This Summer Experience Camp at Home

“I love all things about camp. Whether your kids have ever experienced a Christian camp or not, or your family has experienced family camp or not, this is the perfect year to begin a wonderful tradition of doing “camp at home.” Jeremy Bentley is the Vice President of Programs at Mount Hermon Christian Camp and Conference Center In this blog Jeremy gives us a great reminder of how to do camp at home. This year Mount Hermon has put together a Camp at Home Kit that has it all for you. I recommend it and think this may be the best way to have your family experience family camp this year. For more information you can click here.”

How about doing camp at home this summer?

To say that families are experiencing some of the most unique and challenging situations due to COVID-19 would be an understatement. Most families across the country have had to experience the loss of many things. The loss of spending time with friends and family, the loss of kids extracurricular activities such as baseball, gymnastics, dance classes, and much much more. In fact, just the other day, my 10 year old son told me that he wasn’t as excited about summer break starting because he’s been homeschooling for the past 11 weeks. It would take an amazing situation to rob a 10 year old of the joy of summer break starting, but that is where we find ourselves!

And as we enter into the summer season, this is the time that many families are able to take a bit of a breather – to slow down a bit and enjoy time together. And with this often comes a big summer vacation! Some families love the beach, others the mountains, while others enjoy heading off to their favorite family camp. But with many of these options potentially unavailable to us this summer, many families will choose a “staycation” instead. And if you chose to stay home, why not bring some camp-style fun to your own backyard! As you consider this option, here’s a few fun ideas on how to put on your own “camp at home” for your family this summer.

First, choose a theme for your “camp at home”. Choose something that is fun and engaging for your kids, and will also help you orient your activities around. For instance, choosing a pirate theme could help you decide what activities and crafts you might want to enjoy together. We’d also suggest choosing a scriptural theme or theme verse to go along with your camp theme. Look for creative ways that you can incorporate your scriptural theme along with your activities (i.e. Pirate themes pair really well with the account of Jonah!)

Second, make a schedule complete with all your daily activities. Just like you were planning your own vacation, or when you show up to a camp or resort, usually your entire day is planned. So make sure you plan plenty of your kids favorite activities, but also get creative to find some others that might be new to them. We’d also encourage you to be intentional about the spiritual conversations you want to have with your kids. This is often one of the best parts about getting away on any vacation, is that it creates the space and opportunity for us as parents to have conversations with our kids that really matter. So don’t forget this important aspect of your “camp at home” scheduling. And of course, no camp at home experience would be complete without s’mores!

Lastly, and this one is specifically for mom and dad, make sure you “have fun!” and “be fun!” Most parents I know (myself included!) have a much easier time relaxing and enjoying fun times with their kids when they are away and on vacation. It can be tougher to do that while at home especially if the pressure of work and other things are still present. So we would encourage you to as much as possible, work hard to eliminate those outside distractions while “camping at home” so that you can focus on both “having fun” and “being fun” during your experience.

No matter where your summer takes you, whether across the country or simply to your own “camp at home” experience, we hope that it serves as a time for fun family memories combined with great spiritual growth!

 

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Jeremy Bentley

Jeremy Bentley

Jeremy is the Vice President of Programs at Mount Hermon. He grew up on the beautiful central coast of California, and began attending Mount Hermon when he was just a few weeks old. For the last 20 years, Jeremy has served primarily in non-profit ministry capacities, most recently serving as the Family Ministry Pastor at a large church in the Denver area, and before that serving on the senior leadership team of Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse, in North Carolina. Jeremy joined the team at Mount Hermon in 2016 and gives oversight to the summer camp ministries of Family Camp, Redwood Camp, and Ponderosa Lodge, the Audio/Video ministry, and approximately 30 other Mount Hermon sponsored weekend ministry retreats and events.

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