Camp devotions are a quiet, thoughtful time at the end of day for campers to reflect. It is a great time to recap the events of the day, discuss the theme of the day, and share personal challenges or highlights. Devotions help bring everyone together. If you have two campers who do not get along well during the day, you might be surprised at how they connect during devotions! Campers can share their innermost feelings and thoughts, and staff leaders/counselors can facilitate discussion, share wisdom, and bring the group together.
As much as we love our freedom at camp, we also love structure and guidelines. Implementing a structure into your devotions will help establish normalcy and routine, which will make campers feel like they are at home.
- Chatty group? Use a “talking stick” or “talking ball” – whoever has the stick or ball is the only one allowed to speak at that time
- Limit talk about outside-of-camp topics (school, family, etc.). There is only so much time at camp and every minute should be used wisely!
When and Where
It is a perfect idea to host your devotions right before bedtime. Begin devotions immediately after your campers have finished their bedtime routines (e.g. brush teeth, shower, journal, etc.). If you have a table or common area, you can have your campers sit in a circle during devotions. Alternatively, if your cabin/bunking area is small enough, you can do devotions while campers are sitting or laying in their own beds. This will definitely cause some campers to fall asleep, another benefit of devotions time!
Set the Mood
Christmas lights! Candles! Soft music! There are so many elements than can help set the mood for your devotions time. We know that getting ready for bed can sometimes be the most chaotic time of the day – campers are fighting for sink space to brush their teeth, looking for their pajamas, and trying to find their missing sock from the morning. Once bedtime routines are over and you are ready to begin devotions, change the scenery. Light a candle in the middle of the room, or turn on twinkly lights if you have them. If your camp allows music, perhaps play some soft classical or instrumental music (best to avoid music they could sing along to and get distracted).