Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Are Campouts Great? Community

Last weekend we had the opportunity to go on a campout with a group of other Christian families. Some we know pretty well, while others were new to us. We all have daughters in the American Heritage Girls.

The campout took place at beautiful Magnolia Springs State Park, which is about two hours from here. We all stayed at a pioneer campsite, which means sleeping in tents, cooking over outdoor stoves, sitting around the fire, and using a scary outhouse. It was real camping (as opposed to staying in some sort of cottage with electricity. O.K. I admit to having done that before).

We enjoyed fishing, going on hikes through the woods, playing games, eating lots of good food, watching the animals, etc. Personally, it was great just to breathe in a lot of fresh air (I work in a construction equipment factory with less than the best air quality).

As I think back on the campout, it is clear what made it great. It was the community. Campouts like this provide the rare opportunity to spend many hours with friends away from the distractions of everyday life. While group camping, all the tents are within a few feet of each other. Most electronic distractions are a non-issue. There isn't much to do but hang out and talk. This may involve taking hikes and playing games, or it might just mean sitting in chairs in a circle. Regardless, it provides something that is difficult to come by most of the time: a lot of time to talk and simply be together.

It strikes me that the church would benefit from functioning much like folks at a campout. We would spend a lot of time together, hanging out, eating, playing games, and talking a lot. We would share our lives together for bulks of time (this, of course, is not all the church would do.)

We can learn a lot from campouts. I hope we are able to go on another one soon.


Alan Knox said...

We love camping, and we often camp together 1-2 times per year. You're right: it is a great way to foster community and build relationships.


Eric said...


The community atmosphere truly is a joy. It allows for conversations that might never occur elsewhere.