Janelle and Aimee here…
This is the week they have been waiting for all year long and it’s finally here! They have been counting down the days and have packed and re-packed multiple times. They have already planned out with their friends who is hanging out with who and who gets what bunk.
You have also been looking forward to this week because you want your child/teen to experience God in a new way! You know that the chapel services are epic and they will get an opportunity to make decisions for Christ. Maybe you have experienced amazing things at camp when you were younger, or you wish you had. You know this is their moment!
Now camp is over and you have heard that it was a great week, you anxiously get into your vehicle and drive to pick up your child/teen from church and expect them to come running to you with tears steaming down their face and a huge smile on their face saying, “you won’t believe what an amazing week I had!” However, instead your child/youth barely acknowledges you and tells you instead that they are sad they’re home or they just want to go to bed. Not what you were expecting? Did something go wrong? Let me tell you, this is completely normal! Here are some key things to expect and how you can help your child/teen adjust to normal life after an emotionally charged, adrenaline pumping, life changing week:
- Your child/teen will come back from camp grumpy, maybe even with a little attitude problem. This is normal. They have been playing hard, praying hard, and not really sleeping.
- Give them grace. Recognize that your child/teen may just need time to rest and process this past week.
- Use this time to create a clean slate. Maybe they were in trouble before they left for camp, use this time to start fresh.
- You ask your child/teen how camp was and their only response is, “it was good.” Similar to school, when your child/teen says they did nothing at school, when it’s obvious they did… our kids need us to ask pointed questions to help them process.
- What did God do in their hearts at camp?
- What Bible characters did they learn about?
- What verses were used in the talks?
- What was their biggest take away from camp?
- Did God challenge them in any areas? Ask how you can help keep them accountable in those areas.
Finally, pray with them! Take time to pray with them and thank God for what He is doing in their lives.
When you have had a chance to help your child/teen process, there is only one thing left to do… put on a gas mask and put their laundry in the washing machine. 😉
Your child may not have a lot to say about camp. Don’t be discouraged. They spent days being immersed in God’s presence. Seeds were planted and God’s word does not return void.