Youth camp has to be more than just fun, games, and pranks. We do 3 sessions each day to devote time to God.
Quite Time and Small Group
The first session is just after breakfast. We have our students broken up into small groups and have them get into their groups and have personal quite time and group devotions. Each day the leader speaking in the evening service put together this session for the students. For example, during my session I had them read Acts 6 and 7 during their personal quite time and go through these questions
- Read: Acts 6 & 7 (You can take some notes here)
- In Acts 6:1-7 what does it say about Stephen? What was his job?
- In Acts 6:8-11 Why did they arrest Stephen?
- What surprised you about Stephen in Acts chapter 7?
This was in the handy dandy notebook that we put together for each student. This tied into my sermon in the evening. In the group devotion I had them go through this
- If You Had a Super Power, what would it be?
- Let’s say the most powerful person in the world called you and told you that they would do anything you asked, what would you ask for?
- Read Matthew 25:14-28
- What does the master say to the servants that invested their money?
- What does he say to the one that hid his money?
Each leader handled theirs a little differently, but we did have some basic guidelines for the quite time.
- Sit where you will not fall asleep and determine to use this time well
- Pray before reading for guidance and openness
- Read the assigned scriptures carefully then think about the passage
- What exactly is the passage saying?
- Is there a command to obey?
- An example to follow?
- Promise to claim?
- Warning to head?
- Sin to forsake?
- How can you apply it to your life?
- What does it say about God? Man?
- Are there problems or things I don’t understand and need to ask about or look up?
- Is there anything I need to confess to the Lord?
- Other suggestions
- Think of all the things you can praise the Lord for
- Go outside and praise the Lord for nature
- Just think about the Lord and all his neat qualities, express your love to Him
- Meditate on (think about) a passage of Scripture
- Sing to the Lord
- Just be quiet before the Lord and ask Him to show you your heart
- Write a poem or letter to the Lord
- Just talk to the Lord as you would a friend,
i. tell Him all your secrets,
ii. all your desires,
iii. tell Him what’s bothering you today
Be creative and do your own thing with the Lord
You might call it chapel or something else, but this was the time just after dinner when we had a service that somewhat resembled a traditional church service. Each night we had a different speaker, but planned our topics together so everything would flow nicely.
- Sunday: Real Life Real Faith – Series intro from a local church pastor.
- Monday: Guys and Girls – Teen Dating
- Tuesday: The Title Fight – Christianity v. Atheism
- Wednesday: Live Out Loud (this was mine)
- Thursday: Transform Not Conform
With mine I provided a short fill in the blank for students. Each of these “lies” and “undeniable truths” were blank.
Lie #1: I’m OK, so I don’t need to do anything
Undeniable Truth: You are good with God, which is why you should do something.
Lie #2: Living a good life is enough; I don’t need to do anything extra
Undeniable Truth: Living right is only half the way, bold speech is the other half
Lie #3: I should keep my mouth shut and not offend others
Undeniable Truth: Letting people suffer, die, and go to Hell is much more offensive
Lie #4: The problem is too big
Undeniable Truth: God is Bigger
Lie #5: I’m just one person, I can’t make a difference
Undeniable Truth: God always uses one person to make the difference
Lie #6: I can do it all on my own
Undeniable Truth: You need God for any long term change
I used Stephen’s story in the chapters the students read during their quite time to illustrate the points.
Camp fire is a lot of silly fun. We sing stupid songs, mostly things that have various gestures, and a shocking amount of pelvic thrusts (seriously I’m not sure how much pelvic thrusting is too much at youth camp but I think every single song requires at least one “ugghn” accompanied by a pelvic thrust. Also, I have said “pelvic thrust” way too many times so now this post is gonna get visit from someone looking for porn, so I should apologize to that person … sorry no nekkid people here, but feel free to look around anyway.) Eventually the songs become more worshipful and less pelvic thrusty and then a leader will often share or we open it up to student testimonies. I shared my testimony on my evening with an emphasis on my conclusion from the sermon, what are you willing to sacrifice to follow God. After the camp fire one student accepted salvation and several more rededicated their lives to God. The girls cabin ended up staying up crying, sharing, and praying till 2:30 in the morning. The next night students started sharing their testimonies till 2am, and we had started earlier. That is the most powerful part of camp, when students really start opening up and letting God use them to help each other.
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