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By Dannah Gresh, founder of True Girl

A summer camp snack may seem like an insignificant bit of fun, but recently in my research on childhood development, I stumbled across a study that changed the way I view campfire s’mores forever. Today I want to share how something as simple as a s’more could impact your child’s lifelong struggle with identity, healthy relationships, and even depression.

(Ready to make some life-changing s’mores with your kids? We’re giving away a $500 prize pack filled with everything you need to make a serious impact on your kids this summer. Oh, and of course that includes everything you need to make the world’s best smore’s. Keep reading to find out how to enter.)

When you think back on your childhood, what do you remember most?

Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that stick with us well into adulthood. I’ve never forgotten that every year at summer camp, my mom was faithful to send me a care package with the same snack: Goober Grape and Ritz Crackers. The tradition made me feel so loved and remembered by my mom while I was away from her for the week. To this day I am transported back to that loving feeling every time I taste that nostalgic snack! After experiencing the power of Goober Grape to communicate love, I carried the tradition on to my daughter when she went to summer camp.

It was only deep into my research into the social science of raising tweens that I discovered why that memory of my mom’s love stuck with me all these years. It’s because our favorite campfire snacks can be much more than a tasty treat. This month, I’d like to challenge you to use the power of a campfire s’more to make an eternal impact on your kiddo’s heart.

So what’s the secret to making a life-changing s’more? Let’s dig into the science.

Psychologically, our identity is heavily influenced by three things: our experiences, the memories we make, and how we interpret those memories. One of my favorite counselors, Peter Kuiper, always says that children are great observers but terrible interpreters. When we leave our kids to make sense of their experiences in this world on their own, they often begin to believe lies that last far into adulthood. And when we try to work through these lies after years of believing them, they are much more complicated to uproot. A main portion of my ministry has been working with men and women to help them find freedom from lies that they began to believe at just 6, 8, 12 years old! Our best hope for protecting our kids from these lies is to address them when they’re just newly-formed observations.

Here’s where the s’mores come in.

One proven method for protecting your kids from these lies is making a culture of storytelling, reminiscing, and sharing within your family. Studies show that children whose parents encourage them to reflect on the day’s events and process them together develop better coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills, resulting in a stronger sense of identity and reduced risk of depression. When you hear what your child has observed and how they’re interpreting it, you’ll be able to guide them in focusing on the Truth, and debunk any lies that might be cropping up. When you gather your family around a campfire for some sweet s’mores and good conversation, it isn’t just some summer fun. It’s actually the easiest way to prepare your kids for the world.

We want to hook you up with the ultimate s’mores family impact pack. Enter to win our Ooey Gooey Graham Prize, worth over $500!

With summer camps canceled this summer, we wanted to hand you the reigns to provide a spiritual impact experience for your kids. That’s why we developed Camp Staycation: the ultimate family summer camp experience. We’re posting weekly family impact activities that you can do with your kids to make this their favorite, most life-changing summer of all. (Last week, we did a mail call activity to send some encouragement, just like my mom did for me when I was at camp!) And when you participate, you could win our Our Ooey Gooey Graham Prize. Simply post a photo of your family participating in the weekly activities and tag us, and you could win our full library of family resources as well as some extra fun goodies!

It’s all leading up to the main event on July 24th: the Online Family Campfire. If you’re serious about guiding your kids in the process of unpacking lies and replacing them with the truth, this event is for you. The Online Family Campfire is not just your average summer campfire: it’s a fun, strategic conversation starter to help you plant Truth into your kids’ heart. We’ll talk about where our identity comes from, and how our faith filter–not our friend filter, social media filter, or any other filter by which we need to view the world. It’ll be a fun, impactful night for the whole family. It’s a great way to get your family into the practice of having those important conversations over some life-changing s’mores. Register now at mytruegirl.com/camp.