3 Reasons Why Summer Camp Is The Best!

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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[caption id="attachment_1380" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Photo courtesy of Camp Allendale Christian Camp & Retreat Center. Photo courtesy of Camp Allendale Christian Camp & Retreat Center.[/caption]

We couldn’t tell if they were tears of joy because they hadn’t seen us in a week, or tears of melt-down from total and complete sleep deprivation. One thing was certain: they were sad to leave camp. They went on and on about their new friendships, their amazing camp counselors, and the life-change they experienced.

My 10-year old son and 11 and 12-year old daughters spent a week at Camp Allendale, the camp our church supports in southern Indiana. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with the camp for the past 8 years as both a program director (aka- dean) and a program producer (production, program layout, etc.). It is one of my favorite places to spend time during the summer. Over the years I have seen so many impacting moments and have been witness to much life-change in student’s lives. Camp Allendale is a special place!

It’s overwhelming to think that my kids are now experiencing these same powerful moments. They absolutely love camp and the opportunity they have each summer to attend. They wouldn’t miss it for the world. I would be in a lot of trouble if I ever goofed up and forgot to register them.

As parents, we are very appreciative of the camp as well. Bottom line- it allows us to be partially kid-free for an entire week. Allendale- we are forever indebted to you for this amazing service! 🙂

But, beyond the brief freedom from pre-teen drama, there are other reasons why we feel summer camp is the best! Here they are…

1. It widens the circle of influence in my children’s lives.

For one entire week, my children spend time with a bunch of other caring adults and camp faculty. We see this as a win. The circle of influence in their lives is widened greatly because of this. The relationships they form from their time at camp will remain a benchmark in their growth-journey and spiritual lives forever. As parents, we love the fact that other Christ-centered adults are influencing our children.

2. For one week, my kids were the camp’s “problem.”

If I could insert a clip of William Wallace screaming “FREEDOM” at the top of his lungs from Braveheart here, I would. Just kidding. I’m actually not referring to our parental freedom with this at all. One of the things I love about Camp Allendale is their strong and unwavering commitment to loving kids for the Kingdom. They take this very seriously. They see my kids, and hundreds of others, participation as a burden they must carry because there is so much at stake. They have made loving, serving and leading my children, and so many others, their spiritual “problem” or burden. And, that’s a great, great thing!

Another reason why I love the camp is that once the week is over they do not stop carrying the burden of my kid’s spiritual lives. They continue to pray, and follow up, and stay in touch. Even though my children do not see a lot of the staff or faculty throughout the year, doesn’t mean they are not connected. They are! And, it’s making an impact.

3. Their experience now, echoes in their future later. 

As a former summer camper myself (quite a long time ago, now), I know the value of this yearly experience. The summers  I spent at camp shaped my future in ways I never thought they could. Even the bad moments I had at camp, like being home-sick, or showing up and not knowing anyone. Those were character-developing moments. As I listened to my kiddos talk about the week on the drive home, I smiled. I know the same is happening to them. What they learned this week not only echoes in their lives right now, it will echo in their lives in the future. On a grander scale, it will echo in eternity through their lives. Wow! What an amazing truth.

We are indebted to Camp Allendale and many other camps just like it. While it sometimes seems like summer camp is a blip on the radar of a year, because the calendar races by at lightening speed, it’s monumental in light of eternity. I believe summer camp is shaping the future leaders of our world and our church. We have no idea how great the impact will be. And we have no idea how powerful one seemingly small week out of 52 will be!

Question: What has summer camp meant to your family? Share in the comment section of this post. 

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.