Today begins the first phase of preparation for Kidz Camp, the week-long summer camp put on by my church, Faith Community Church in Janesville, and People's Church in Beloit. We go up to Skylodge Christian Camp and proceed to have an absolute blast. I've been at every single camp, mainly because my mother runs it, first as a small child running around causing mischief, then as an official camper, then as an unofficial helper/counselor, and finally as an official counselor for the past several years.
Kidz Camp has forever been a defining week in every year of my life since it began. It was always incredibly special for me as a kid, and now it fills my heart with joy getting to facilitate the same kind of special fun for others kid that were just like me. And now I get to be a large part of the preparation for that week of fun. This year, I'm part of the worship team lead by the amazing Audra Dobson, as I have been for most of my years as a counselor, as well as one of the main brains in charge of the series of skits that we do for the kids.
The times of worship and praise via songs at Kidz Camp have famously been one of everyone's favorite times during the week, both as a camper and a counselor. It's the time you get to let loose, be crazy, scream and shout about how awesome God is, and also the time you get to be serious about realizing that same fact--God is amazing and we have the honor and privilege of worshipping Him, and that is something we can't take for granted.
Undoubtedly, many of the most poignant moments for me have been playing a guitar and singing before a group of kids and seeing them really connect with God through the songs. And even though sometimes we as a Christian culture put too much emphasis on the "worship experience", it is still a very real way that people can honor God and communicate with Him, and it is always really cool to see that happening with so many kids.
It's been interesting to be able to see every step of Kidz Camp's evolution over the years. The way the format has changed (and stayed the same), and the way the music and drama and games have shifted based on what is available and what connects with the kids. We've had a worship team consisting of the classic electric guitars, bass, drums, all the loud crazy instruments, and the past few years we've had a much more laid back acoustic, minimalistic set-up that has an entirely different feel to it.
I'm excited to see what this year has in store, both for us as counselors and leaders and the campers experiencing the wonder and fun of camp, some for the first time. I'm excited to be able to sing once again with some of my favorite people in a setting that I love and miss so very much. I'm excited to step out of the church van onto Skylodge soil and feel like I've never left.
And I cannot wait to see what God has in store for this year. Kidz Camp 2015.