Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Through the ministry of SpringHill camps in Michigan, children of various ages have been welcomed into that same kingdom.
SpringHill counted 7120 elementary through high school students that went to camp this past summer. Of that total number, 1310 kids gave their lives to Christ for the first time in their lives, 2439 kids renewed their commitments to Christ, and 895 kids described themselves as “not ready, but interested.” Around 52 percent of kids who went to SpringHill began or renewed their relationship with Jesus Christ.
In StoryBrook, 87 percent of kids said that they wanted to grow in their relationship with Jesus. 81 percent said that they understood what Jesus did for them better and 90 percent of them said that people will notice positive changes in their lives. A majority of campers said that they’d apply what they learned at camp, as 80 percent said that they wanted to pray more and 86 percent said they wanted to read their Bibles more. 78 percent also said that they wanted to reach out to their friends and tell others about Jesus. 347 StoryBrook campers gave their lives to Christ for the first time and 383 renewed their commitments to Christ.
SpringHill served the most total number of campers in Copper Country. 85 percent of those campers said they wanted to grow in their relationship with God and 92 percent said people will notice positive changes as they returned home. 79 percent said that they understand what Jesus did better. In terms of post-camp application, 80 percent of kids said they wanted to pray and read their Bibles more and 66 percent said they wanted to tell others about Jesus. 505 campers gave their lives to Christ and 996 rededicated their lives to Jesus, the most out of any camp center.
Copper Country counselor Chelsea Reits remembers the impact that Christ had on her campers in Week 8. Feeling inadequate after a hard week, Reits was faced with a long week of having two different groups of four day campers. Reits had a camper named Katie in one of the groups, and Jesus was knocking on the door of her heart.
“We talked after campfire the last night and she told me that she never heard about how to get to heaven,” Reits said. “[We] talked and she gave her life to Christ! As soon as we finished she looked at me crying and said ‘I’m so glad I came here! If not I would have never heard about how to get to heaven and be with Jesus forever!’ She was so excited and was telling everyone about what God had done in her life.”
In New Frontiers, 83 percent of students said that they were changed by the message of Jesus. 94 percent said they wanted to grow in their relationship with Jesus. Feeling better equipped for the mission of the Gospel, 73 percent said they felt more comfortable sharing their faith with others and 68 percent said they would get more involved in church. 85 percent of New Frontiers campers said that they were more comfortable with prayer and 80 percent said that people will notice positive changes in their lives. 393 campers gave their lives to Christ for the first time and 777 renewed their commitments to Christ.
New Frontiers area director Liam Bernard recalls an instance in which the Lord used two new counselors in his area. Although they had previously worked with kids, Bernard noted their lack of experience as counselors, and helped them in any way that he could.
“Needless to say, they were rock stars!” said Bernard. “The two, through the grace of God, were an absolute dream team! Not to mention that according to the surveys at the end of the week and conversations the two had with their campers, every kid in the cabin either re-committed their lives to Christ that week or gave their lives to Christ for the first time! Talk about the Holy Spirit working through obedient servants!”
Of our various Teen Service Teams serving throughout camp, 84 percent of the high school students said that they were changed by the message of Jesus. 87 percent said that their friends and family back home will notice positive changes once they return. 84 percent said they understand what Jesus did for them better and 97 percent said they wanted to grow in their relationship with God. 83 percent felt more comfortable sharing their faith with others and 67 percent said that they would apply what they learned at camp by getting more involved with their church back home. 49 TST campers gave their lives to Christ for the first time while 282 renewed their commitments to Christ.
God has continually used SpringHill camps as a tool to impact the lives of kids of all ages, for the advancement of His kingdom. Summer 2012 is another great snapshot of this fact. If you would like to register your child for camp in 2013, visit register.springhillcamps.com.