Friendship: Bonds That Last!

The 1st Annual Loft Camp was held this past weekend at Camp Hiawatha for 5th and 6th graders.  For many this was their first experience attending camp, while others have already become seasoned camp veterans.  No matter their experience level, Loft Camp was different from the beginning.  For the first time in Northside history this age group was able to attend a camp just for them.

Our mission was two-fold.  #1 – Putting God first and showing his love and grace was at the forefront of each activity. #2 – Camp was about giving each child opportunities to build relationships with their peers, to share experiences, to create memories and strengthen bonds.  As these campers move into the youth group and as their lives get busier, these bonds will be vital for their Christian walk.

Friday night started with a devo with four graduating Senior girls and three Senior boys.  The teens encouraged the campers to attend youth events, not to be shy around the older kids, and about the importance of making lots of friends in the youth group.  They shared stories, played games (taught them crucial teen camp protocols) and a few even stayed all weekend to build their own friendships and memories.

Saturday was packed with events. We started the day with worship and a lesson on Proverbs 17:17 by Ken Nelsen.  Ken talked about how as a single strand we are weak but if we surround ourselves with the right friends, our faith is strengthened, and we are stronger together.  Each camper then learned how to create a 7-strand cord as a reminder to seek Christian friends.

After swimming, playing 9-square and having a scavenger hunt, we were joined by 40 adults for the Grandparent/Prayer Pal bonfire.  Childhood memories, stories of faith and advice were all shared over a campfire (all while dodging bugs and trying not to melt – I mean who has a bonfire in August?!).  We sang songs, ate s’mores and created another set of memories that I know won’t be forgotten.

On Sunday, with the help from the adults and teens, the Loft boys lead worship, prayed, and read scripture. We finished with a lesson from Sonny Banning on scriptures about friendship that we all need to know.

To top off an already wonderful weekend, Drew Klaassen made the decision to follow Christ’s command and be baptized. It was a special moment for his friends and especially his family and we couldn’t be prouder. Congratulations Drew!

“A friend loveth at all times; and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17. I hope that these 25 young campers have created lifelong bonds, friendships that will get them through the tough times ahead and be there to celebrate their many accomplishments.  As we say farewell to our now 7th graders and welcome our new 5th graders, a huge thank you to everyone that has prayed for this group, who financially supported camp and who continue to love these kids. Friendship: Bonds That Last!