Top Ten Things I Learned at Every Nation Youth Camp Central

It’s true. I was there. It was amazing.

Here’s what it was like:

10. Our 50+ volunteers are incredible.

We have dozens of team members who give up their week, drove three hours, and went just to be counselors, rec leaders, worship team members…just because? That’s right. That’s who we are.

9. Camp food is as challenging as you remember.

To wit: Breakfast corn dogs (a pancake wrapped around a “sausage”). Scrumptious.

8. Teens really are resilient.

Mediocre food, exhaustion, heat all day…then they show up and jump and worship like you wouldn’t believe? Yup.

Speaking of that,

7. The worship at camp was first-rate.

We brought our best singers and musicians to raise the roof, and it paid off.

6. As it turns out, teens have it tough.

Being around teens all week and hearing both their struggles and successes created a lot of newfound compassion with me, and all our leaders. Coming of age in a highly secularized, overly sexualized, and anxious culture is an extraordinary challenge.

5. Love carries the day.

Our charge as leaders was to be our students’ biggest cheerleaders and encouragers, to help lift every teen’s spirits. Just one encouraging word from a trusted authority figure can turn a teen’s world around.

4. We learned a ton.

This was our first year to completely organize, fund, design and carry out a camp for teens (in the past we have been attendees, not “owners” of the event). I’m very proud of all we did and excited to put into practice all we learned.

3. If you want to feel God’s presence…go.

The unique promise of Jesus to us in Matthew 28 tells us that He will be with us as we “go.” I encountered this truth afresh: if you want to be excited about your church, excited about Jesus and experience a lifting of heart, it takes going and giving and sacrificing. I came home more energized than when I left.

2. Your generosity makes it possible.

We raised nearly $35,000 for camp this year. This is a tremendous amount and every dollar gets invested in a teen’s life. So…THANK YOU.

1. Lives were changed.

There were so many prayers prayed over teens, we saw students giving their lives for Christ and witnessed them confessing sin and receiving healing. At the end of the day…this is what it is all about. This Sunday, you’ll see (via video) the eight who were water-baptized last week as they responded to Christ in faith.

Next year…you’ve got to go. It will impact your life in powerful ways…there’s a reason why so many of our adult volunteers go back year after year: they know the difference they make.

I’m grateful to impact the next generation with you,


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