In a blog post of the Huffington Post written by Mickey Goodman in February of 2012 entitled “Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids?” Goodman writes:
“Psychologists and psychiatrists are seeing more and more young people having a quarter-life crisis and more cases of clinical depression. The reason? Young people tell them it’s because they haven’t yet made their first million or found the perfect mate.”
The article goes on to suggest that parents over involvement and protection of their children have led to an entire generation of kids who are afraid to fail and who no longer feel empowered to problem solve and risk in the way they live their lives. It is a staggering concept to accept about young people and their struggle to discover who they are and to live into their unique gift of identity to the world.
The experience of camp offers children and young people the unique and powerful opportunity to explore who they are and what they believe in a community of grace permeated with the presence of the God who made them and who is seeking to shape them and form them to God’s own unique design for them.
Part of what we do at camp is to create experiences using a variety of methods and tools to teach children and young people that they are loved as they are for who they are created in the image of a loving God. For many of those who come to camp they can identify a moment or experience whereby God got their attention and they were never the same again. Such moments are teachable moments that begin to create within children and young people opportunities to grow their faith and identity in a trust of God and where God is leading them and who God is shaping them to become. Such is the primary work of camp.
Such work is done in an ongoing partnership with families and the local church. The experience of camp becomes one in many related to shaping and molding someone’s faith. However, I believe that camp is unique in what it provides in such a process and is an indispensible part of the whole work that God does in the life of a person. To deny a child or a young person such an indispensible experience is to slow or even to put at risk the process entirely. The camp experience is unique in and of itself. It is an intense, focused, experience of Christian community shaped and expressed by the pure grace of God. It takes place in the midst of God’s creation and separated from the cozy and familiar surroundings of home. It is a pilgrimage experience. Through such an experience God has a whole new set of tools to use to form, to challenge, to love, to heal, to restore, to empower faith to begin, grow, and to mature. My hope is that the church understands the great need for such experience and is dedicated to faithfully provide such an opportunity to happen in the lives of those it seeks to serve and grow in faith.
If you need information or have questions about the camp experience for 2015 please feel free to contact me or Karen Oakley. We would love to come to your church and visit with you or your church about the value of such an experience in the process of development and growing faith in the lives of children and youth.
Much grace always,
Rev. Travis Franklin, Executive Director
Glen Lake Camp and Retreat Center