For many of our 3rd and 4th graders, this will be their first experience away from home for an overnight stay. We know that’s a big step for parents and campers alike, so we want to share some stories of parents who have been camp ‘first timers.’ They know what it’s like to send their child to camp without mom or dad and the anxiety that might accompany the unknown. They also have been on the other side, and have seen the growth that comes from allowing their child to go on a retreat.
Mary-Claire Busby has sent both of her children – Leif and May – to Look Up Lodge for our annual elementary summer camp. She says, “Like many children at this age, my kids had never been to an overnight camp before. This opportunity to attend camp at Look Up Lodge was perfect for my kids. It was two nights away with friends and leaders they already knew and loved. It was a time centered around a subject matter that engaged their ages, and challenged them to come home stronger in their relationship with Jesus.”
Mary-Claire says the decision wasn’t one that was lacking anxiety but that she saw benefits from others’ experiences, even her own time away at church summer camp. “While we don’t always trust our own children’s ability to make ‘good’ decisions, we knew this was the perfect chance to let them go in a trusted environment. I have so many of my own memories of church camp. I was hoping my children would create their own – that feeling of independence, deepening friendships, new life experiences, all while becoming closer to Christ. I think they probably became closest to God during the big swing!”
We know this is a big step, and one that isn’t taken lightly. Mary-Claire says if you’re on the fence about sending your child for the first time or your child is apprehensive about the unknown, Look Up Lodge is the perfect setting for your child’s first camp experience. “The memories that my children made helped me, a somewhat controlling person, overlook the fact that ¾ of the clothes I packed were never worn. The entire weekend was experienced in the same socks. Teeth weren’t as clean as when they had left and a nap was needed for the first time in a long time. My children created wonderful memories and furthered their walk with God.”
Visit www.CampGraceWeekend.org for information about registering your current 3rd/4th grader for this year’s Camp Grace Weekend!