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Do kids get too old for camp?

By Kayla

Usually, parents spend the start of summer questioning whether or not their kid is old enough to go to camp.  If that’s you, check out our blog “They’re At  That Age”.   Parents of older children may be asking a similar question.  Still deciding if their kid should go to camp, but instead whether or not they are too old. 

Summer camps range from kids to teens to even college.  They usually stop calling it camp by college age, but it’s basically the same thing.  So, just because your kid can drive, doesn’t mean they are too old to go to church camp.  They probably need camp even more than they did when they were little kids. 

With all the technology, busyness, and influence driven at teens, they need a safe space to be with other Christians.  A place where they can reconnect to God without outside forces telling them different.  They will have fun, make friends, and deepen their faith.  Plus, it is a productive week away from home where parents don’t have to worry about (or entertain) them.

Teen camps at our properties are always a huge hit and fill plenty of space.  They worship, do devotions, play, run, eat lots of ice cream and have an amazing time.  Many call it the best week of their summer.  But if your teen thinks they are too old, don’t force them.  That can often raise resentment and counter their experience.  A little persuasion never hurts, though.  If your teen knows their friends are going, that will often be the best influence.  Promo materials from camp help, too.  Just let them know that this is catered specifically to their age group.

If your child does think he/she is too old to be a camper, suggest they become a counselor.  They still get to experience everything that happens at camp, while doing a little be of work. Camp is a place for personal growth, where skills are learned that will stretch far beyond the property.  This isn’t just a summer job before finding a “real job”.  It is a real job!  And the benefits and experiences are nothing short of those provided at other “real jobs”.  This allows young adults to get that work experience, have a great time, and impact the lives of the campers around them.

Talk to your teen about this summer.  Look up camps for their age.  If they don’t want to participate, they can always volunteer or be a counselor.  Both provide your teen with a summer experience they won’t so forget.  Either way, they are not too old for camp.

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626