Christ-Centered Retreats Help Middle Schoolers Explore Faith and Identity2 min read

Middle school can be one of the scariest and most complex times in a person’s life. As children enter into middle school their bodies are developing. As middle school begins, small schools merge into larger ones and children find themselves faced with the task of making new friends. Children begin to form an identity separate from that of their parents. Along with all of this change, children are developing an understanding of the importance of their faith.

According to renowned developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, known for his theory on psychosocial development, it is at this age that an individual spends the most time pondering what his or her life will look like as an adult. During this period, the child explores possibilities and begins to form his or her own identity based upon the outcome of these explorations. As the middle school child experiences this change and begins this exploration, a goal of parents, pastors and educators is to establish faith in Jesus Christ as an anchor point in his or her life.

In middle school many children begin to question their worth. This question invades every aspect of their lives from the way they dress to the peer group with which they surround themselves. During this time of uncertainty, and sometimes even hopelessness, middle schoolers can find hope in the knowledge that God loves them so much that he sent his only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for their sin!

Sometimes in middle school, instead of finding hope in their faith, children become unsure of their faith. It is a period of time when children begin to explore whether or not the faith that their parents have shared with them will be their own personal faith. This is where a Christ-centered retreat can make all the difference!

At Camp Arcadia’s confirmation retreats, middle school children find themselves surrounded by caring adults who are excited to share the joys and struggles of their faith life. Arcadia provides a safe environment for children to ask questions and gain answers about some of the deeper aspects of the Christian/Lutheran faith. The staff at Camp Arcadia, as well as the pastors who speak during these weekends, teach the Christian faith at a level that is fun and engaging for middle schoolers. Arcadia’s confirmation retreats offer students the opportunity to spend time with other middle school children. They share experiences, fears, and joys with one another as the Holy Spirit meets them through his Word on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan!

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About the Author

Jason Bauer serves as an SMP Pastor at Redeemer, Interlochen. He also serves on the Michigan District Junior High Committee as the Mass Gathering and Bible Study Coordinator.

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