tor or youth pastor. This enables a follow-up program to be initi ated so that the camping experi ence is not isolated when the camper re tu rn s to the home church. In my own ministry this has been of invaluable use in coun seling with my teenagers. I would then set up a personal file on each camper to work with that guy or gal. For best results in initiating such an evaluation, my personal preference would be to use “ camp- trained” counselors as opposed to a church bringing its own coun selors. A camper will usually be more open with a counselor he has just met at camp than with a counselor who knows his parents, lives in his neighborhood, and/or attends his church. It is extremely difficult for a church counselor to be objective with a personal ac quaintance in a counseling rela tionship. In a camp-trained counselor situation, applicants are screened according to: experience, train ing, physical condition, age, per sonal references, personal testi mony of faith in Jesus Christ, and are personally interviewed by the camp staff. Very few churches re quire counselor applications and rarely accomplish this sort of screening, due to lack of person nel and time. The camping expe rience for your young person can be one o f the most significant times in his life. Proper care should be taken to make sure his or her counselor is trained ade quately for the task. When this has been accomplished, the evalu ation can be used immeasurably in directing that young person to a more meaningful Christ-cen tered camping experience. Chris tian camping is an experiment in Christian living. The most impor tant factor is not the program, schedule, facilities, or the curricu lum, but the person with whom your youngster spends the most time, the counselor. Bill Gibson is Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church, Downey, Calif. He is a graduate o f Detroit Bible College.
hall — chapel. Someone — maybe the Camp Director — mentioned something that struck a chord. With only two rules; 1.) keep the discussion centered around the Christian life; and 2.) don’t be malicious; we were on our way to dialogue: After a half-hour or so, the Bible Study leader drew together the ideas that had been aired, and shifted smoothly into the lesson, keeping it relevant to the topics discussed earlier. We found that the teenagers were eager to find out what the Bible had to say about their prob lems. Many times discussion spilled over into the cabin devo tions as alert counselors related the Bible Reading and Prayer time to the ideas that had been exposed during “ Sound-off.” Bill Cole is Minister o f Music and Youth at Greenleaf Avenue Baptist Church, Whittier, Calif. He is a graduate o f New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
and told that story in journalistic fashion. Variety was the keynote. After Council Fire, counselors were instructed to spend the last moments before bed-time working out with their campers ways in which the lesson emphasized all through the day could be imple mented in each one’s personal ex perience. Themes such as God’s Love, Accepting Christ, The Lordship of Christ, Christian Concern and The Return of Christ were devel oped by the Indian Village leader ship and carefully laid out for Lead Counselors and tepee coun selors as basic lesson plans. This co-ordination o f thematic material, with one major point stressed throughout the day, gave us real opportunities to see truth implanted and take root. By using the Indian approach and recast ing the parables in that cultural setting, we not only gained the children’s interest but also found the truths of the parables coming alive all over again to the camp leadership. Wes Harby is a graduate of Westmont College. He is Regis trar o f the Forest Home Confer ence Center and program coordi nator of the Indian Villages. A ‘sound off” can be effective J s b y Bill Cole I AST year at our Youth Camp we initiated, with fear and ■trembling, a “ Sound off” time into our evening schedule. “ Sound-off” is just that; a chance to sound off about likes, dislikes and problems that “bug” us. Ours was a 30-minute session in the evening just before the Bible Study or Worship Service. We sprawled informally on the porch to our combination dining
b y Bill B illy W alker ’ s H iaw a tha Youth Camp in n o r th e rn Michigan is utilizing to great advantage a camper evaluation form completed by the individual counselors. The counselor reports in a daily staff meeting any deci sions made by his campers. Dur ing the week, a personal inter view is set up with each camper by his counselor to determine particular needs, interests, and problems. This information, along with any other notations (such as salvation or commitment deci sions) by the counselor, is given to the Camp Director and subse quently mailed to the home church for the confidential use o f the pas Gibson
THE KING'S BUSINESS
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