Your group attended camp this summer, and it was a “mountaintop experience.” So how can you help your students keep the momentum going? Here are five steps you can take, as the senior pastor, to help students keep the camp fire burning.

1. Share about camp

Give your youth minister a Sunday or Wednesday night service where students and adults can talk about their camp experience and thank the congregation for their support. God worked at camp, and others will want to hear about it.

Parents, prayer partners, students who were unable to attend camp, and the church as a whole will want to know about camp. Providing an opportunity to share allows students to articulate how God worked in their lives and used camp to grow their faith.

2. Have follow-up conversations

Ask for the names of all students who made decisions at camp. Invite each one to a personal meeting with you and the student minister where they will share and discuss their decision.

These decisions may range from salvation to recommitment to a call to full-time ministry to other decisions such as changing a bad habit. You will not want this time to be intimidating for the student. Make sure they’re comfortable with this meeting. You may want to include parents, too.

Pray for students and over their decisions and discuss needed follow up such as baptism or mentoring. This will provide accountability for students and help to ensure decisions made at camp were not just emotionally driven.

3. Plan a follow-up sermon

At the end of summer or into early fall, plan a sermon that points back to the theme and Bible study of camp. This will remind students of the topics they learned about at camp and will challenge them to continue to apply and live out the truths they brought home from camp. You may consider an entire sermon series around the theme and invite students to assist with it.

4. Support new ideas

Support other ideas students feel equipped to implement. For example, if your group attended a mission camp and worked in a nursing home and they want to start a nursing home ministry in your community, be open to that idea and help them with the logistics of making this a vital ministry in your church and community. Be sure not to crush any new suggestions or ideas.

5. Challenge students

Meet with students during one of their gathering times to offer a challenge. Encourage them to continue their daily quiet time from camp, to attend youth group meetings regularly, to build on new friendships made at camp, to be in the Word and worship together, to follow through on decisions made and lessons learned, and to take the necessary steps to continue to grow closer to God.

Share that discipleship and spiritual growth are ongoing, a daily investment. Give tips on how to make this a part of their regular, everyday lives.

Once students have been physically distanced from a spiritual high for some time, it’s easy to tuck that away in the back of their minds and live as though there’s no evidence of the change that took place. You’ll want to challenge your students to not let this happen.

With the steps noted above, others will see and know how the experiences students had at camp have forever impacted their lives. And students won’t forget it either. Camp will become a spiritual marker in their lives.

This article was originally published to Lifeway Research.