camp

God Changes Everything

God Changes Everything

Sophomore Year… High School… Camp Cowen… As I did every year, I sat next to my camp girl friend… because after all, doesn’t every freshman boy go to camp for the ladies? I listened to a speaker named Rob Ely talk about why Jesus should matter to me… a popular, All-American kid with a bright future and a clean record. He spoke about this God who rescued every one of us through the person of Jesus. He spoke about the love and unmerited, undeserved grace of Jesus for the ENTIRE world - all for the sake of restoring every person… as his beloved!

As Rob spoke that night, I felt something strange begin to happen. I let go of my camp girlfriend’s hand. Scenes of my life began to rerun in my mind, but rather than disregarding them, I decided to feel them.

On that night, the very hearing of being called a beloved child of God so moved my heart and renewed my weary soul that I did not care so much about the girl sitting next to me or the buddies from my cabin when I got up, walked to Rob, and accepted the love of Jesus for me. 

Why the Camp High is Vital for Your Student Ministry

Last weekend, I embarked upon an adventure with my high school students that every youth pastor should consider, if you have not done so already. We completed our second annual Winter Retreat.

I cannot express to you how important and vital this weekend away with your leaders and students means for your end-of-school-year momentum. This event has become the backbone for our spring semester… for a number of reasons.

Camp and the Eschatological Formation of Students

Camp and the Eschatological Formation of Students

Big Title - Simple Concept: Kids live within the embrace of the Resurrection and Heaven at camp. I don't wish to over dramatize the camp experience, but certainly, anyone who has ever led or attended a camp understands that something 'special' happens there. It is mysterious. It is magical. And it is a core aspect of the faith development of students.

As a retired camper myself, I can remember my leaders telling me that what we were experiencing — the happy belly flutters and feelings of deep peace and joy — during our week at camp was as close to Heaven on Earth as we would get. The full weight of their perspective was lost on me until I became leader myself. Now, I get it.