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Top 5 Reasons Your Child Should Attend Day Camp!

Fantastically Friendly

Our professional staff provides campers with a positive environment. We ensure personal care and attention with 1 Counselor to every 4 Campers! Counselors demonstrate sincere care for your child because they love being with kids!

Completely Clean

Our camp facilities offer complete amenities, including air conditioning and up-to-date equipment to ensure your camper’s time with us is memorable. Professional cleaning staff keep our buildings and grounds clean and safe at all times, and that helps make drop-off and pick-up easy and convenient for parents on the go!

Awesome Activities

Valley Forge Baptist Day Camp offers themed activities that aim to foster new relationships, promote teamwork, and build creativity. Our camp will have an impact on your child for a lifetime and give him or her memories to cherish forever. Activities include swimming, outdoor fun, games in our gymnasium, and field trips to exciting destinations.

Enthusiastically Engaged

Valley Forge Baptist Day Camp offers your child a break from technology so that he or she can be physically active. Your child will build creativity with real people, real activities, and real emotions. We include core values in many activities, demonstrating relationship skills such as caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

Amazingly Affordable

Our “pay as you go” payment plan makes Valley Forge Baptist Day Camp doable for any budget, because you pay only for the days your child attends! The weekly cost is one of the most affordable in the area. The combination of our fantastic staff and modern facilities makes this a great value for every household.

visit http://valleyforgedaycamp.org for more information

The Most Basic Needs of Teens

Most likely you or someone you know has had to deal with a distressed teenager at some time or another. Let’s face it; our American culture has taken its toll on the emotional health and well-being of our teens. They face pressures today that put them on the brink of emotional breakdown. Consider some of the most common stressors that lead to mental, emotional, and spiritual overload.

Divorce of parents/broken families
Breakup in a relationship with the opposite gender
Rejection from peers
Dissatisfaction with body size and shape
Lack of academic or athletic ability
Unhealthy friendships

The list could go on, but any one of the above pressures alone could drive a teen toward harmful behaviors and habits such as depression, anger, cutting, substance abuse, sexual activity, fear, defiance of authority, truancy, poor academics, and threats of suicide. When we read this alarming list, we react with urgency for our teens to find a way to stop these behaviors as quickly as possible, and rightfully so; they are destructive. But if we analyze the situation a bit further, we can conclude that this list is just a litany of symptoms representing a deeper problem.
Underlying all these symptoms (produced from life’s pressures) is a deep-seated need in every human being on the planet. It is not costly to meet this need. It is not difficult to provide (or shouldn’t be). It does not necessarily require the honed skill of a trained professional to infuse hope into struggling teens in order to turn them around. It is basic and simple but profoundly foundational to all people everywhere, and especially teenagers. What is this basic need? The need to be accepted.

Teens are in the unique stage of life in which the need to “fit in,” be accepted, or find some sort of social standing among their peers is paramount to their existence. Most teens will trade in their moral standards, family values, academic success, and even plain old common sense in order to win the ultimate prize of acceptance from their peers. It is vital for parents to recognize this need so they can help their teen through this stage of life. Parents must provide unconditional love, a listening ear, quality time, and meaningful communication to help bolster their teen’s need for acceptance. Parents must also provide boundaries, guidelines, and even punitive consequences when their teen violates a family policy. This provides a sense of security that helps define the family social structure of which the teenager is a part. Further, parents must be consistent in holding their teens accountable to these desired boundaries.

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Article by Lamar Eifert
Associate Pastor | Valley Forge Baptist

15 Ways to Affirm Your Children

1. Speak Praise to Them—just pause in an unexpected moment and say, “Hey, I just want you to know I’m proud of you, and here are some reasons why!”

2. Write a Specific Note to Them—Write out the good qualities and successes you see unfolding in their lives. Even better—mail it to them. Their surprise is well worth the fifty cents!

3. Speak Highly of Them In Front of Others—When they can hear you, speak up to others about some of the ways you see them growing, doing right, or working hard. They will rise in their attempt to live up to your description!

4. Acknowledge Their Heart—Let them know you understand their good intentions, even when the outcome isn’t what you intended!

5. Seek to Understand Their Emotions—There’s something powerful about having “the way you feel” validated by someone in authority—even if the circumstances can’t change. You may not be able to give them their way, but you could let them know you understand how they feel.

6. Reward Them Tangibly—Pick up and give a gift for no reason other than the fact that you are proud of their good efforts in some area.

7. Honor Them Intangibly—Prefer them in a way that lets them know they are highly valued and esteemed by you. Treat them like you would treat someone very important in your world.

8. Spend Time With Them—They already know you’re busy, so giving them quantity and quality time will speak loudly as to your love and honor toward them.

9. Express Physical Affection Toward Them—Again, just randomly pause, wrap them up in your arms, and squeeze for a while. And while you do, say something like, “I love you so much! I can’t believe how awesome you are!”

10. Surprise Them—Their favorite restaurant or meal, a new book, a special event, or a spontaneous family memory—do something awesome that they aren’t expecting, and let them know it’s because you are proud of them.

11. Do a Random Act of Kindness for Them—Help them clean out their closet, fill their car with gas, send a quick text message, pick them up at school and go to lunch. There are about ten million other ideas you could come up with on your own.

12. Genuinely Admire Them—Pause, think about your child, and consider the ways they excel. Consider the areas in which you might even envy them—and then celebrate those qualities. (Be honest—some times and in some ways our kids flat put us to shame!)

13. Praise Them Publicly—This isn’t bragging if it’s done in the right way, from a grateful heart—but acknowledge what your children are doing right and what God is teaching you through them. One easy way to do this is to thank them in front of others.

14. Defer to Their Decision (When Possible)—Don’t fight over things worth losing. Preferring one another is a wonderful expression of love. For instance, let them choose where or what to eat for dinner. When possible, let them make a key decision and praise them for “getting it right.”

15. Made a Big Deal of Good Decisions—When your kids make a wise choice, go nuts! Celebrate spiritual victories with all the zeal and energy of a lunatic Super Bowl fan!

Article by Pastor Cary Schmidt
Senior Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newington, CT
Read Cary Schmidt’s Blog

Enjoying Life With Your Teen

Teenagers in Your Home?
You’ve lived through 2 a.m. feedings, toddler temper tantrums, and the back-to-school blues. So why is the word “teenager” causing you so much anxiety?  The teenage years are an intense time of growth, not only physically, but morally and intellectually.  Add to that after-school sports, a learner’s permit and a part-time job, and you have the ingredients for the “perfect family storm.” But God’s plan and desire for your family is so much better than the average “teenage rebellion” scenario we read about in many magazines.  When a family follows the principles of God’s Word, everyone in the family can experience God’s favor and blessings in their lives – including teenagers and their parents.

However, many homes with teenagers are experiencing great upheaval and conflict.  Parents who are worried that their son or daughter is not demonstrating character qualities such as self-control or responsibility tend to pull in the reins.  In these relationships, the parents are restricting their teenager’s freedoms while their son or daughter is attempting to spread his or her wings.  The result is teenage rebellion and strained relationships with parents.

We parents of teenagers share much in common. We experience pain, joy, heartbreak, and frustration. You are not alone!

    You might be the parent of a teenager if…
You have to text your daughter in the next room in order to communicate with her.
Your wife opens her makeup drawer and it’s empty.
You open the refrigerator, and it is also empty.
You actually know what a “grip” is, but you can’t get one.
You haven’t seen the TV remote control since June.
The three most-repeated words in your house are “Clean… Your… Room.”
The next three most-used words in your house are, “Sor… ree… DAD.”
The alarm clock in your teenager’s room serves no useful purpose.
Your bath towels turn up missing and months later are found shoved in a darkened corner under your kid’s bed.
You cannot successfully lift your child’s backpack.

Ready for the Teen Years?
Many kids announce the onset of adolescence with a dramatic change in behavior around their parents. They’re starting to separate from Mom and Dad as they become more independent. At the same time, kids this age are increasingly aware of how others, especially their peers, see them and are desperately trying to fit in. Their peers often become much more important, as compared with their parents, in terms of making decisions. Kids often start “trying on” different looks and identities, and they become very aware of how they differ from their peers, which can result in episodes of distress and conflict with parents.  Dads and moms, this is not the time to overreact!  This is the time to pray, be patient, and seek the wisdom that God shares in the Word of God.  You can join us this fall on Wednesday evenings and receive help, encouragement, and instruction from the principles of God’s Word.

Article by Pastor Scott Wendal
Senior Pastor, Valley Forge Baptist

Making a House a Home

It was a plain house. The walls were off-white and the furniture was mismatched and worn. Not much insulation, and no indoor plumbing. The outside was no better. It certainly needed repairs and painting. And then there was the landscaping, or should I say lack thereof. Dirt, gravel and a few shrubs made up most of what would be considered landscaping.

But it’s strange. As plain and worn as the house looked, there was something about it—something that was warm and friendly, inviting and comfortable. But why? What would make such a plain, worn, and dilapidated house seem so hopeful, encouraging, and downright delightful?

Well, as I thought about it, it became clear. A house is a house. It’s a foundation, walls, roofing, insulation, finishing, etc., and those things are certainly fundamentally important to any structure. But this house was more than that. This was a home. A home is a place where a structure becomes a dwelling. A home is made up of people and relationships. A home is a place where more than brick and mortar, wiring and plumbing exist. A home is a place where living and loving and learning and growing can happen.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. A beautifully decorated house complete with all the necessities and then some is a wonderful thing. But even with those blessings, a house doesn’t become a home until relationships are allowed to take root, grow, develop, and bloom.

Just as it takes an architect, a plan, and craftsmanship to build a house, the building of a home has its own blueprint. And as I reflect on that plain, worn, seemingly unattractive house and consider what made it a home, the following characteristics stand out:

1) Acceptance – Without conditions, you are accepted at home.

2) Commitment – Without question, there is total security within relationships at home.

3) Forgiveness – This is the oil that keeps the relationship engine running smoothly.

4) Love – Love is a verb. It is action. Love in thought, word, and deed. Love is without conditions at home.

5) Grace – One type of grace is a disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill, having mercy; clemency. But we also need God’s grace to enjoy full, complete, peaceful relationships. God’s saving grace is unmerited favor given as a free gift and offered to all through Jesus Christ. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). We are also reminded in Romans 5:20 that “…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Oh, do we ever need grace for our relationships to be real and for us to genuinely dwell in more than just a house. Grace abounds in homes.

I’m sure you, like me, have seen a lot of houses but not so many homes. Many have a house, but it takes acceptance, commitment, forgiveness, love, and grace to have a home. This summer is a perfect time to begin construction on your new home.

 

Article by Greg Joyner
Associate Pastor | Valley Forge Baptist