Summer Camp Recap: Jr High

I’m back at church, taking a breather before we head back up to Hume for our College retreat, Colloquium. So the next few days I will be updating you on how camp went, how praise can be brought before the Lord, and we can continue to pray for permanent and continuing change.

Two Thursdays ago, Leah, Micah, and I headed up to Big Bear for our Jr High camp.  The focus was on what it means to be sold out for Christ.  We talked about how it doesn’t just mean sacrificing things and not doing sin, but it means pursuing a knowledge of Christ that enraptures your heart.  When you become enraptured with Christ, then you mature and no long have an interest in the things you are to put off.

It was a great time of fun with the kids, too, as on Friday we went to the Alpine Slide, where you ride a little cart down a long, winding fiberglass track.  If you don’t watch out, you just might crash and get a pretty awesome scar you can carry with you the rest of your life.  So we went down that quite a few times, along with some kids on the water slides, miniature golf, and racing go-carts.  That afternoon we took the kids into town and went to the candy store, the arcade, drank smoothies and hung out.  Fun stuff.  The owner of the arcade was so impressed with our kids that she gave the leaders free stuffed animals.  So Micah got a really neat, fuzzy monkey, which he immediately fell asleep with.

On Saturday we headed home as the kids headed out to a day on the lake and a picnic in the park.  The kids were also able to rent some electric paddle boats with water guns on them, and they raced them around the buoys and tried to soak each other.  Leah and I  had to get home to do some laundry, and repack for a week at Hume Lake with the High Schoolers.

One of the frustrating things about camp was how difficult it was to get the kids to sit down and have a private time of devotion.  I prepared ahead of time a devotional for them to go through that went along with the lessons of the day.  It was designed to make them think and get them into the Word.  Well, about five minutes in, I heard the pitter patter of a ping pong ball going back and forth.

These kids couldn’t sit for ten minutes and do this.  I had to fight with them to be able to do what should be a good habit at this point in their lives.  This got me thinking about how the parents must not be having their kids in the Word on a daily basis.  Why?  Well, I imagine that one of the objections would be that the kids are still young, but then I thought of what the Puritans would think.  They had their kids memorizing scripture and catechisms before they could tied their shoes.

Of course there are other objections like they don’t have the time to make sure their kids are doing these things, or they are just too busy.  Do you make sure your child bathes?  Or they eat healthy?  Or they do their homework?  Why not make sure they are in the Word on a daily basis?

I think the real reason is the parents feel a sense of shame or hypocrisy because they simply aren’t doing it either.  It saddens me that a parent will have every concern for their child, except spiritually.  They will make sure they have nice clothes, good food, they will drive them all over God’s green Earth for sports and events, but they won’t lead them to the Word on a daily basis?

So my appeal is to parents to make sure that they are leading their children to the Lord on a daily basis.  I know this is a renewed focus for me, since Micah will be old enough in a while to pray with and spend time with each day directing his heart towards God.

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2 comments on “Summer Camp Recap: Jr High

  1. BethsMomToo says:

    I’m always surprised that parents think I won’t notice that they don’t do family quiet time nor have their child do their own quiet time. But as a 5th/6th Grade SS teacher it is always apparent to me who is receiving spiritual training at home.

    In two weeks I will welcome the new 5th grade class in. I may use part of your blog in my first letter home to the parents.

  2. Beth says:

    It’s a challenge to be a good parent- period. Yes, first comes your own walk with God, and you have to see being a parent as a discipleship relationship. I don’t think parents even work with their kids on sitting still. It’s easiest to start them as soon as their crawling- train them to play with toys on a little blanket. It’s even hard for me to make that a regular thing with Nehemiah. Then you move to couch time where they can pick out books and sit quietly on the couch. Kids probably aren’t reading much of anything on their own for fun. Elisabeth Edwards had her kids sitting quietly in church by the time they were two. Self-control is the first step- and of course a lifelong practice of godliness.

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