Children, student summer camp: A ‘milestone’ for spiritual growth

Children, student summer camp: A ‘milestone’ for spiritual growth

When Meghan Dukes first visited a LifeWay summer camp as an elementary-aged child, she returned home telling her mom she wanted to work there one day.

Several years later Dukes made good on her intentions becoming a LifeWay camp staffer. This July she’ll come full circle — chaperoning 18 kids from Redeemer Church, Hendersonville, Tennessee, to a CentriKid camp in Linden, Tennessee.

“I’m so thankful for how the Lord has used LifeWay camps in my life from childhood to the present,” Dukes said. “I’ve been influenced by the gospel-focused intentionality of camp as a fourth grade student, as a staffer and now as a children’s ministry director.”

Dukes’ journey illustrates how Christian summer camps and missions projects can often link generations of Christ-followers. 

A 2018 LifeWay Research study on predictors of spiritual health in young adults found 44% of Protestant churchgoing parents of 18- to 30-year-olds sent their children to church camps and retreats. 

“Lots of people think of summer camp as a milestone experience,” said Logan Meek, team leader of Student Life For Kids. “Many times summer camp is the place where God causes children and students to have ‘lightbulb’ moments. … These spiritual moments can become faith markers we look back to for the rest of our lives.”

‘Love and trust’

As Dukes prepares to take her kids to CentriKid this July, she says she appreciates the care and intentionality LifeWay camps put into communicating the good news about Jesus.

“They connect everything back to the gospel,” she says, “and provide a setting in which friendships are formed and built on the trust and love of Jesus.”

Several other summer camp options hosted by Alabama Baptist entities exist for students and children including those at WorldSong Missions Place in Cook Springs ( and Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega (

For more information about LifeWay summer camps and missions projects visit (BP, TAB)

How to Pray:

  • Pray summer camps hosted by LifeWay, WorldSong, Shocco Springs and others will bring the gospel to students and children of all ages.
  • Pray those attending camps and retreats this summer will stay safe, have fun and build new friendships. (TAB)