The Beauty Of Young Life Camps

The Beauty Of Young Life Camps

Those tables are set like that for a reason.

Bethany Bray

If you are anything like me, then an overabundance of your childhood memories are linked with various assorted images of sweltering weeks spent at summer camp. Recollections of days consumed with crafting friendship bracelets and learning how to french braid, and nights that were dedicated to confessing the name of your camp crush to your entire cabin, and then allowing your newfound roommates to openly dream up your inevitable future with said crush. I was an avid summer camper as a kid. I went to church camp and 4-H camp and I even attended something called "fashion camp" for a week when I was 9 years old. (All I remember from that one was spending all of my money at Rue 21. Those were simpler times.) I am telling you all of this might not seem too important, but I just need you to understand that summer camp was my thing.

I knew summer camps like the back of my hand. If I could have been in college during my middle school days, I would have majored in summer camp. The strategy of camp was one of the things I knew best, and I took a lot of pride in that. So when I attended a Younglife camp for the first time, I was disappointed at how little I knew about the way that things worked. There was no siesta time in the middle of the day and we weren't given a warm peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a brown paper bag at lunch time. Our phones were taken away from us and we were encouraged to instead write letters to our friends and family back home in order to keep them updated on how our week was going. Campers weren't taught a dance to the song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and instructed to recite it every day after breakfast. This Young Life camp had an enormous zip line and a store where you could buy any kind of milkshake and something that was called a "blob," and I was unfamiliar with all of it. I remember at the time feeling almost frustrated with the way that Young Life camp had differed from the norm of other summer camps, but looking back on it now, I realize how much beauty there is in that.

Young Life camps don't work to fit the mold of a traditional summer camp. The soul purpose of a Young Life camp is to provide campers with new and unfamiliar experiences that are life changing and geared toward turning their hearts to the knowledge of God's Word. Kids are shown the love of Christ with elaborate meals at a attentively and gracefully set table that evolves into the site of deep fellowship and intentional conversations with every big cookie that is eaten. They are reminded that they are the sons and daughters of the Most High God by having their luggage carried for them once they arrive onto the site of camp and settling into cabins that look as though they are fit for a king the moment they step foot inside of them. The spirits of campers are lifted with the robust laughter that results from carefully scripted and hilariously performed skits and their heads are loaded with stories that stress how much they are loved and cherished and worth dying for.

Walls are broken down and hearts are softened with the unique ways that Young Life Camps operate to delightfully display the profound affection that comes from Jesus. Separate Young Life camps all over the world are grounds of where thousands of people have laid down their lives at the feet of our Father and made the decision to walk with Him, and that in itself is so beautiful.

Young Life camps stray away from the solid pattern of most summer camps. Young Life camps are full of silliness and celebration and glee, but the presence of Christ can be felt with every shooting star and every heavy talk that is had during cabin time and with every single camper who leaves camp having learned something new about the intricate love that they have, and always will, receive from our most wonderful God.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments