History of Young Life Camping

Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life

Jim Rayburn was the founder of Young Life. Known for his great sense of humor, love for adventure and unique insight into the Christian faith, Rayburn was truly God's man for the job of beginning a new ministry to reach unchurched adolescents.

Rayburn described how Young Life camping evolved: "I didn't know there was going to be anything like Young Life or anything like that. I just got these kids together and I didn't know any way to get in with them. I bribed them into meeting around campfires because there weren't any buildings to meet in, so we had our meetings around the campfire. I'd promise to take them on a camping trip if they'd come to so many of these meetings. That's how I got my audience." Each Young Life camp is an amazing story of God's blessing. Rayburn, talking about the acquisition of Frontier Ranch, said, "If you don't think you're in a miracle place, I do! I was there when it happened." Every summer, thousands of kids enjoy the best week of their lives at over 32 Young Life camps worldwide, including five international affiliates, and several leased facilities throughout the United States.

For a more detailed look at what kids experience at camp, please visit the Why We Camp page, and for a specific explanation of the why behind our methods at Young Life camps, please take a look at the Non-Negotiables of Young Life Camping.

Contact Us

Young Life Camping Home
PO Box 520
Colorado Springs, CO, 80901-0520

CALL US: 719-381-1844
FAX: 719-381-1757

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