Everything is Better with Friends…



– by Sheena McKay


Everything is better with friends…

(this article isn’t as cheesy as the title)

With summer dates filling up fast in our family calendar, I find myself scrambling not only to figure out our schedule but also trying to work around the schedules of our friends as well. I don’t try to coordinate summer schedules with others because I enjoy the added dynamic of juggling MORE people’s lives, but instead because our experience shows that our summer is that much richer when we can share those experiences with friends.

We find that to be especially true about camp. Sending our kids to camp with friends just seems to have this way of amplifying their experience.

With that said, here are five reasons why you should invite your friends to camp this summer!

1) The discount

This one is obvious (unless you didn’t know about the discount. If that’s the case, you’re welcome!) If your child brings a friend to camp, you receive a discount on your registration fees. It’s as simple as that! And if that’s all you need to hear to be convinced of the value of camp referrals, then my work here is done… if not, read on my friend.

2) The confidence boost for your kiddos

There is something about walking into a group of strangers with your buddy by your side that makes one feel like “ya, I’ve got this.” If you’ve ever been to camp yourself, you know that one of the best things, but at times one of the more nerve-racking aspects, about the camp experience is the idea of meeting so many new people. When your kids head to camp with someone they already know, it can help smooth over the highs and lows of anticipation by giving them a good friend who will navigate all those adventures alongside them.

3) The confidence boost for Mom & Dad

It has to be said that any parent who worries about sending their kid to camp will go to great lengths to ensure they are alright. If we haven’t already done a full background check on the counsellors, checked if we know someone working in the kitchen or are related in any way to the camp nurse, then we will Facebook Live to find out if anyone we may know knows someone who lives remotely close to the camp and maybe wouldn’t mind “popping in” to check on our child.

If this doesn’t apply to you, then clearly you are doing better at this than I am (because I may or may not be writing from experience…). As parents, it can be hard to let our kids go, and sending them to camp with a friend means that we are sending them out from under our care with someone who they are comfortable with, who will likely fill the gap when they LONG for a motherly hug (they may not admit that they want one, but they secretly do).

4) Bringing camp home

Imagine having the time of your life, with the most amazing people, doing things you never knew you were capable of and being challenged to think deeper about who you are, and who you truly want to be. You’re immersed in it and you love it, but then it stops. Having someone from your home community to reflect with on your camp experiences mean those lessons learned and crazy memories formed live on more vibrantly throughout the year. It means there is someone there to finish the story your child can’t stop giggling through; it means there is someone there who “gets” why they’ve decided to wear a pillow case for a shirt and who they can talk to about the things they learned together.

5) Having an impact

There is something about “sending my kids away to camp” that intrigues people these days; it almost seems counter-cultural in some ways. In explaining my reasons why I do it, I indirectly get to share God at work in our lives. By inviting others to join your child at camp, you are, in effect, offering the story of Jesus wrapped in amazing experiences. And each person who comes back from camp shares their story and then invites more friends to come with them, furthering the reach we get to have. Let me also add that the excitement my own kids have in telling people about camp makes it really easy to start the conversation with other parents. This means that not only am I reaching out in our home community, but so are my kids! And how amazing is that?

This year as you prepare your summer plans, consider the neighbourhood kid down the street or that friend from youth group. In a world where so many forms of entertainment can be delivered right to your doorstep, camp has this way of inviting kids into a safe place of adventure where they will create memories, build character, discover Jesus and just be who they were created to be.

There are so many reasons why camp is so awesome for kids to experience, so spread the word friends! You’d be surprised how many people are just waiting to be asked.

Sheena McKay

For more information about the Bring a Friend program click here.
Sheena is a stay at home mom of three and wife to one. She would never claim to know anything definitive about mothering and is fully aware that her kids are the incredible people they are solely because they belong to God. Her passions lie within drawing people into community and her current role as the MOPS Canada Area Coach for MOPS International creates that opportunity amongst Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). For more information about MOPS check out: http://www.mops.org/canada/.

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