Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Camp Dreams

It's my second year leading a multi-church junior high summer camp, and I'm excited. Last year I wrote about my own feelings of insecurity going into camp. This year, I'm feeling more prepared for the inevitable snafus, the exhaustion of keeping up with students, and the exhilaration of being a part of the kingdom of God. We have 15 churches from all over Arizona coming together with only two things in common: we love Jesus and we love junior high students. It's a beautiful picture of the body of Christ coming together to accomplish more together than we ever could apart.

I also know that this is a year of transition. Last year was a transition too--you try being the new guy leading an entire summer camp!--but this transition is different. While this year will be great and students' lives will be transformed through an encounter with Jesus, I've been dreaming with a few pastor friends about what camp could become. This particular summer camp has been happening for over 15 years, and it's time for some healthy changes and shifts. We're evaluating everything and dreaming about where God is leading us. It involves different dates, a different structure, and a different vision. We're creating more times of margin, having more opportunities for conversation and relationship building, and being strategic about students continuing to encounter Jesus long after the camp high disappears.

I'm excited for this year, but I'm already getting excited for next year! We've got some pretty big dreams for what June 2010 could look like. But I'm not the only one with dreams for junior high summer camps, who has wondered how could we make this better? What could we do differently? What needs to change? What have we always wanted to try, but never could?

So I'm dreaming about junior high summer camp. Feel free to dream with me and share in the comments.

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