I came across this video of the story of a young boy asking his father how much he was worth one evening while trying to catch up with some potential counselors on Facebook. If you have not watched this 3-minute video, I would encourage you to do so now.
As I finished watching the video, a flood of memories of people and stories in my life that had echoed this message of self-esteem and self-worth abounded. One friend lived by the phrase, “show me your friends, and I will show you your future.” A ministerial colleague of mine was famous for her phrase at church camp, “I am because of who you are.” And the last pertinent influence was the story of the Turkey Prince, that tells of a young boy who thought he was a Turkey after being encouraged to address the royal court. The king and queen tried to cure their son with every means possible, but it was not until a wise vagabond showed up and eventually helped the boy find his center by teaching the boy to connect to others, develop skills, and to think critically. The boy finally returned home and eventually became a wise ruler and was able to connect with others and share what he had learned.
An article in Psychology Today explored the concept of identity, self-worth, and how children perceive the world. This article claims that self-worth is more important than self-esteem. As humans, much of what the world places on us is based on what we do. This contributes to self-esteem. However, the intangible characteristics of a person such as our “personality, intellect, kindness, creativity, initiative or generosity” develop our self-worth. As a church, doing directly relates to our mission to spread the gospel and be the body of Christ in the world. Whether it is gathering for a meal, learning, doing mission or justice activities, or engaging the community, the doing options in the church seem to dominate in comparison to those that focus on becoming.
This summer I have watched the campers flood onto the property with wide smiles, big eyes and an excitement that teems from their bodies for all the fun that they will have their week. Though the week is jammed packed with fun, so many campers share with me how much they love Slumber Falls Camp. One young female camper told me that she had amazing counselors and cabin mates. The discussions in her cabin were really good, and after a late cabin talk, she said that all the campers had bonded. Campers shared stories that were meaningful to them and that others listened and affirmed both the funny stories as well as those that were heartfelt. She told me that for the first time in her life that she understood what good friends look like. This story is just one of the many realities of the powers of Slumber Falls Camp. Our design is to help foster relationships among the camper, with the whole of creation, and with the Divine.
Not only do campers discover the incredible nature of being in an intentional Christian community, they learn the value of themselves. They learn that they are unique like snowflakes and that they have self-worth, the ability to grow and change, and a voice and power to make the world a better place. They also learn that church can be a positive influence in their lives. Like the young boy in the video learned that our surroundings and communities help us realize our self-worth, the camp is church designed and tailored for young people and kids at heart. I am thankful that our church has a place like Slumber Falls where campers feel empowered to open up, share their feelings, hopes, and desires, and know that they are heard, loved, and affirmed.
If you know of a young person that could benefit from a week of camp where they develop deep friendships, better communication skills, being active, and foster stronger relationships in a fun environment, then I encourage you to consider Slumber Falls Camp. We are here to answer any questions, and if you have a first-time camper, we can help with strategies in helping families make summer camp a powerful tool in the development of their children. I hope to see you this summer and hear your stories and experiences here at Slumber Falls Camp.