More than 2 million kids attend Christian camps in the U. S. every summer. So what?
Data from the National Study of Youth and Religion indicate that 39% of all American teenagers have been to a religious summer camp at least once, and this includes more than half of all Mainline Protestants (Smith, 2005).
There is no question that Christian camps have a wide-ranging influence. The question is whether any of it matters long-term. Conventional wisdom says that any benefits fade quickly after the last goodbye; that stories of life-changing experiences are simply exceptions to the rule. What, if anything, are the lasting impacts of camp?
There is an emerging body of research that demonstrates that camp is much more than fun and games. There is something deeply significant and deeply theological happening at Christian camps across the country. This research reveals the long-term impacts of camp, effects that go far beyond the “camp high” that fades quickly after the experience.