Our children attend Cohutta Springs Youth Camp every year – five days or one week, depending on their age. The 7-9 age group only stays from Sunday through Friday. The 10-12 age group stays from Sunday through Sunday.
This marked our first year when our oldest, who is 10, attended the one-week camp. Of course, he loved it. He was also so homesick by Friday, he almost talked to his counselor (staff member in charge of his cabin) to let him go home. But then he prayed and decided to tough it out.
That was a good decision, because that night they had a special play (or skit) about the crucifixion. Most kids get a bit emotional about it and realize there is a connection between what happened at the cross and their lives. He told me afterwards that he was glad he stayed through the weekend and got to witness the crucifixion skit.
Cohutta Springs Youth Camp is a Christian camp on a lake in Georgia, very close to the border with Tennessee. It is less than three hours from our house. I am not sure what got into me three years ago, but I felt this freedom inside me to allow our oldest to attend.
We do have friends who invited us to go. Their children attend there and we have only heard great things from others. They have lots of water activities, a gym for indoor recreation when it rains, horseback riding, BMX, arts and crafts, and lots of games on the lawn between the cabins.
The boys and girls have separate villages, but they do see each other in passing from activity to activity. Each cabin fits 12 children plus a counselor. I like that they learn to manage their clothes for 5-7 days. I also like that they take 2-minute showers. At home, I tell them, “Let’s pretend we are at Cohutta. I am not saying two minutes, but let’s see if you can take your shower in five minutes instead of twenty.”
Cohutta Springs Youth Camp helps with many things. Since we homeschool, I figure living in close quarters with others is good for them. It’s like school on steroids, because you also have to sleep in the same place with your “class mates.” As such, it is a good exercise in socialization.
Cohutta Springs Youth Camp Counselors are young people ages 19-24 who are highly trained in dealing with all sorts of situations. The counselors are trained before camp and supervised constantly during camp. There are many layers of protection over our children during camp, so we get to relax.
Of course, one can always worry and miss them like crazy. I do get sentimental over their being three hours away. A friend whose children have graduated from college told me that camp is good preparation for when they will be all grown up and leaving the nest.