I love how many inside jokes start at Camp, how many times I see people laughing, and seeing friendships start. I love hearing story after story of ways students feel God’s love and experience a new calling to share the gospel with their friends and family back home.
Planning a camp for 75+ students every summer is no small feat. So, why do we do it? Honestly, we might look forward to it as much as our students! Every year, without fail, this week becomes a highlight of the year, forging memories in tandem with spiritual formation for students and leaders alike.
Frankly, your student(s) will come back from a week of camp possibly needing to sleep for 24 hours straight… because we don’t hold back. Not only do wild things like white-water rafting and rock-climbing keep the fun going every day, but so does the level of ridiculousness and intentionality in our gathering times. This is a week of leaning in and enjoying every moment for what it has.
Students and leaders get concentrated amounts of time together, living alongside one another through bus trips and as cabinmates. And while Mosaic Student Wednesday night gatherings have been the start of tons of friendships, Camp has been the solidifier for many of those.
Something happens when we get away, out of our usual environment. There’s no distraction of phones. There’s no Netflix to subtly steal the hours. The change wakes up our minds, senses, and even hearts wake for a stint—making the doors wide open for God to impact students in a way that settles deep in their souls. With this in mind, each year our camp has a different theme based on scripture, giving us a full week to explore a single, awesome aspect of Kingdom living.
It’s one week of our summer every year. We leave together on a Monday and return on Saturday. For those six incredible days, we collectively enjoy outdoor adventures, camp-style games and sports, worship, teaching, devotional time, and simply being together.
We realize that a week-long trip is a big commitment. So we start getting hyped for it months in advance.
The countdown to camp starts in January with Camp Night. We dedicate a whole Wednesday night gathering to announcing the theme of this year’s upcoming camp. And just for fun, we deck out the Winter Garden building and sanctuary with camp-inspired decor, giving us all a small taste of what’s to come.
Camp Night typically marks the opening of registration. To reserve a spot, we ask that students turn in a completed registration form along with their first payment of at least $50. (Camp can fill up fast, so we encourage you to do this sooner rather than later if you can!) From there on, we provide different deadlines for the rest of your payment.
The cost varies every year, based on where we go and what we do. Generally, you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars per student. This covers the cost of transportation, food, and the reservation of the camp itself. We encourage students to pay for it themselves over the course of the spring if they can—picking up small jobs, saving up Christmas and birthday money, or using part of their after school job pay. Parents, this is a great opportunity to partner with your student in helping them experience the joy of practicing good stewardship.
We travel to camp together. It’s where the adventure begins. Every year we all meet at the Winter Garden Campus with our bags and pillows and climb onto a few charter buses, making our way there as a group!
Every student rooms with their small group and a Mosaic Students leader. After all, it wouldn’t be camp without bunkmates, would it?
Whether we’re at the beach or in the mountains of Tennessee, there is always tons of outdoor fun. In past trips, we’ve offered activities like rock-wall climbing, ziplining, white-water rafting, tubing, and kayaking, along with—of course—beach volleyball, pickup soccer games, can jam, cornhole, and more.
Every night we gather together to worship and listen to a message. We deck out the gathering room to inspire us towards the camp’s theme and have a host who kicks off the night with a game or two before entering a time of worship. (Every year, we invite a worship team from a different church to be our camp band.) And then we hear from one of our regular Mosaic Students communicators, focusing on a specific aspect of that year’s theme.
We take advantage of being away from our normal daily rhythms by introducing students to spiritual disciplines like solitude and prayer. A small portion of some of our mornings is dedicated to “quiet times,” where students use a devotional they receive at the start of camp to guide them into engaging deeper with God.
Swag on swag on swag. If you’ve been around Mosaic Students for a while, you know we love our t-shirts, hats, jackets, pennant flags… Why all this swag? Whether on our bedroom wall or worn on our head, we love camp swag because it reminds us when we go home of what we experienced regarding God and His Kingdom while at camp.