Connecting with Your Camp Community: Staying in Touch with Camp Friends

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Camp means something a little bit different to everyone. It’s a place to learn and grow, to meet your best friends, to learn about Jesus, and have a break from the “real world.” It’s a miracle in the mountains, your second home, your “bubble.”

There’s a facet of camp that speaks to all of us, but we bet if you distilled it down to its most basic form, you’d get somthing like community. Camp is community, a unified group of people brought together by Jesus, a desire to grow, and to experience the simple joy of being together.

You’d think that once that community physically breaks up and goes their separate ways, like we do at the end of the summer, that’s it, no more magic, no more bubble. But we’re here to suggest that actually, you can take that feeling with you back into the real world. Whether you’ve never missed a summer, or haven’t stepped through the gates in 30 years, the spirit of Greystone never leaves you, and the Greystone community doesn’t have to either!

Every month this year we’re going to be breaking down an aspect of the Greystone community, and giving you resources and tools to bring it back into your life. Coming off of our 100th summer, there’s no better time to dig deep into these friendships we’ve built and keep safely the memories of this place.

Current campers and staff, we’re talking to you first - we all want to keep in touch with the friends we made this year, but what does that actually look like? How do you make it last?

  1. Use technology to your advantage. We’re proudly tech-free all summer long, but when used in the right way, your phone can actually help your community stay strong instead of hindering it. Make a cabin group text. Follow each other on social media. Facetime when you’re getting ready. Keeping in touch is easier than ever these days, so use the resources you have!
  2. Get creative! Maybe you hate talking on the phone - write letters instead. Know your friend has been having a hard time? Send her a camp care package filled with all your inside jokes and favorite things. Have a birthday coming up? Ask for a plane ticket to go visit your people. Find the thing that works for you, and go after it - your community doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s!
  3. Make it a priority. Life gets busy, and nothing ends up happening if you don’t schedule it, so take the guess work out, and make keeping in touch with your camp friends part of your routine. Whether it’s a standing Facetime date every Saturday night, putting a camp reunion on your calendar, or staying up a little late to talk to your friend on the other coast, sacrificing to keep your camp relationships strong will ALWAYS be worth it.
  4. Consistency is key. The reason relationships get so strong at camp is the time you have together - you see each other day after day, and friendships grow deep and fast. You may not be able to have sleepovers every night now, but you can maintain your friendships little by little over the year. Send her a meme that makes you think of her, or a Bible verse you love. Make a pact to Facetime once a month, or to never let your cabin text thread die. One long talk is great, but countless DMCs over the course of a year? Priceless.
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Resources we love:

  • Garden app: Set yourself reminders to keep in touch with the friends that matter most - never forget to call again!
  • LokLok app: Send doodles directly to your friends’ lock screens with the click of a button. Silly or sweet, it’s a great way to tell a friend you’re thinking of her.
  • Marco Polo app: No time to Facetime? Send each other video messages - it’s the next best thing to being bunk mates!
  • ooVoo: Video chat with your whole cabin with ooVoo, and this time you won’t have to worry about getting caught by patrol!
  • Rabbit: Have a bestie movie night with this app that allows you to simultaneously watch the same thing together. The Princess Bride, anyone?

How do YOU keep in touch with your camp friends? Let us know in the comments, and check back in for more ways to keep that camp community strong!