USA (MNN) — On this date last year, the World Health Organization declared China’s COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. See our full coronavirus coverage here. Today, approximately 2.2 million people receive COVID-19 vaccines every day in the U.S., and more than 20 million have recovered from COVID-19 infections.
Widespread vaccination efforts have many believers hoping normal activities – like summer camp – could be around the corner.
“It’s still yet to be determined, but there are some camps in California that probably won’t be happening this year. But we also know there are a lot of states opening up,” Greg Yoder of Keys for Kids Ministries says.
Directors canceled nearly all summer camps last year because of the pandemic, but some went virtual. “We still had almost 18,000 kids sign up for the program!” Yoder says.
Keys for Camps
Typically, Keys for Kids Ministries develops print and media discipleship resources for kids and young adults. More about that here. Four years ago, the Keys for Kids team took on a new project.
“It’s one of those programs that we didn’t dream up. It came from a camp director who wanted to stay connected with his campers,” Yoder explains.
“He wanted to make sure they were going to minister to them for a whole year and hopefully encourage them to come back to camp a year later.”
The Keys for Kids team designed Keys for Camps to meet this and another persistent need at Christian summer camps: “They struggle sometimes with follow-up material; they can’t produce it all on their own. They’re just don’t have the staff or the capacity,” Yoder says.
Keys for Camps makes year-round discipleship easy with engaging, Christ-centered material. A customized cover keeps kids connected with the camp and ready for next year’s events. In 2019, “we had nearly 33,000 kids signed up and we’re hoping for at least that many this year,” Yoder shares.
Pray for camps to reopen. A 2014 study shows that kids who attended summer camp were three-times more likely to stay grounded in their faith.
“Many kids come to Christ at camp. Some have been just struggling with life, or they come from a non-church background; or, they come from a church background and for whatever reason, camp was that time where they came to know Jesus,” Yoder notes.
If you work at a Christian camp, click here to request Keys for Camps material.
“We come alongside camps and say, ‘Hey, here’s some great follow up material.’ We’re going to provide stories that introduce a biblical principle or truth and point [readers] back to Jesus, point them back to the Gospel,” Yoder says.
Header image courtesy of Keys for Kids Ministries.