Have you ever listened outside the door as a cabin leader does their best to lead the devotional time with their campers? The conversations you hear can be heartwarming. But often, what you hear can be disheartening and even alarming. What did we expect, after loading kids with cookies and hot chocolate right after the night game and sending them off to bed?
Consider how Jesus captivated the crowds that followed him. Sometimes he preached, but more often he told stories. He didn't usually even explain what the story was about. He let the story speak for itself, tweaked the imagination and provoked a response.
My new series of novels can be read aloud by cabin leaders to spark discussions about Jesus. Imagine campers sitting on the edge of their seats instead of swinging from the rafters! The use of story is a pretty simple concept, but I realize it is new to some camps and will take a while to catch on. Here are a few ways to use the Camp Liverwurst series this summer:
1. Try it out. There is no better way to determine the effectiveness of this resource than to sit down with a middle-schooler in your life and read one of the books out loud to them. Backers of this project have made it possible for me to mail out some samples. All you need to do is ask.
2. Order books for your cabin leaders. I suggest ordering enough books that at least half of your cabin leaders could borrow a copy for the week. The first book in the series, The Search For Bigfoot, is about a young guy who is new to camp; the second, The Lost Compass, is about a girl from the first book. Each stands alone, so they don't have to be read in order. And there are more in the series to come! I can order as many books as you need at 20-30% off, and cover taxes and shipping. Just contact me.
3. Coach cabin leaders on how to use the book. Here are some suggestions, plus there are more tips in the blog post below:
- Every 10-minute chapter can be used to spark conversations about God.
- Questions and activities are provided at the end of the book to be used as prompts (not a script!) for discussion, as needed.
- Plan on reading two to three chapters per day—for cabin devotions, during wake-up, after a meal or on a break.
- Campers will likely ask you to read more each day!
4. Order books for your camp store. Display them on the final day of camp. If campers enjoyed the book, they may want to bring a copy home, which means that they (and other family members) will read it again and stir up memories of their camp experience. Also, cabin leaders sometimes don't make it to the last chapter, and campers don't want to be left hanging!
Let me know if you have any questions or comments about the Camp Liverwurst series!