By Joy Allmond
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After kids and student camps around the country were canceled due to COVID-19 this year, Lifeway now looks ahead to 2021 as camps have opened registration for next summer.
“I’ve heard some describe our camps as a week to ‘starve the flesh and feed the spirit,’ and I resonate with that statement,” said Ben Trueblood, director of Lifeway Students.
“It’s an opportunity missed—among many others—in 2020, and I eagerly anticipate how God will move in the lives of teenagers as we gather back for camps across the United States in 2021.”
LifeWay’s camps for the next generation have opened registration. While some dates have space available, others have a waiting list already.
- FUGE Camps (for students) sessions begin June 7, 2021 at 28 locations. Fuge Camps offer two different tracks: MFuge, which facilitates hands-on ministry opportunities with local communities, and Centrifuge, which groups students together by age and grade for Bible study and recreation. The 2021 theme is “Dwell,” teaching students how to rest in the presence of God amid distractions. The focus passage is Psalm 46.
- CentriKid Camps sessions begin June 7, 2021 at 24 locations. CentriKid Camp is an overnight camp for 2nd through 6th graders staffed by college and seminary students. Camp staffers lead Bible study and activities in which kids interact with children of the same age group from different churches. This gives church leaders and chaperones the opportunity to focus on building relationships with kids and make every moment count. The 2021 theme is “The Discovery,” as campers will discover what it means to be imitators of Christ. The key verse is 1 John 2:6: “The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked.”
- Student Life Camp sessions begin May 27, 2021 at 27 locations. Student Life Camp is designed to facilitate the ministry already taking place within a church group. Groups may choose from recreation, beach or mission camps.
- Student Life Kids Camp sessions begin May 26, 2021 at seven locations. Student Life Kids Camp is designed to help 3rd through 6th graders establish a biblical foundation for their faith. This camp is staffed by adults who help lead and facilitate worship, games and Bible studies, allowing church leaders to focus on discipling the kids in their group. The 2021 theme is “Loud,” challenging campers to see what their lives say about what they love. The key focus Scripture is Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
- Camp Crestridge for Girls and Camp Ridgecrest for Boys sessions begin June 6, 2021. Both camps are offered for 1st through 10th graders in two-week, four-week or six-week sessions. Campers register on an individual basis and will be enriched through adventure and discipleship. The girls camp is staffed by college-age women and the boys camp is staffed by college-age men. A deposit is due upon registration.
Churches can register their groups for any of these camps now without paying any deposits until 2021—deposit deadlines vary by camp:
- Student Life and Student Life Kids: January 31, 2021
- FUGE: February 1, 2021
- CentriKid: February 15, 2021
The Lifeway camps team continues to monitor COVID-19 and is actively working to create a plan to help keep campers healthy and safe.
In addition to forming a Camp COVID Task Force composed of experienced, full-time camp staff, the Lifeway camps ministry is working closely with host locations to plan ahead. This planning includes guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention along other local health organizations.
Churches and families can follow the most recent COVID updates posted on each of the camp websites from the navigation bar found on the homepages. A plan will be shared once it has been finalized.
“Over the past 20 years of leading in student ministry, I’ve seen the difference summer camp can make in the lives of teenagers,” said Trueblood.
“It’s true that God can move in a person’s heart in whatever way He chooses, but there has been something special about camp week in student ministry where teenagers have the opportunity to leave behind much of the noise of the world and engage in a week of gospel infusion in a way that’s different from a normal week.”
Joy Allmond is a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.