Married to the Empire

Monday, July 21, 2008

More about Youth Camp

We've been home for over a week now, and try as I might, I was unable to recover the photos from camp that I'd accidentally deleted from my camera. I'm having to make do with the few (somewhat lousy) pictures I do have.

The students had Track Times every afternoon. Tracks were classes they chose to take, such as art, drama, spiritual gifts, missions, various sports, etc. They attended 2 tracks each day. I do have a few pictures of the results of some of our students' track times. This is a drama presentation on the last night of camp. Two of the girls on stage are from our church:

They did a moving reading of various scriptures woven together. If I remember correctly, much of it was from Isaiah.

Several of our girls were in the art track. This painting is a collaborative effort of a few of our girls:

This next one was done by our church's artistic child. She's extremely talented, and we have the painting she did last year hanging in our youth room. We didn't get this year's painting, as there was a bidding war over it. At the end of camp, all the paintings are auctioned off, and the proceeds all go to missions. This painting earned $110 for missions!

If you're wondering why the paintings all seem to have an African theme, it's because the camp theme was Kilimanjaro: Kingdom Secrets. All the groups were named after countries in Africa.

Speaking of the theme, the Kingdom Secrets part of it is from the parables of Jesus. I posted the various verses they were studying while we were away. They were woefully incomplete. The kids wound up reading 2-3 parables each day and studying them in depth. In fact, the theme came directly from Matthew 13:11:
He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them."

Most of our youth group were already saved, so this year's camp was more of a challenge to them to deepen in their faith. Last year our group bonded; this year, they're realizing they need to really live out their faith. One of the parables we studied really hit home with everyone in this sense. Matthew 13:44:
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold everything he had and bought that field. (emphasis mine)

Following Jesus is about giving up the old to take up the new. It's a challenge for the kids and the adults to throw off the things of the world to follow after Christ. This year, though, we all decided that it's a challenge we want to take on.

Just to photographically prove that we were there, I give you a terrible picture of me with my husband right before the worship service on our last night of camp. Notice the gigantic name tags/schedules they gave us to wear. Those things were like our own personal albatrosses, but we had to wear them. Oh, and just so you know, my hair looked awful because I'd been rained on:

And because all of my photos of the beauty of camp were wiped out, I give you a photo taken from the van on the way home:

It's not exactly a picture of beauty, but at least you can see that we were in the mountains. That's one of our vans in front of us.