Reflections on: backyard camping


Last night was a first for the family. We had a backyard campout with the boys. It was as close to a perfect evening as I’ve ever seen for a camping adventure (minus a few non-nature issues). The temp. was high 60’s. There were few clouds, if any. The moon was full.

In the afternoon the tent got set up, which helped make it a little easier. After dinner we got all of the boys’ things together and our sleeping bags and set up inside the tent. We took out a few of their games to play and had a snack in the tent. It was pretty fun, and special, to do that as a family. After the games, we read our Bible stories and got ready for bed. (At this point, it was well past bedtime for them)

Amy and I tried playing some Boggle up on the deck until the boys fell asleep. But that didn’t happen, because they wouldn’t fall asleep. I think it was a bit too bright (with the full moon) outside for them to feel like it was bedtime. Plus, we do not live very far from the city ball fields. Last night one of the jr. high age games lasted until around 11:30pm. It is hard to fall asleep with the noise of a baseball game in the background.

Eventually we all fell asleep and woke up at 6:30 – thanks to the sunrise.

As a dad, it was a great night of fun, laughs and memories. Going camping in the backyard is the type of thing I want to never stop doing with my boys. It might be a lot of “work” to set up and get ready, but its worth every minute. Time with my boys is going to go by so quickly.

I’m not sure what things you do with your family (if you are a youth worker and have a family), but I hope you are doing things. Special things. Memory making things. Fun things. Silly things. Out of the normal things. Take some time out of your busy schedule and plan (or just do it spontaneously) to do some stuff just with your family.

The same applies to youth ministry. There are many things a youth worker has to do throughout the year. During the summer, one of those things is spend time with students. Do things that have one purpose – spending time with students. Spending time with students does not always have to be about teaching or lesson focused. Do some fun events. Hang out at the park. Go fishing. Play some ball. Sit and watch others play sports.

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