¢H~IS11AN FAMILY ¢AM~IN by Rev. R. Eldon Brock Family vacation! Strain and drain or growth and investment? Is your vacation a strain on family relations and a drain on the family finances? Or is it an opportu– nity for spiritual growth and an investment in family to– getherness? Christ said to His disciples after their wearying itinerant ministry, " Come apart. ..and rest awhile " (Mark 6:31). As this invitation applies to members of Christ 's " family," I think it should apply to our families , too. If more families could " come apart" for really meaningful times, fewer would " fall apart" in family breakups. Family vacations may take only a small portion of the annual calendar, but a well-planned vacation can be a special event that helps to hold families together for years to come. The planning, the actual experience, and then the reminiscing of the good times allows for family interaction and creates an interdependence which is often missing in our busy and self-centered society. While good family relationships are not dependent on a vacation, I would like to suggest family camp as a 12 special experience for your family. An established camp or conference provides your basic needs of housing and food , a flexible schedule, and special activities for the whole family . Recently I asked people to tell me some benefits of family camp which appealed to them. I think their responses will encourage you to consider the potential of Christian family camping for your family . 1. The cost is usually much less than many other types of vacations. Since one knows in advance what the cost will be, there ' s no impulse spending. 2. There 's more time for family fellowship. Mother is free from cooking responsibilities, and even with small children to care for , the benefits of fellowship and inspiration for her will offset the few inconveniences of the camp environment. The same goes for Dad. He can escape the pressures of his daily job and even put aside for awhile many of the cares of the home duties in order to spend extra time with the family .