At Young Life camp, we create space where kids can encounter Jesus Christ.
In an effort to create space
- We provide a property that reflects the glory of God and serves as a worthy setting for the gospel. This means excellence in everything, from food to flowers to facilities.
- We set boundaries that ensure the safety of each camper, including physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries. "Do not climb the cliffs behind the pool at Frontier Ranch”, is an example of a physical boundary. “Cabin time confidential”, is an emotional boundary. And, “Never corner kids and force them to make a decision concerning Christ”, is a spiritual boundary.
- We provide a support structure of staff, summer staff and work crew with clearly defined roles who have been trained with excellence to set leaders free to minister to kids.
- We clear away the noise, clutter and chaos from kids’ lives. For example: Kids are not allowed to use personal music systems or cell phones at camp. Kids sit down to a table to eat dinner in an orderly fashion. Kids are given opportunities to sit in silence and consider the gospel message.
- We break down barriers through shared adventure, personal discover, appropriate humor, purposeful music, excellent service and an obvious respect for the things that count to kids (for example, we incorporate songs from the current culture into our program and club).
- We provide ample opportunities for kids, leaders and cabins to bond through shared experiences, creating a safe and close community in which kids can encounter Christ.
- We create a framework for processing the gospel message together and alone. This includes creating a cabin time setting that is confidential, kid-centered and safe (kids are not coerced, ridiculed or lectured; leaders listen and facilitate discovery of the truth). It also includes structuring the schedule so that program decreases as the gospel message progresses, allowing for ample free time for kids and leaders to talk. Some camps construct a framework that invites kids and leaders to gather and visit in a comfortable atmosphere after cabin time later in the week (e.g. a coffee house setting in the dining room). And, as already mentioned, most camps include one or two times during the week when kids are asked to sit silently for several minutes and consider the gospel message.
- We provide a safe forum, free from public pressure or personal coercion, where kids can profess a public faith in Jesus Christ if they so choose (e.g. “Say So”).
- We provide a setting where kids who have come to Christ can come together for encouragement and basic instruction in their new faith (e.g. “New Christians Seminar”).
In an effort to help kids encounter Jesus Christ
- We begin, end and surround every camp with personal, private and corporate prayer behind the scenes. Since we are working with kids who do not know Jesus Christ, we exercise sensitivity and offer public prayers only when they are deemed appropriate by the staff and for the group.
- We create the entire camping experience as a tool to facilitate the ministry of the adult leader in the lives of the kids.
- We provide a clear picture of Christ through the sacrificial service of the staff, summer staff and work crew, which is their spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1).
- We proclaim Christ through everything we say or do. From the way we greet incoming campers to the way we say goodbye; from the announcements before the meal to the dessert at the end; from the first song to the last dance, and everything in between—with a warm spirit of hospitality, we reflect Jesus Christ.
- We involve kids daily in the exercise of adventure. We believe if kids see new sights and try new activities, they may think new thoughts as well. External adventure leads to internal discovery and helps kids to discover the truth about themselves and, ultimately, about Jesus Christ.
- We work hard to make club the best hour of the day. This includes the excellent use of music and humor as well as a well-prepared message that captures the attention of kids and clearly communicates the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- We communicate the gospel in terms kids can understand with a winsome spirit, speaking clearly from the scriptures, bringing Christ to life in the clubroom. We introduce kids through a progression of the messages to the person of Christ, the nature of humanity, the work of Christ on the cross, the hope of the resurrection and the opportunity for reconciliation with God. In addition, we often reinforce the verbal proclamation of the gospel through dramatic presentation (e.g. role plays and “The Broken Heart” play).
- We provide kids a clear and personal invitation to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Approved by the Mission Field Team, March 2002