08 Feb Kid’s Camp: A Honduran Christian Camp Experience
One look at popular culture and it is blindingly clear that Summer Camp is an integral part of American society. The quintessential Summer Camp experience has been documented in books, movies, television shows and songs for years, and it is a result of the wide-scale participation in said summer camps. For many Christians, their childhood and young-adult memories are riddled with fond Bible Camp experiences. Like every Summer Camp, Bible Camps are also hugely popular, and have been for many years. However, unlike normal summer camps, Bible camps offer more than simply a retreat experience, they offer an opportunity for spiritual awakening and development. Christian camps represent an experience and environment where young Christians truly grow in their faith.
In his doctoral thesis, A Theological Playground: Christian Summer Camp in Theological Perspective, Jacob Sorenson states in summary of his research, “The data clearly show that camps should be taken seriously as places of Christian education” (pg. 184). The question then is, does the effectiveness of Christian Camp translate across cultures?
Here in Santa Rosa de Copán we have made outreach to children a priority. Our DESEO team has an incredible responsibility and opportunity in that they are a daily influence and example for young kids in the public school system. The DESEO program continues to grow because we can actively see the positive impact it is having in transforming a young generation.
To that same end, kid’s camp in Honduras was started. We just finished up the fourth year of kid’s camp, and its impact and effectiveness continue to encourage us. We know that kid’s camp here is just as effective and powerful as it is in the U.S. for two reasons. Frist, we can clearly see the fun the kids who participate have and the joy it brings them.
This is highlighted by the reaction Darwin, a young Honduran who came to camp for the first time, had on the last night of camp. After watching a slideshow of photos of the week Darwin exclaimed, “Can’t we just have one more day of camp”. His exclamation was quickly echoed and supported by those around him who felt the same way.
Secondly, the spiritual growth that the kids experience during their week at camp is undeniable. Based on the example of Camp Deer Run in Winnsboro, TX, our kid’s camp staff are primarily young adults. This is based on the ideology that the people in front of and teaching the kids should be individuals whom they can feel connected to and who they will want to be like. Over the course of the week the kids receive lessons and examples from young adults who they have come to admire and look-up to, which is extremely effective and powerful. This year we expanded kid’s camp to two different sessions over the course of two weeks. In this way, we were able to offer camp to more kids and a broader age group. The future of kid’s camp in Honduras is bright, and its impact on the next generation will only grow and become more evident as time passes.
Sorenson, Jacob, “A Theological Playground: Christian Summer Camp in Theological Perspective” (2016). Doctor of Philosophy Theses. Paper 4.