Summer is a few months away, but now’s the time to make plans for your child to attend one of Xenos’ summer camps—camps that are fun, but can also serve as a spiritual turning point in their lives.
Joe says the camps also offer a great opportunity to build healthy relationships with their peers. Because they spend a lot of time together, new friendships have a chance to start and existing friendships have a chance to deepen. Sometimes the time together creates conflicts, and kids learn to work these conflicts out.
TNT Camp, for 4th and 5th graders, is built around discovering what God is doing around the world--with a unique focus on world missions. It’s a full-day program at Building X, including one optional overnight.
Camp Director Amy Cooksey says each year they pick a region—this year Haiti—and explore what life is like there and how God is working to reach people there. “We have games, activities, crafts, and guest speakers to give kids a window into what life is like in Haiti. We hope that kids will see that God is doing things all around the world, and that they’ll grow in caring for those who lead lives much different from ours.”
Amy says they pay close attention to the needs of this age group, offering stimulating content and extra time for friendship building, fitting for their maturity level. “Our hope is to provide kids with a step-up from VBS that will prepare them for Blowout Camp in their middle school years.”
Blowout Camp is for middle-schoolers and is at Camp Chautauqua south of Dayton. It’s 4 overnights for 6th and 7th graders, with an additional night for 8th graders. Junior High Assistant Director Brad Dufault says students often have the highest quality and quantity of Christian fellowship while at camp. “Many students who are familiar with the ideas of building spiritual friendships, spending time with God, and serving in the church actually experience those things in a new way at camp.”
They also deepen their understanding of the Bible, with kids memorizing a number of verses throughout their time at camp.
One of the most significant aspects of Blowout Camp is that it’s so much fun. Brad says, “It banishes the idea that God is lame, which is the number one misconception junior high kids face.” You can get a taste of Blowout Camp from this video.
Camp Director Brian Adams says the camp is truly a spiritual turning point for many who attend. “We see several students come to Christ at Epic each year. And living in fellowship has a dramatic impact on many students’ view of the Christian life, bringing a lot of excitement.” Here's a look at what to expect.
Brian says the camp also opens the door to new adventures. “I see kids from broken homes getting first-time experiences they might otherwise never have, like kayaking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.”
High School CT teacher Josh Benadum says Epic connects with kids at a critical age. "There is no age at which there is more cultural pressure on students to dump God and go for the things of the world. The high school age is so key. Epic summer camp stands as a yearly oasis, where high school students step out of their context and spend an entire week immersed in fellowship, the Word, and God's creation. Every year at camp, many begin relationships with God, and a significant portion of them form the intention to follow him for the rest of their lives."
While each of these camps is tailored to the ages they serve, there is an overarching goal to offer a spiritually refreshing and challenging time, helping both younger and older students begin a relationship with God and entrust their life to Him.
Joe Botti says these camps are not only for kids who are Christians. He says the teachings are purposefully relevant for all students. “Many non-Christian kids attend and many put their faith in Christ at these camps—literally dozens each year.”
For families who cannot afford the cost, there are scholarships available. All students receiving aid are required to participate in fund-raisers and community service projects, which ensures they are earning the help they're receiving.
Here are links if you want to learn more or register your son or daughter: