it down, I would choose these 5 things. Summer camp has helped me with my relationship with God, its taught me life skills, it has given me memories to look back on, it helped me grow as a person, and it has been a lot of fun.

1. Camp has helped me with my relationship with God

This impact is very important. The way that my cabin leaders not only taught me Gods word but also demonstrated it through their time with me blew me away. The showed me what it truly meant to be a man of God. Camp also had stories and songs that would draw me closer to God because I could relate to them, and it felt real and if I had any questions, they would help me navigate them. We also started habits such as devotions and reading the bible daily, one of the things I liked about this was that it did not feel like a load of school due to how we had spread it out and made small realistic goals. Reading Gods word is important but so is the fellowship and I found that fellowship at camp with the down to earth counselors and staff that were so nice and understanding.

2. Camp has taught me life skills.

Whether this be through the skill selections of choosing skills such as shotguns, bb guns, archery, sailing and canoeing, rock climbing, swimming, and more. Or through life experiences from being in a cabin or participating in a group, cabin, or all camp games. I also learned how to set a table at summer camp interestingly. Learning skills such as sailing can be fun, but they can also give you confidence. The feeling of the wind at your back with your hands controlling the sails is empowering. Today many people spend their time inside but there are a lot of cool skills to be learned such as sailing or shotguns.

3. Camp has given me memories to look back on.

Oh my goodness I have so many experiences at camp that I remember and will always cherish. I feel like the summer camp experience is something all kids should have (but that’s just my opinion). The friendships I made and the activities at camp I’ve done have shaped me for sure. You’re only a kid once and being able to take a break from school and the stress of life is important. Having your kid be away from you may be difficult but it’s also exciting when they come back with a bunch of memories and things they have learned. Being away from your parents for an extended period is also one of the life skills kids learn going to summer camp at a fairly young age.

4. Camp has made me grow as a person.

New experiences, being away from your parents, and the unique possibilities at camp, offer personal growth. There is indeed spiritual growth like I talked about, but the life skills taught, and the real-life experiences help you grow into the man God intended for you to be. I remember looking up to my cabin leaders because of how they lived their life. They seemed confident, fun, nice, and in my eyes, cool. I grew so much from their example that when I was 7, I said that I wanted to be a cabin leader too and do the things they did. I ended up doing just that because of the impact that they had on me. There was so much personal growth, and I only grew more the time after time I went to camp each year.

5. Camp is a lot of fun!

Sometimes it’s good to take a break and just have fun! At camp I was having fun left and right from the games we played, from swimming in the lake, from campfire, from the food and much more. It wasn’t even a question of whether I was going to have a fun time at camp, I knew it would be a great week. This reality of having fun and learning about God at the same time only intensified my interest for him. It wasn’t an all-day church sermon that would make me bored, it was a place where I could learn about God and have fun with my friends and make unforgettable memories that would shape me for the rest of my life. In fact, many other kids at camp had so much fun they would eventually end up serving the camp as a staff or counselor too! Which only impacts you on a deeper level when you end up leading these kids towards God.

Camp is a special thing, a thing that I will never forget. The good times I’ve spent at camp have felt like a slice of heaven on earth. The relationships formed at camp have been impactful too. I can’t believe I’ve been going to summer camp for this long, but it has been a blessing. Some call camp a fun place to be but some call it home. Personally, I feel like I’ve grown up at camp and every time I go back to it, I feel a nostalgic feeling of home.