High Peaks to Hard Pavement

A summer at Northern Frontier is packed with fun adventures, exploration, and discovery. Whether as a camper, or staff member, young men will be challenged to grow spiritually and physically during their stay. For many, time at camp is like summitting a high peak. It tests you, but the view from the top of the mountain is beyond comparison.

Returning to the “real world” can sometimes be a letdown. It’s hard to recapture the thrill found while heading off on a trail through God’s creation, cresting the top of the high climbing tower, or finally hitting the bullseye at the archery range. Even harder to find is the fulfilling feeling of ending each day beside a campfire overlooking OK Slip.

Time at camp is loaded with moments that serve as incredible spiritual markers in a young man’s life. But surviving after camp can be very difficult. What do you do when the fire fades? What happens to your faith when you’re no longer surrounded by other young men who encourage you in your walk with Jesus? Does what you learned at camp stick? Or do you fold back into the same old routine?

We must be prepared as we move from high peaks to hard pavement. Here are some ways to ensure you survive and thrive after camp ends:

Recognize the Source Camp is not responsible for authentic life-changing experiences–Jesus is. Only through Christ can we see well-rooted spiritual growth (2 Corinthians 5:17). Sure, going to camp can create excitement, but Jesus creates transformation. If you’ve grown as a young man, those changes won’t disappear once you leave camp.

Find a Brotherhood One of the things that makes camp so unique is being surrounded by brothers in Christ who care about you. Your home church won’t be a one-to-one replacement for camp–it’s not trying to be. But being active in church is an excellent way for discipleship to continue (Titus 2:1-7).

Be aware of Pitfalls Don’t walk blindly back into your old life. Look for the areas that seem weak and commit yourself to combatting them. The enemy seeks opportunities to break down your desire to follow Christ (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t give him a foothold to stand on.

Make a Plan The secret to growing closer to God at camp is being saturated in God’s word. We’re constantly opening up the Scriptures from sun up to sun down. Your ability to continue to get into God’s word will make a massive difference in your walk with Christ (John 17:17). Find a Bible study that works for you and plan to stick to it.

Buddy Check! You don’t have to do life alone. The Bible tells us that “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17) Find an accountability partner. Who’s someone in your life that pushes you closer to Jesus? Talk to that person and commit to helping each other run the race together.

Northern Frontier Camp is an excellent place for young men to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Adjusting to life outside of camp can be challenging for many campers and staff. Make sure that camp does not become a momentary monument that fades but instead serves as a catalyst that launches your life forward to the far horizon.