Youth Camp August 2016
Friday, November 4, 2016 at 08:18AM
Love Help Teach

It took three or four visits to their homes to get the 25 young people’s parents to say, “Yes, my child can go to youth camp.” But the week we had together was worth the many visits we made. Most of these children ages 12 to 16 had never been away from home overnight and certainly never to a camp. But mid-week they were begging us to make the camp longer!

We had incredible games and group-building activities throughout the week. Perhaps my favorite was the soccer tournament we had one afternoon. It seems soccer runs in the blood of these youth. The Photo Scavenger Hunt was exciting as each team ran to take the best pictures and we had a good laugh that night when we watched the slideshow of the photos. The first afternoon of the camp we had an hour-long relay and the final afternoon of the week we had a water relay. One evening we imitated a Hungarian Game Show, The One-Minute Challenge. The room was silent with anticipation as each student came forward to take on their one-minute challenge pulled from the orange hat.

The final night of camp, I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the students’ performances during our talent show. Each group presented one of the day’s themes – relationship with God (faith), relationships with family (conduct), relationships with friends (speech), relationship with one’s self (love) and relationships with a boyfriend or girlfriend (purity). There were funny skits, serious skits, pantomime, and dance! All the group games and activities helped each team earn points and at the end of the week the teams received prizes based on their team’s ranking.

The evening worship services were a new concept for most of the students as these kids are not regular churchgoers. During the first worship service, I introduced our theme from 1 Timothy 4:16 of being an example in our everyday relationships. I challenged the students to live a life that is an example to others and to be open minded; listening to each guest speaker throughout the week with a desire to learn from him/her. I was proud of the youth as they gave their attention to the speakers who shared about God’s view on our relationships. We gave the students the opportunity to discuss these topics in a more personal way in small groups each morning.

The highlight of the week was the Friday evening campfire. There we heard that God loves us and extends a call to each of us, to be His child and follow His plan for our life. The students responded with openness and with many tears were shed in response to the gospel message. Approximately twenty youth stood up, deciding to start a relationship with God. Our speaker that night, along with his wife, prayed with each student as he/she came forward. The big prayer now, is for these kids to grow in their relationship with God!

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