I’m slumped on my sofa ignoring the pile of bags, bedding and tents that I dumped in the hallway when I arrived home a few hours ago. I’m back from a week camping with my youth group and I’m already missing the cake diet that kept me going for the last seven days!
Have you ever had an amazing time away but then felt miserable when you’ve got home? You made new friends and had new experiences but a few days later all you’ve got is a pile of dirty washing and a load of sweet wrappers in the bottom of your suitcase.
You might have a ton of good memories but you also have a gloomy feeling that the rest of your Summer just won’t be as good.
With Christian camps there is an added struggle: it can be really hard to come back to everyday life after a week full of praise and worship, with great Bible teaching, surrounded by Christians. At home it might be harder to keep your eyes fixed on God and remember the great promises He’s spoken into your life.
Are you going away with your church or youth group this Summer? Are you dreading the coming home again part? If you relate, here are my top tips:
Spending time with God will turn that refreshed excitement for Him into permanent growth. God gave us His Holy Spirit for times like this. Ask Him to walk with you as you step back into home life and return to school.
KEEP A RECORD OF GOD’S PROMISES
Is there something that really spoke to you while you were away? Write it down, decorate it if you’re arty, and stick it somewhere in your room that you can’t ignore.
LOOK AFTER YOUR HEALTH
If you’re anything like me, some of your low mood will be from the crash after a high energy week. Eat well, have a good night’s sleep and let your body recover.
Plan a couple of post-camp get-togethers with your youth group or church friends to pray, talk about how you’re doing and remind each other of what you learned while you were away. Even if your youth leaders aren’t able to arrange it try and organise something yourselves. Or create a WhatsApp or Facebook group to chat about how you’re doing and post prayer requests.
ask your youth or church leader, or one or two good friends, to regularly ask how things are going as you journey in your faith.
As GGF’s editor, Emma Borquaye, recently reminded me; summer camps shouldn’t be the highlight of your year but spring boards into bigger and better things as we adventure with God throughout the remaining 51 weeks!