This was the first time my children attended St. Andrews Camp, and they were a bit weary at first- the idea of sleeping with strangers, going to church twice a day (because lets be honest, most of us parents drag our kids moaning and groaning to most services at a young age), swimming in a lake (rather than a pool) all things they hadn’t experienced before, at least not regularly. But I can honestly tell you that the children I dropped off at the beginning of the week were not the same ones I picked up at the end. They told me all about the exciting new songs they learned, like Fix My Eyes and instruments they learned to play, like the drums and tambourine. They talked about all their new friends and I was amazed at how much they had learned about the other campers- they really developed strong relationships. They were so excited that they had the chance to go kayaking for the first time and learned new sports games like Blob tag.
While all of that was wonderful to hear- the thing that struck me the most was watching them sing the verses to matins and vespers on the last day and seeing my children wear the crosses given to the by Archbishop Michael for the next few days with out taking them off.
We send our kids to art camps or sports camps to improve their skills but where do we send our kids to improve their faith- here, Saint Andrew’s Camp. This is a place where children can learn to live everyday life as Orthodox Christians, where they can learn to make prayer a part of their everyday lives and learn to incorporate the teachings of Christ in all the activities they do. Our children are constantly surrounded by non Christian worldly influences and we all struggle to keep them away from as much of the nonsense the world has to offer so I encourage all parents who are looking for a way to teach their children about a better way to live- by Christ- to come and attend St. Andrews Camp. They will enjoy all the fun activities the camp has to offer in a nurturing Christian atmosphere.