What goes into the making of a theme? How much thought goes into it? What are we going to be bringing the campers into? What we strive for when creating the theme is to intentionally impact the campers, and we want them to leave camp with a strong understanding of what was being taught.
So in comes “Tribe,” an identity-driven theme that invites the campers to understand their purpose. Jesus Christ has called them as His own, and the old has gone and the new has come. We’ve acknowledged that the influences of this world are stronger than ever, and many are seeking identity in outlets other than Christ. To drive the idea home, the community-feel of the word “tribe” fit well.
Now, the making of this theme didn’t just come from the leadership, it came from the campers as well.
Every summer, the struggles of identity are prominent in the campers, especially within the Junior High and High School age. It creates rich discussion on who we are and what our purpose is on this Earth, and it is something that every kid is dying to hear. Even the counselors themselves can’t get enough talk about identity. The struggles of identity look different for every individual, especially for different ages, and when it comes to belonging, the idea is a common thought. Where do I belong? Who do I belong to? Why am I here? These questions come up time and time again, and the answer never fails to stir hearts. We belong to our Creator, Jesus Christ, and He has pursued us and called us His own. I have been redeemed through Christ, and therefore, I am new. This became the driving force for the theme, and it came from hearing the campers’ hearts and what they strive for. We always want to add an element of fun into the theme as well, so the thought of tribal/jungle was exciting. It was big for us to not go too far with the “fun” aspect of tribe since the message was such a strong statement, so finding the perfect balance between the spiritual and the excitement was crucial.
So with the help of Jesus and the campers, Tribe bursted into existence, and it will set a new foundation for everyone coming into Mt. Gilead for summer 2019.