Why Send Your Children to Camp?
by Lenny La Guardia
Awakening Teen Camps
As director of the Children’s Equipping Center and Signs & Wonders Camps, I get asked all the time, ‘Lenny, why should I send my children to your camps this summer?’ Let me answer straight from my heart.
As a parent and now grandparent myself, I know firsthand the difficulty of raising children in this world. Although children are a blessing from the Lord, the Devil tries to weave his web of destruction and lies from the earliest days of a person. There is truly a demonic agenda to steal our children, tempt them into confusion, and steal God’s plan for their life. When left unchecked, the Devil’s schemes can lead children into doubt, unbelief, and even outright rebellion against God. I’m not here to glorify the Evil One—the Devil is a defeated foe. But I believe we must be intentional about opposing his plans in order to not fall for his schemes. This very much includes our children.
I also believe we are in the midst of a powerful awakening. I’ve seen the Lord releasing great power, grace, and zeal upon young hearts for the last 40 years. It is only intensifying now. Children as young as four, five, or six (and sometimes younger) witness miracles taking place as they lay their hands on the sick and watch them recover. Others receive prophetic words and inspiration from God just like we read about in Joel 2. Since the beginning of our ministry, we have been teaching children that there’s no such thing as a Junior Holy Spirit. This means that the same Spirit who moved through Jesus and the Apostles and now moves through adults is moving through children as well. This gives me great hope.
Our camps are set up to help children engage with the Holy Spirit. We’ve watched boys and girls get touched by the Spirit and immersed in worship, raising their hands and giving Jesus their whole hearts. We’ve watched some of the children discover a love for intercession when they realized that their words, just like those of adults, mattered to God. And we’ve had the joy of watching those who got to experience God’s love for them personally, heard His voice, or embraced the gospel as true for the first time. Being part of God’s wonderful work in the lives of these young ones has sustained my wife, Tracy, and me for the last 40 years.
Both of our hearts are as passionate as ever to see children encounter the Lord, own their faith, and begin to walk it out in their families, churches, and communities. Many of our campers return home with a spirit of obedience toward their parents, which is one of the core values we teach here. Others start prayer meetings with their family, friends, or church. Our goal is for young people to see themselves as part of God’s redemptive plan in these last days and to realize that they are called to minister, not sit idly by as the return of the Lord grows nearer.
If there’s anything that the last two years have taught us is that the hour is urgent. We cannot wait for a later time to seek the Lord. We must seek Him in a community of like-minded people. The Christian life is not meant to be lived cut off from others. And children are no different. Even in the midst of coronavirus, it was a joy for us to see our camps serve as an oasis of faith and fellowship for young people. We have implemented safety measures and precautions and are abiding by local authorities, but we have had the grace to continue these vital camps and have no intention of stopping. The campers’ testimonies also compel us. Let me share a few with you.
“I felt the presence of God. I was like a new person after that.” —Zach, age 11
“God revealed Himself to me and helped me with my anger issues.” —Lyndell, age 9
“God told me that He loves me, He cares about me, and nothing bad is going to happen to me.” —Faith, age 7
“I rededicated myself to the Lord at Signs & Wonders Camps.” —Peyton, age 12
For young people ages 6–12, I truly believe there’s no better place for them to encounter God and learn to do His works than at our Signs & Wonders Camps (and Little Edition for ages 4–5). We have a 22-year history of pressing toward these goals, and we won’t stop until the Lord tells us we’re done or comes and splits the sky. This year’s camp theme is about loving our neighbor as ourselves and cultivating compassion. We know that the Lord will move on every young heart that is seeking Him.
Signs & Wonders Camps are fun, high-energy, and perfectly suited to helping boys and girls enjoy God and one another in a healthy and safe environment. Again, as a parent and grandparent myself, there’s nothing I would put ahead of your child’s safety. There are many options facing you this summer. Would you, as a parent, consider entrusting us with your children for what could be an unforgettable camp week?
We offer sibling discounts, and many children return year after year, building friendships that sometimes last into adulthood. Many of our counselors attended Signs & Wonders Camps when they were young.
We take our camps seriously. And we are also serious about fun! I encourage you to take a look at our Kansas City camps and the regional camps we offer in several states and countries. Let this be the summer your child encounters the Lord at camp and walks in His power with no fear. The time is now!
How can you help your child grow closer to God this summer?
Signs & Wonders Camps encourage children to love Jesus, their parents, and those around them. Each camp is designed to be a fun, safe, and high-energy environment for children. Witness transformation this summer as children experience God and learn to walk in His power. Learn more >>
Lenny La Guardia
- Vice President of Ministries, IHOPKC
- Executive Director, Children's Equipping Center, IHOPKC
For over three decades, Lenny and Tracy La Guardia have devoted their lives locally and internationally to equipping, empowering, and mobilizing young people, parents, and leaders with biblical truths and relevant strategies for ministering to children and youth today. Lenny and Tracy are the executive directors of the Children’s Equipping Center (CEC) at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, where they lead a missionary staff that equips children from all over the world. Currently, the CEC provides over 130 hours a week of children’s services. Lenny also serves as the senior vice president of IHOPKC’s Ministries and Justice Divisions, giving oversight to vital ministries that mobilize the values and priorities of the IHOPKC Missions Base in Kansas City and abroad. Lenny started the Grandview, Missouri, Police Chaplains in 2007 and currently serves as a police chaplain. Lenny and Tracy have been married for 38 years and have five children: Leonard, Leatha, Andrea, Adrienne, and Shontavion.