By Tracey Brown, Potosi Pines Camp
Christian camping has meant so much to me and my spiritual maturity. I’ve been able to give back off and on for many years and help others on their journey through writing for Chalice Press’s Camp Curriculum.
As a kid, I was a bit shy and very cautious about trying new things. My family was very involved at the Upland United Methodist Church, and when I was in 7th grade I got involved with the youth group. Camping was a big part of that church’s tradition, so my parents signed me up. I was very unsure and tried to back out of it, but thankfully my parents were wise enough to insist that I go. I was very scared about being there and not knowing many of the kids in my youth group I was sure I would have no friends. Of course, I made friends and had a great time. I remember feeling like it was one big family. It was camp that eventually led me to become more involved with my youth group and my church, and over time that deepened my faith. Slowly, I began to find a new confidence with the support of my church family.
I knew that when I was old enough, I wanted to be a camp counselor. So. when I turned 16, I applied and was accepted to be on camp staff. Scared and anxious about doing this again, I still knew I wanted to give back to other nervous campers. That week ended up being both challenging and rewarding. I worked harder than I had at anything else, but felt the presence of God in new ways. It was as if God was leading me the whole time–like I had finally found where I belonged. I ended up spending many years serving on camp staff and worked my way up with more and more responsibility each year. It has been such a blessing to be a part of such a powerful ministry that impacts so many lives.
Currently I co-lead our “Counselors for Christ” program though Potosi, which is designed to give teens opportunities to work on leadership skills. The program gives 16-18 year olds the chance to plan and lead an elementary camp as we work with them on the skills to teach and help their campers grow in their faith. Through that, they are growing too. It has been a blessing.
Christian Camping helps make God real to campers in unique ways. It is a great opportunity for campers of all ages to “try on” their faith and gain courage to live out that faith in their real lives. That is exactly what happened for me as I participated in camp year after year. Getting the opportunity to teach and lead has strengthened my own faith and helped me to realize who I am in God.
It was my leadership experience through camp that led me to be able to serve one church family as the Director of Children and Youth Ministries for 17 years. Through my time there, I got to see many kids grow up and was blessed to be a part of their faith development. I got to be a part of the family for many of “my” kids and was blessed to be considered a mentor for many of them.
Tracey has written for Chalice Press for their Camp Curriculum for the past 2 years. In the 2014 curriculum Tracey wrote the “Extras” sections that included games, science experiments, and other things. She also wrote the worship service for the 2014 plan and the 2015 Jr. High section of the curriculum.
How can you write curriculum for Chalice Press?
If you have an idea or a manuscript please begin by sending a letter of inquiry to Chalice Press at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send nothing else, they do not accept unsolicited manuscripts and project proposals.