Letter To Parents
Many parents have discovered the value of having their teen involved in the Zone Summer Staff program at Sky Lodge. Of course, there is hard work, responsibility, time spent reading the Bible, crazy activities, and a traditional Christian community. Now take all that and weave it with a sense of independence and the feeling that together with other teens they are accomplishing so much more than they could do individually… and we start to get a sense of the value of the Zone program.
We have two main goals with our Zone Program; first, get camp work done (dishes, serving snacks, cutting grass, lifeguarding, saddling horses, etc) and second, encourage teens to develop their mature Christian faith and deepen their love for Jesus.
While they come mostly from the Midwest, we are pleased as teens from all over work in the Zone program. Some of the teens come to us after being a camper in our summer youth programs. Others are invited by their friends and some kids find our website. We’ve even had kids participate in the Zone program from overseas! All in all there is a lot of variety in our Zone kids. However, as varied as they are, we’ve learned that all teens are facing struggles as they become adults.
I know that I am not telling you anything new, you know many of the challenges that teens face today. To list a few: depression/self harm; premartial sex; alcohol/nicotine; gender identity; illegal drugs; and pornography. Of course, every teen is not struggling with all of these issues, and perhaps some teens are not struggling with any of the ones listed… but many are struggling in one or two areas.
Recognizing that the mission of Sky Lodge is not as a counseling center, we still deeply care about the teens in the Zone program. As questions and situations arise (such as the areas listed above) we carefully discuss and encourage the kids with love and kindness, based on scripture instruction. We find that many teens, even though they have “confessed with their mouth and believed in their heart” (Romans 10:9)... they have not had Biblical instruction and spiritual encouragement in their struggles.
Our Zone Forman are trained with basic answers to many of the concerns that teens have. For example, if a teen asks, “My boyfriend says it’s ok to have sex because we love each other. Is that ok?” Or another example, “It seems like when I pray, nothing happens. Am I praying wrong?” What a wonderful privilege it is to answer and encourage teens, and we don’t take it lightly.
Your teen will have a great summer at camp. They will enjoy staff outings, goofing around in the dining room, working as a team, rubbing shoulders with teens from many different walks of life, personal devotions, and free time to enjoy camp activities. I look forward to working with and caring for your teen.