FBCE Loves Centrikid; You Will Too!

centrikid-blogIf your kids love shaving cream, water balloons, silly dancing, doing cannon balls in the lake, and weekend trips filled with dancing they need to come with FBCE to the 2018 Centrikid Weekend Camp. All the kids and chaperones who risked a bus ride with their children’s pastor this past year loved camp. And for good reason.

IMG_3557Centrikid hums along like a well oil diesel motor; it has more fun games, classes, and activities than all-inclusive party at Chuck Cheese; and, it has a laser focus on the gospel. I love the Centrikid Weekend Camp experience.  I highly recommend it for your kids.

From the moment our kids where greeted by pool-noodle waving staffers until the moment they piled back slowly back onto the bus with autographed T-shirts, the Centrikid staff was all about our kids. They seamlessly processed all of FBCE’s paper work. The Centrikid team took time to talk with and play with all the kids. They were also quick to answer adult questions: “When is lights out?” And when six of our campers felt threatened by an anonymous white guy, the camp director, Meg Brown, and the Camp Pastor, David Pearson, responded quickly and graciously. Thankfully, everything checked out. But their care and concern for us reflected the whole feel of the camp. The Centrikid staff strikes that amazing balance of both keeping a tight schedule and of caring for all the campers. Consequently, I think Centrikid is amazing!

IMG_3582Though us pastors and chaperones appreciate Lifeway’s ability to deftly handle the logistical challenges of caring for several hundred kids, our campers go to camp for camp. And Centrikid Camp rocks camp. Centrikid offers a great assortment of track times ranging from muddy slip-and-slides to fingernail painting. The kids also have a blast playing games they selected. But, camp has only just begun.

Our campers highlight this year was the grand, final game, Organized Mass Chaos (OMC). Our kids loved entering the OMC playing field, racing through the pool noodle tunnel and screaming out their team cheer for the whole world to hear. When the game started, our kids went crazy smashing water balloons, making silly face, putting shaving cream on people, and holding impromptu dance parties as the valiantly pursued victory. For the kids of FBCE, OMC is the game of all games! Hence, they and I think Centrikid is amazing!

We veered over to the Shocco Springs location this year. We loved our new digs. The rooms were a definite upgrade. We all loved having a private bathroom. The amenities Shocco Springs were great.  The camp offered bazooka ball (a twist on paint ball, kayaking, and a blob on their lake. We quickly burned through our free time barely finding time for the all-important trip to the snack shop. Thus, I think Centrikid is amazing.

IMG_3436Most importantly, we loved Centrikid’s commitment to the Gospel. From the opening celebration to the closing celebration, the Gospel remained at the forefront of camp. The kids went to four different Bible studies throughout the weekend. They heard the gospel connected back to their track time games during water breaks. And, they heard the gospel clearly articulated from the stage by Pastor David. Our chaperones were also resonated with Pastor David when he illustrated God’s free gift of salvation by giving away candy to one blessed camper. Because the Gospel ebbed and flowed throughout every aspect of camp, the chaperones and I had multiple opportunities to talk with our campers about the gospel. For this reason most of all, I think Centrikid is amazing.

We loved Centrikid this year and cannot wait to go back next year! The only question remaining is: “Are you coming?”

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3 Reasons FBCE Loves Centrikid

Centrikid-BLogI’m not sure how long Camp recovery is supposed to take. But I know it does not take long to realize that the kids of First Baptist Eastman had a great time at Centrikid. I am increasingly a fan of the Centrikid camps for the following three reason.

3 Reasons Centrikid Is Amazing:

1.

The camp is all about the gospel. I appreciate that Centrikid takes the teaching of the gospel seriously. They have pastors lead the main worship time. Our Norman Park camp pastor, Stephen Makcen,  did an excellent job of discussing Ephesians and Romans with illustrations that the kids could relate to. I mean who hasn’t played playing football on their bed? And the small group times were built around practical application that links directly back to the main worship times. I am thankful that Centrikid calls our kids to follow Christ during all three days of the weekend camp.

2.

The camp fosters relationships. By scheduling hangout times, facilitating church group times, and encouraging quiet times, the kids and the chaperones get to build meaningful relationships. We have the chance to play basketball together, to spray each other with water bottles, and to tell jokes over breakfast. But more importantly, we get the opportunity to share our testimonies and to talk about the how the gospel shapes our lives. I greatly appreciate that Centrikid does not just whisk away our kids and pretend to be the church for a few days. I love the fact that the Centrikid Camp is designed to support the relationships already being fostered in our kids’ ministry and church family.

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Centrikid camp is just outright fun! Sure, we had one poor guy get stuck on his first OMC card for almost 10 minutes. We had another camper drink a Mellow Yellow at 10:30PM. And, I may have given more than one unintelligible instruction during the weekend. But despite all that and some home sick tears, our kids had a blast. They loved doing the Monkey Shuffle, sliding down the slip and slide, and getting covered in shaving cream! And by Sunday morning, even the previously home sick campers were all about coming back next year! As one guy said, “I wasn’t sure about it, but I did it. I survived!” Centrikid was amazing.

I am very thankful for all the staff that make Centrikid possible and for our three chaperones! We can’t wait for Centrikid  2017! Are you guys ready?

M4G 2015 Camp Elva Form

Summer Camp GradesEvery year, I am can’t wait for camp. It’s a great time to connect with kids, celebrate shaving cream craziness, and to share the gospel. This year did not disappoint. FBCE’s kids ministry (Ministry for Generations) participated in three camps this summer (Winshape Day Camps, Connect Camp (FBCE’s very own camp!) and Centrikid). All three camps were phenomenal. Our campers were exposed to great biblical content and made a ton of memories during Trianglulaiton, OMC, and their track times . But with that being said, I’ve also come to realize that not all camps are created equal. Below, I will evaluate the three camps our FBCE kids attended, looking specifically at each camp’s production value, cost, organization, attendance (i.e. FBCE campers), and Bible content. Let’s take a look:

Winshape Camp for Communities

  1. Production Value: A-

  2. Cost: B

  3. Organization: A-

  4. Attendance (FBCE Kids): C-

  5. Bible Content: B+

Negatives: Although the Bible content was solid, it can occasionally slipped into moralism (one down side to having the camp pastor be college winshape 2015  1student). But the biggest drawbacks for FBCE is Winshape’s  cost and accessibility. Though the $199 per student is not ridiculous, the price can be a little much for parents with multiple kids. Combine the cost with the travel distance (we had to drive to Dublin, GA everyday) and you get only minimal participation. FBCE had only four kids attend camp this year.

Positives: Winshape is a fast past, great day camp. The worship is high powered and features a great combination of teaching, drama, music and video. The camp also runs incredibly smoothly. The kids get to experience a ton of activities. Moreover, the staff really cares about their campers and invests in them. In many ways, Winshape for Communities is like 9-5 VBS run by professional kid workers!  

Overall Grade: B

Connect Camp

  1. Production: B-

  2. Cost: A+

  3. Organization: B

  4. Attendance (FBCE): A+

  5. Bible Content: A+

 Negatives: Being our first year of camp, Connect Camp experienced some technical difficulties. We had to shuffle staff around on occasion to make sure every class and track was covered. connect camp blank logoAnd, we lacked the live band and custom videos found at Winshape and Centrikid. This year’s mantra was flexibility!

Positives: The three biggest positives of Connect Camp were cost, attendance, and content. Running the camp out our Kids’ Ministry budget, FBCE did not have to charge an attendance fee. Consequently, the number of Connect campers more than doubled the combined number of campers who attended Winshape and Centrikid. And most importantly, we got to ensure that the gospel was clearly preached every day of camp.

Overall Grade: A-  

  Centrikid Camp

  1. Production Value: A+

  2. Cost: A

  3. Organization: A+

  4. Attendance: B+

  5. Bible Content: B

Negatives: In most ways, I think Centrikid is the standard for all kids’ camps. The only negative for Centrikid this year was the camp’s biblical content.CENTRIKID-LOGO-ORANGE Admittedly, I struggled with this rating. The small group leaders did a great job relaying the gospel and of sharing their testimonies. But the camp pastor did not do so well. He taught (exegeted) great biblical truth, but he never tied his lessons back into the gospel. Because our kids left the main sessions without hearing the gospel, I dropped Centrikid to a B.

Positives: Centrikid Weekend Camps are the perfect way to introduce kids into camp life. Lasting three days and two nights, Centrikid is so jammed pack with activities, games, cool music, teaching, and OMC, the kids have no time to miss home. Plus the $165 cost (which includes all meals) is a very reasonable price. The weekend camp appeals to both campers and their parents, resulting in great FBCE participation. Every year our kids leave camp with a better appreciation for Jesus and of course a little exhausted.  

Overall Rating: A