The Lasting Impact of Summer Camp

We are honored to be partnering with T Bar M Camps to bring you this sponsored post. We hope you find it helpful as you look for summer camp options for your family too!

I am a prayin’ momma, not because I am spiritually strong, but because I am full of weakness. Prayer is my biggest parenting tool, without a doubt, because with each new stage and season, I find myself lacking knowledge of what is best… Anyone with me?

Years ago, I began to notice some undesirable characteristics in my oldest kids, and simply said – I was at a loss over what to do. My daughter was going through a ‘less than kind’ stage here at home, and along with using teachable moments and positive parenting, I found myself praying that her heart would soften and that she would become more kind to others.  At the same time, my son was struggling to exercise self-control. At night, he and I would discuss what it looked like to use self-control with his siblings and while at school, and we would pray together for this as well. As time went on and our schedule picked up pace, I relented a little bit. The lazy days of summer had arrived, and it was time for us to drop our kids off at T Bar M Sports Camp.

At the end of each day of camp, T Bar M posts photos to help keep us mommas connected to the day’s happenings. From a morning spent in sport specialty to their leap off the zip line and into the festivities of dressing up for each night’s theme, faces of campers testify of the fullness of their camp experience, without an ounce of fun wasted. As I mulled through the photos searching for my children’s smiles, I imagined what else had happened in their day not captured on camera. Were they experiencing homesickness or fear? I hoped they were making friends. I prayed for protection as they ran, swam, and played. I wanted their week away from me to be an impactful one, and I trusted that they would be changed in the most awesome ways possible.

At last, the day came to make our way back to T Bar M to pick up our campers! Every camp mom knows the anticipation of reuniting with her beloved offspring after a week away, and the reunion was sweet indeed! The two of mine returned into my arms, safe, having grown up a little bit and having loved every minute of camp.

As if the reunion wasn’t reassuring enough, what came next blew my expectations out of the water. We huddled around our son’s coaches {T Bar M’s word for camp counselors} as each camper was presented with a specific character quality that was outstanding throughout the week. My boy was called up, and his coach began talking about him. I beamed with pride, and then he said, “The quality that most stood out in him this week was, SELF-CONTROL.” I caught my breath, and as other parents cheered on my son, I couldn’t contain my tears. I remembered all of those fall and winter nights that we prayed for self-control… Out of all the character traits his coach could have seen or chosen for my son, and ‘self-control’ is what was laid on his heart. I knew it was for me. You don’t have to be a camper to experience the impact of camp.

“In that moment, I was convinced the investment in camp was worth it, not only for my son, but for me too.”

Sort of shocked, I followed my family to my daughter’s cabin just in time to see her receive her certificate. The coach identified us in the mass of parents and spoke with confidence about our girl, “The one thing I loved most about her this week was her KINDNESS,” and written on a piece of paper was the very quality I had prayed for my daughter to become. I’m pretty sure I chuckled aloud as I swallowed a sob. That day, two unknowing college students turned camp counselors were used to reassure me as a prayin’ momma, to keep praying.

“Parents, you don’t have to be a camper to experience the impact of camp. It’s inevitable that through their life-transforming experience, your life might be touched too.”

Camp is one of the most lasting, rewarding experiences parents can give their children. T Bar M Camps builds self-esteem and gives kids a sense of independence all while growing their faith.

Go see what it’s all about!  From overnight camp for 1st through 11th graders to Day Camp for K-5th graders, they love to give campers and families the experience of their lives.  Check out their dates and availability – spots are filling quickly!

T Bar M Camps

Phone :: 830.620.4263
Email ::

About Lesley R.

Guest writer and T Bar M Camps’ Mom, Lesley Ryden is a part time home-schooler and blogger at Words That Matter. She and her husband live in West Texas with their four children. We’re grateful for her camp story, and we hope it inspires yours!


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