One thing that I highly recommend is Christian (Church) Camp. There are many different camps out there, and most of them are great! Whether it is a summer camp, winter retreat, or family camp, be sure to look around your area. If the camp accepts individual registrations, encourage your students to attend camp. If they have youth group specific events, take your group. If they allow you to rent out their facilities, host your own retreat. Contact the camp director, and invite him or her to speak at your youth group event. Whatever the case, be sure to use the amazing resources that exists at a Christian Camp.
If you are not sure where the nearest Christian Camp is, one of the resources you can use is the Christian Camp and Conference Association’s website. They provide a search engine for most Christian Camps in the United States.
Below are a few Christian Camps with which I am familiar:
SICSC (Southern Illinois Christian Service Camp)
Found in West Frankfort, IL, this is the camp I went to during high school. I have also spent several years working at different camps for various age groups. They have camps for grades K-12 throughout the summer, which usually run between 50-150 campers each. You can check out their website at www.sicsc.com.
Camp Berea is in Hebron, NH, and I totally recommend it to anyone in the New England area. They are right on the Newfound Lake, and the view is amazing, especially with the mountains in the background! They offer several camps throughout the year — including Deep Freeze winter retreat, summer camps, family camps, and men/women camps. I first took a group of 15 students to Camp Berea for “Deep Freeze” early in 2008, and we continue to go back. It was a great retreat for middle school and high school students. A good combination of fun and excitement mixed with deep spiritual times created the perfect environment for teenagers to grow. You can check out their website at www.campberea.com.
Even if you are not in the area, I still recommend Christian Camps to you. I have been attending camps since I was in high school, and I haven’t been to one that wasn’t worth it!