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What Youth Camp is All About

“The teens are going to camp? So they’re just going to have fun?”

If you’ve never attended a good Christian camp, you might have found yourself asking these questions about our youth group’s recent trip to Glorieta Camp in New Mexico. Having recently returned, I now have better responses to these questions: yes and no.

Yes, the teens went to camp to have fun. All of us tend to want to enjoy life and friendships. Fun moments of our life, especially in relationship with others, are generous gifts from our Lord. Each day has enough troubles of its own (Matthew 6:34), and our teens already understand this better than we realize. Offering the opportunity for a fun camp experience can show our teens the church cares for them.

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But no, a good Christian camp’s focus doesn’t fall primarily on having fun. Camp Glorieta’s mission statement reads, “Our Mission is to inspire Christ-like change through outdoor adventure, authentic relationships, and Biblical truth.” From the moment we arrived at the camp the outdoor adventures began, Christ crucified was preached multiple times every day (1 Corinthians 2:2), we read Scripture together multiple times every day, we prayed together multiple times every day, we ate all our meals together, quiet teens’ hearts opened as they shared important concerns, and by God’s grace, love for him and each other increased. If only all our weeks could look more like this!

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I’m not a teenager or even a young twenty-something anymore, so the week left me exhausted – but watching the Spirit working in the teens’ hearts made it 100% worth it! I’m also thrilled that they all seemed to have a very fun time!

John Laffoon
Minister to Youth and Families