Year after year, hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of students across the world pack their belongings into duffel bags and load them on buses for camp. This tradition is not unique to our culture, but our culture has certainly made it unique. Often, the image that comes to mind is Lindsey Lohan playing herself and her twin sister in the Parent Trap, heading out to a week in the woods doing things like archery, swimming in a stagnant pond, and sitting around a campfire.
Every summer Mercy Hill Church loads the bus and embarks on a camp experience that is similar in many respects to traditional camps but is worlds apart from the purpose behind them. Elevate summer camp is a Christ exalting, spiritually forming, loads-of-fun having, deep relationship building, and oodles-of-ridiculousness happening week unlike any other. From excellent teachings on the Gospel of Jesus to white water rafting, as well as deep conversations with community and getting chased around a field with a paintball gun, this is a summer camp that you want to attend.
Here are three excellent reasons why we stake so much value in camp here at Mercy Hill:
1. Get Away
One of the many reasons why camp is such an effective tool at winning students to Jesus is the element of not being home. Getting away from the day-to-day monotony, from the mental fog of routine, and away from the grasps of technology are all things we hardly do while here. This shock to the system gives students a unique opportunity to survey their lives and their relationship with Jesus without all the baggage of everything happening back home.
2. Spiritual Formation
If God is real and Jesus is who he says he is, can there be a more important relationship in the world than the one with Him? There have been countless numbers of people that have come to saving faith in Jesus Christ through an experience at camp. The unique nature of having your undivided attention set on the Savior for a week gives students an opportunity to come to grips with where they stand in light of the cross and resurrection. God has proven that deep gospel-centered teaching that connects to students where they are will pull back the veil and allow truth to be heard in a way that it might not otherwise be.
3. Depth in Community
Humanity is naturally community oriented. Think about running clubs, networking between business elites, and fan clubs. When people find common ground with something they both share interest in, relationships become easier to build and sustain. What relationship could be stronger between two or more people than both having a deeply devoted relationship with Jesus. At camp, the small group element as well as the ridiculous games and activities creates the environment where deep authentic relationships aren’t strange and unique, but rather, they are the norm.
If you have yet to sign up for camp, don’t delay! Information about what exactly this trip looks like as well as a link to register can be found on either our Route 56 page or 712 page on our website. You can also register by clicking the image below!
-Clay Holland (Student Ministry Director)