For many, their weeks at summer Bible camp are full of lots of memories. My memories are still vivid decades later. Unfortunately, not one of them is about any of the Bible we were taught during those days. I don’t think it was entirely the fault of the leaders. At that age, mosquitos, cabin raids and boys were just more memorable than the lessons.
Obviously, Teach One Reach One has a lot of activity ideas you can use that we hope your campers will find make some memories involving God and scripture. We also have a fun take home idea that may help spur those memories weeks, months and years later.
Right now, you can get these little booklets at Target for not much money. You can also consider using journals from the dollar store or even homemade booklets. Each camper should have their own booklet, that they can decorate. (We recently did this activity and the counselors were so excited, they decorated the booklets for each camper.)
During the week, encourage the counselors and other adults to fill the booklets with special notes to the camper. They can write down their favorite Bible passage and their hopes that the camper will read it in their own Bible. Adults may want to write down the gifts they see God has given that child to serve Him. Encouragement about the spiritual growth they see from year to year or during the week. Prayers that the counselor is praying for the child. Anything that will make the booklet a special keepsake of a special time.
If the booklet is large enough, encourage the camper to take notes from classes or journal about their prayers or questions during the week. If the camper is artistic, encourage him or her to illustrate the booklet.
The only caution I would give is about allowing other campers to write in the book. If you have memories of slam books or not so great yearbook signatures, you know what I mean. Other kids can take something from a special memory and turn it into something hurtful in a minute. Try to avoid that dynamic.
Have fun with your campers creating these special memory books. Books that can still point them to God as they relive childhood memories years later. It’s worth the time and effort.
P.S. Although this idea is great for Bible camp, it can also work anywhere that your kids are exposed to a group of Christian adults over the course of several days. It is more effective if the situation allows the adults and children to spend time getting to know each other and not just running from activity to activity the entire time. (Unless the adults already have strong relationships with the children outside of the activity.)