Yay! Summer is almost here! This is season is anxiously awaited for Grace Bible Camp every year! You might be anxiously awaiting the summer season too! You might even feel a little uneasy about the idea of sending your kiddo to overnight camp. So many of our campers will be brand new to Grace Bible Camp this year and that's AWESOME! We love it and we can't wait to have them! As a mother of two wild little toddlers, I understand that there are few things more exciting and terrifying than your kids growing up. On one hand it is a blessing to see them try and learn new things, such as going away to overnight summer camp. If you are a parent who has registered for summer camp or maybe you'd like to but you want to know some more info, this post is for you! My goal is to provide you with insight on what a typical week of summer camp looks like here at GBC. Hopefully by the end of this post your mind will be at ease! This should be a wonderful and exciting experience for both you as a parent and your child!
Drop off Day
We have five sessions of summer camp. Each session begins on Sunday and closes the following Saturday. About ten days before your child is due to arrive at camp, you
will receive an email with loads of helpful information to help your family best prepare for your week at GBC. There will be a list of items to pack, medical forms, and more in that email.
When you arrive on the campus for drop off you will see a table of our staff team, located on our Dining Hall porch, ready to register you! It is a fairly simple process. Just remember to bring any forms you filled out ahead of time (we always have extras on hand if you happen to forget or don't have a printer). Once you are at the check in table you will be assisted by our executive team and we'll introduce you to your child's Senior Counselor for the week. They will help you unload luggage and lead you to the cabin. (Fun fact! All of our cabins are named after people or places in the Bible). This part was always a personal highlight for me when I was a camper! I could not wait to see which cabin I would be in and pick out my bunk! I loved meeting the counselor and see how they had decorated the cabin.
After You Leave
Once four o'clock rolls around a bell will ring and all of the campers will be notified to make their way to the Snack Shack! The campers will find their Senior Counselor who will be waiting and ready to hand out their store cards (These are cards that help us keep track of any spending money given so no one looses money or has it stolen). They get the chance to grab a snack and drink before the bell rings again and everyone gathers for the Camp Wide Tour! Our Senior Counselors will lead campers on a guided tour of our beautiful property. They will stop at each activity location and give campers a demonstration of how each activity works. After that everyone will return to their cabins and the Senior Counselor will help everyone choose four activities they would like to attend in the afternoons at camp. Counselors will have special cabin connection time once they have picked their activities. They normally play an ice breaker game or make fun name tags for their bunks. Our goal is to have everyone start to open up and become friends with their cabin buddies. Dinner will be served at 6:30 in our Dining Hall by our wonderful Head Cook and volunteer staff, then it's a field game and off to evening chapel before getting ready for bed and Cabin Devotional.
The daily schedule of camp looks the same from Monday through Friday. We change a thing or two a few days out of the week. For the bulk of it, it stays the same.
Our day begins at 8:00 am every morning. Campers will spend some time getting dressed and ready for the day before settling back into their bunks for Personal Devotions. Parents, don't get stressed out if your kiddo isn't able to fully read yet. We have a lot of experience here and make sure our staff can lead where needed during this time. The main goal and focus of this time is less about the content and more about building a foundation. We hope campers will see the value setting aside time to talk to God and grow in His word each day. We encourage each of them to make this a habit of their every day life. We provide the content for each camper to have their own personal devotional time.
Breakfast is served at 9:00 am in the Dining Hall. Each breakfast is a fabulous home cooked one!
Once released from breakfast Senior Counselors will lead their campers in Cabin Clean Up. You would
be surprised at how messy a cabin can get with ten kids digging through their suitcase every morning. We teach teamwork skills and make this time a fun competition between cabins. There is a grand prize at the end of the week for the cabin who gets the most points. We head straight into Bible Study and dive deep into learning more about God's word! There will be a memory verse every study that also goes towards helping the cabin your child is in gain more point for Cabin of the Week. And after that campers go into what is arguably the BEST part of the morning! Morning Chapel! Our speakers are all amazing and so great at what they do! Each speaker really gives our campers a fresh look at learning how to grow spiritually and get to know God on a personal level. There are so many awesome reasons to love the chapel sessions! Worship music, Bible trivia and more!
We have lunch and then Cabin Cool Down. A nice little rest before all of the fun really begins! The rest of the afternoon is spent attending the four activities campers choose. We have a long list of incredible choices! There is something for everyone! Each activity is broken down into hour sessions with one forty-five minute break in the middle for Snack Shack and Book Nook (Gift shop).
Dinner is served at 6:30 pm. Campers will be released to Surprise Hour down in the big field to play a field game planned by our staff. The energy is phenomenal during this time! The camp is loud! We love it! It's the last big burst of excitement for the day before some chill time. We offer campers one more chance to grab
a snack for the day and give them some time hanging out on the playground with their new friends before sending them Evening Chapel. This chapel is heavily focused on salvation. It still has loads of fun with worship...we just reel them all in and get them settled down. Once out of chapel they go back to their cabin, get ready for bedtime and climb into bed. Their Senior Counselor will lead a Cabin Devotion before lights out.
Pick Up Day
The week will come to a close on Saturday morning. After enjoying a warm breakfast one last time, campers are instructed to head to their cabin and start on "Cabin Clean Out" before their parents come to attend the brief closing ceremony. This will give you as a parent the chance to meet the speakers that have led our chapel sessions and hear some of the incredible work God has done during their week at camp. After the ceremony closes any money that was not spent on the campers snack cards will be returned in cash to them, and you can pick up any medications from the nurse. The gift shop and snack store will be opened for families to have the chance to purchase a quick bite for the road trip home!
That's a wrap! That's pretty much the summary of what a week of summer camp looks like for our campers. I hope that this information helps you relax and be able to get excited about this new adventure! We are eager to meet you and welcome you into the Grace Bible Camp family! Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have. We are happy to help! See you soon!