For decades, kids of all ages have been attending summer camps at Skycroft Conference Center. However, last summer marked the first time in over 35 years without camps at Skycroft due to COVID-19 restrictions. Needless to say, our team has been overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to have campers buzzing around campus again this summer. We kicked off our 2021 camp season with three weeks of “Crossings,” a camp for middle and high school students, followed by four weeks of “CentriKid Camps” for second through sixth graders. Though effects of the pandemic have kept camp numbers lower than previous years, we have still had the privilege to host over one thousand campers and adult chaperones from 59 different churches across these seven weeks of camp.
It is such a joy to see campers zoom down the Damascus Road water slide again, compete in the Gaga pit at all hours of the day, and sing their hearts out at HeBrews’ karaoke each night. But, all the games and camp hype can’t compare to the work God is doing in the lives of kids and adults at camp. Camp is special because the gospel is preached explicitly from sun-up to sundown. Camp is special because it provides youth pastors, kids’ ministers, and church volunteers an extremely rare opportunity — five consecutive days of intentional fellowship and discipleship. Camp is special because it provides a safe place for questioning students to seek answers from trustworthy, godly sources. God uses so many aspects of camp to point students back to the unshakeable truth of His Word, to display His love, and to bring glory to Himself.
We don’t have the statistics available yet for this year, and camps were canceled last year, but in the summer of 2019, there were 51 professions of faith made during camp programs at Skycroft and 36 spiritual “milestone” decisions such as decisions for baptisms, calling to ministry, and rededications of faith. Praise God! Statistics and data, however, will never accurately depict the authentic sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in kids and teens at camp: the deepening of their trust in Him, their growth in obedience to Him, the victory He grants them over addictions, the clarity and assurance provided in the truth of His Word, the healing and wholeness only He can bring to hurting adolescent hearts. This is what God does at camp!
Weekend events and retreats have also picked up over the summer, with many churches doing adult retreats, family retreat weekends, or planning their own mini-camp events for youth. This is an excellent opportunity for churches who prefer to design their own schedule and activities to customize a mountaintop retreat experience that meets their needs while still taking advantage of all the bells and whistles Skycroft has to offer. One highlight this summer has been Celebrate Abilities, a weekend camp for people with special needs. This camp sponsored by the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and The Banquet Network was the first event of its kind held at Skycroft. Campers enjoyed Bible study and worship, and they swam, ziplined, danced, painted, had a campfire, and much more. It was an incredibly special weekend!
God is glorified each time His people gather together in His name. We informally refer to Skycroft as “God’s holy mountain” because His people — people of all ages, ethnicities, abilities, languages, and more — gather here nearly every day of the year to proclaim and worship Him. Thank you, God, for preserving Skycroft for almost 50 years for Your Kingdom’s sake!
Emily Reedy serves as the director of Skycroft Conference Center.