For hundreds of young people, summer camp is much more than just a cabin

By July 7, 2004

USA (MNN)–The summer camp season is in full swing. Young Life’s Dave Carlson says they’re expecting a 15-percent increase in attendance this year.

That’s due in part to an intentional push from the field ministry team telling kids about the camp experience. The timing of introducing the Gospel message is critical. “A lot of us are aware that it’s between 13 and 18 period that kids are forming ideas and values for their own life, but they’re now at a point where they’re starting to discern what will be the key guiding principles for their own life.”

Their teams, Carlson explains, provide strong, positive influences in the lives of young people. Studies show that one significant difference in teens who manage life successfully and those who don’t is the presence of interested adults who consistently demonstrate the values that make life meaningful.

Ministry comes through relationship. “Our camps have leaders traditionally called ‘camp counselors’ who know the kids before they come to camp, and they come with them from the community, they’re with them for the week of camp, and then they go home with them. So these leaders are really the key to the relationship with the kids.”

That’s Young Life in a nutshell–going where kids are, loving them unconditionally, earning the right to be heard and communicating God’s love in terms kids can understand.

Young Life is active in all 50 states and more than 45 countries, reaching an estimated one million teenagers annually.

More than 90,000 kids spend a weekend during the school year or a week during the summer at one of Young Life’s 24 camping properties in the United States and Canada.

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