Camp KidJam and a Passion for the Next Generation

Well this week I had the opportunity to go on another Daystar Church camp, and this week was camp KidJam. The camp is for the elementary aged kids, and this was my third time as a leader for the trip. Twenty five students went and six leaders went along, Pastor Allen and I were in charge of the ten boys on the trip. It was a blast, right from the start and didn’t stop. After we arrived and loaded up the rooms, we went to the first main session of the camp. We were all put on a team, made a team cheer, and came up with a team name (ours was red candy apple bacon, by far the most original name). After the session we broke into our church groups where we split into small groups. I have only just recently started leading with an elementary small group on Sunday mornings, so I was a little nervous with a group this young. It ended up going very well thanks to a lot of praying beforehand. Afterwards we went to late night, which is filled with crazy games and is just an overall great time. I was chosen for one of the games, I then had to have marshmallow fluff put all over my face and one of our student threw mini marshmallows at my face for them to hopefully try to stick. I didn’t win, but I still had a great time doing it.

The next day was the first full day of activities. We began the day with our lovely cafeteria with smiling workers (sarcasm), and then we were off and running. The kids were able to go to their desired tracks that had been chosen prior to arrival to camp. During this time the leaders were able to receive training from one of the lead directors of 252 Basics, the curriculum that is used on Sunday mornings. The training was incredible, it was for small group leaders and even though it was directly for elementary small groups, the material was still beneficial for all aspects of any next generation small groups. It was so cool to have God show me new things and ways to improve how I do small groups now. It was also very cool to have God give me an even deeper passion to help the next generation. Over the past year as being a high school small group leader, and now an elementary small group leader, God has really been speaking to me on how important it is to be invested in the next generation.

The next day was very similar to the first, but at the jam session, the teacher gave the salvation message and in small group we were able to share our stories with our kids and really invest in them. It was amazing, after I shared, a couple of the boys wanted to give their story and wanted to know more about the themes that we were talking about. After all of the fun that happened that night, all of the boys met up in one room and Allen asked if anyone had or wanted to make a decision for Christ, one of the boys spoke up and said he had made a decision during the jam session and my heart was overjoyed to hear that. It was so humbling to be there at that moment and see how much God works, even in some of the youngest people.

Looking back at the week it was so empowering to know how much our small group leaders mean to the children that they see every Sunday. I just love how simple things like having fun with the kids can change the course of someones life forever. It was also incredible to see God work through the kids, even when they are so young. It reminds me of what 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” It’s such a powerful statement because it is so true. Its so important to invest in the next generation, so elementary, middle and high school, they all need guidance and someone to speak life over them. It’s also so important for the leaders to be equipped themselves, in order to partner with parents and be another voice of truth in their life. Its so vital that we prepare students to have an authentic relationship with God and that they always make the wise choice in life.

It’s so good to look back at a trip like this and see how Gods moves in the lives of others. I cant wait to see them on Sunday and I am so excited to see what God has in store for me in the future in regards to the next generation. Thanks for the read, talk to you later.
-Joshua Thomas

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