Accomplishing Vision through Summer Camp
In Brief: Ridge Haven Camps seek to model sincere life transformation through its staff—specifically the counselors— by providing the context for conversations that speak gospel truth and that demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. All for the sake of campers knowing Jesus in their own lives and bringing their spiritual rejuvenation from camp into their home communities for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
As a camp, Ridge Haven plans each schedule with the goal of providing campers a genuinely fun and memorable camp week(s). While having fun is not the ultimate goal, it is a practical vehicle through which campers can experience a gospel-centered community that they acknowledge cares about them.
The most direct care a camper receives is from his/her cabin counselor. Counselors are selected for their ability and desire to care for and invest in the lives of campers. They are reportedly the most effective agents in accomplishing Ridge Haven’s mission.
With that being the case, Ridge Haven plans camp weeks to foster the relationship potential between campers and counselors. Notably, the first night at camp the activity is geared toward the simple desire of inviting campers to be comfortable at camp. Many campers start the week with apprehensions and insecurities, but after this initial activity there is greater engagement within the cabin. It is the counselor’s role to actively look for ways to make campers feel a part of the community— and coach the leaders in the cabin to do the same.
Ridge Haven does not put great emphasis on points or team rankings during the camp week. While it is important for the healthy development of any child to learn lessons of winning and losing with gracious humility, the take away from the week should not be whether or not the “blue team” won. Ridge Haven desires to be a place unified in Spirit and truth.
In this vein, counselors are instructed to be fully invested in activities and take the opportunities after individual or team losses to show self-control and celebrate the accomplishments of others. Being fully invested also means participating not exclusively for personal enjoyment, but also for the sake of the cabin.
Camp allows for space and time to reflect. There are specific times for reflection, such as a daily personal quiet time as well as a cabin devotion time. But beyond the specific times for reflection, the overall schedule lends itself to introspection. Campers often walk miles each day with their cabins to and from activities. This time promotes thoughtful conversations and peaceful consideration of the truths being spoken about at camp.
Ridge Haven counselors are encouraged to be actively aware of the pedestal campers are likely to put them on and, with great care, point them away from themselves and onto Christ. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the greatest gift counselors can bestow upon the lives of the campers is an inspiration to draw near to Jesus.
Ridge Haven seeks to faithfully serve in Brevard and Cono, that Christ’s Kingdom might be advanced!