You want to climb on a bus and go where, with who, for how long and, you want me to pay how much? That was my reaction when my daughter, now 21, asked to attend her first youth summer camp. Yes, I was THAT mom; the mom that could be just a tad bit, let's say "cautious". But once she mentioned – the "why" she wanted to go – to grow closer to God, to meet friends in her grade that loved God, to make memories that would last a lifetime – the WHY so outweighed the WHAT. I made a choice, not to pay a camp fee, but to invest in my child's relationship with Christ and invest in her purpose and destiny. Now watching her in college, still chasing after God and making healthy friendships – the return on that investment is so worth it.
Honestly, I was nervous sending my daughter and five years later even my son off to camp. But the look on their faces coming off that bus – tired, yes, but different. There is a joy in their eyes, peace on their faces, and they talk all the way home, telling me about all that happened. It's amazing, as a parent. My favorite moment was watching my son for the first time lead worship and then as a youth leader. Then having the honor to baptize my son – who two years ago I wasn't certain he would be here due to depression. Summer camp was a place of hope for him – laughter – joy – faith. Now, in a few months – he will head to Haiti to minister to other young people. And to think, it all began with a yes from me and a moment at camp.
Saying yes is the easiest part. The funds can be the hardest, but I can tell you – it is possible. Great ways that we have raised money for camp, and even recently a mission trip, is establishing a website for folks to donate. Or choose a day and text out your child's story and challenge 25 people to pledge $10 dollars in 24 hours. It works!!! Ask friends and family to sponsor an hour of camp. We are there for five days – a total of about 96 hours = $2.65 an hour. Another great idea is a spaghetti dinner – selling plates. Everyone is hungry!! The time and energy is so worth it.
As a mother, and a youth leader for Lakewood Youth for the past 21 years, I have witnessed the impact in hundreds of students' lives. The staff of Lakewood Youth will communicate with you and assist you in the registration process. FIVE EASY STEPS – APPLY ONLINE – PAY ONLINE – SUBMIT MEDICAL FORMS AND WAIVERS – READ YOUR E-MAILS – DROP OFF AND PICK UP ON TIME!!! It's that easy.
I'm excited for you and your child, and me and my son who is attending again this year, can't wait to meet you. Join me in proclaiming, "As for me and my house, we WILL SERVE THE LORD."
See you at camp!!