I always wanted speakers to M & M, mix and mingle, with campers. It’s important that the speaker be able to relate to and connect with campers. Looking back, I think I had a program to busy for speakers to connect much with campers.
So to meet my own expectation as a speaker I set out to M & M. In my first year I created this need to find my lost red rock and asked campers if they would help me find a new one. Red rock hunting exploded and by the end of the week I had a two quart jar filled with a red rock for each camper. I still pray for the campers those red rocks represent. But this is the important thing; I was put into contact with each of those campers. A bond was created that formed a channel for the message to be received.
I love to hike and nothing is better than a hike with kids. I join or create as many hikes as I’m able. I encourage campers to bring their discoveries to me. Soon discoveries are brought to me at any time. I pass blessing on fossils, mushrooms, snakes, flower arrangements, frogs, toads, dragon flies and cicada shells. With each discovery I point out some fascinating discovery and say, “OH WOW!” Being linked to their discoveries helps bond me to their lives.
Building this relationship with the kids helps them connect with my messages. Campers consider the message worth it because time has been taken for them to become important.
When it came time to speak I was personally connected and personally interested in the message these campers would receive. It was now beyond a task, cool thing to do or even a great opportunity. It had become a ministry expression of love for those kids and the message of hope from the gospel. Ministry requires a personal connection and I was bonded in personal ministry passion to those kids.
The expression of personal ministry goes beyond the camp speaker. The need to extend a personal touch to those we minister too needs to come from every level of operation. It connects the whole camp with presenting the gospel message. I just saw a Facebook picture of a camp director friend playing a game with campers; he’ll have a much greater impact there than with his other administrative duties.