Several leaders and counselors at area Christian camps have said in the past that it’s tough to avoid God on their sprawling grounds.

They point to serene lakes, wooded wonderlands, animated animals and settling sunsets — signs, they say, of a creator’s beauty and grandeur. Why does that matter?

Because they use those elements and many more to reach youngsters with a multifaceted message of God’s love, said Tim Stair, director of operations for Waymansville’s Lakeview Ministries, the area camp near Seymour with 2,300 spots for summer campers.

“One of the really effective things our counselors sometimes will do is to just go out at night with the kids, and lie under the thousands of stars,” Stair said. “A lot of the kids live where there are a lot of lights, and they rarely see anything like that.”

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Call it bright lights, no city.

For parents looking for shining opportunities for their kids’ summer fun, Stair suggests they sign up now as Lakeview currently has fewer than 200 week-long camp slots open.

Here’s a roundup of summer activity options at area Christian camps:

Lakeview Ministries, 13500 W. Lake Road, Waymansville near Seymour. Week-long camps begin June 7. Shorter stints begin June 2. Also available are Tiny Trike Retreats, in which a parent or adult accompanies a child in grades kindergarten through second-grade on an overnight stay. Father-son and mother-daughter weekend retreats also are popular for fun and bonding. Costs range from $295 for some of the week-long camps to $180 for the shorter ones.

Popular features: Zip line, challenge course, horseback riding, and other offerings.

Information: 812-342-4815 or camplakeview.com.

Southeastern Baptist Youth Camp, also known as Westport Camp, 3127 W. County Road 800S near Westport. Week-long camps begin June 14. Shorter stints such as kindergarten camp come in July and Wilderness Camp is slated for August. Music and golf camps are scheduled in July. For families planning ahead, a family camp is slated Labor Day weekend. Costs range from $70 for some of the shorter, themed camps to $120 to $275 for the family camp.

Popular features: Paintball, nearly new swimming pool, lakes and other offerings.

Information: 812-591-2515 or westportcamp.com.

Hilltop Christian Camp, 6014 Hamilton Creek Road, west of Columbus in Brown County. Week-long camps begin June 7. Shorter stints such as Ice Breaker Wilderness Camp begin in July. Costs range from $120 for the shorter camps to $230 for week-long camps.

Popular features: Indoor and outdoor basketball courts, 18-hole golf course, sand volleyball, softball, fishing and boating and other offerings.

Information: 812-988-4991 or hilltopchristiancamp.com.

Christian Youth Organization Camp Rancho Framasa, 2230 N. Clay Lick Road, Nashville in Brown County. One-day, three-day and week-long camps for youngsters and teens all summer long. Week-long camps begin June 7. Offers a special ranch hands camp experience for those with special needs or disabilities. Week-long camps are $450 to $510. Day camps are in the $155 range and some two-day overnight camps are priced at $230 to $280.

Popular features: Ropes challenge course, archery, horseback riding, occasional sleeping under the stars, and other offerings.

Information: 812-988-2839 or campranchoframasa.org.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.