Camp is usually filled with joy, smiling faces and laughter as the children and teens have fun, learn new skills, make new friends and experience God’s love lived out in their counselors lives. But not always. We also see many tears. That was especially true among our teen campers this summer.

Why are teenagers crying at camp?

  • Tears come when our campers begin pouring out their life experiences. It may be the first time they have been in a safe environment where they felt comfortable enough to share without ridicule and judgment. Many at a young age have already experienced great hurt and disappointment in their lives. As they share these things with us, they cry- and sometimes we cry with them.
  • Tears come when they are struggling with life decisions. Not knowing what to do is a difficult place to be. One of our campers was wrestling with whether or not he should believe and follow after Christ. Understanding that this commitment would be life altering, he shed many tears.
  • Not all tears are tears of sadness. Sometimes we see tears of relief, tears of hope or even tears of joy.
  • Finally, being confronted with God’s Word brings an emotional response. When we understand how much God loves us, we might cry. When we see how we have fallen short of His expectations, we might cry. When we experience forgiveness, we might cry. When we know that our lives will never be the same, we might cry.

We are thankful for the tears that come along with the joys of camp.

“This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:9-10